Water is simple, easy to get a hold of, and doesn’t add any extra flavors to your pre-workout energy blend, post-workout protein shake and other fitness supplements.
But it’s not the only game in town when it comes to exercise-friendly beverages. If you want to get creative, try a few game-changing liquids to mix with your supplements and improve your health.
- Before a Workout: Coffee
Coffee is energizing and a natural way to improve endurance, making it a great option for mixing with a pre-workout supplement like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Keep in mind that coffee is a mild diuretic, so make sure you drink lots of water throughout your workout.
- Before a Workout: Fruit Juice
When your body releases insulin, it also increases the uptake of creatine. In other words, for more effective creatine absorption, you’ll want a little sugar in your system.
If you’re taking creatine, try mixing it with a glass of pure fruit juice, such as orange juice or grape juice. You may also want to try beet juice. While it may not taste as delicious as orange juice, beet juice does improve endurance! For more information on the endurance benefits of beetroot juice checkout "Endurance enhancing drinks."
- During a Workout: Tea
If you’re taking supplements mid-workout or simply want to stay hydrated while you’re sweating it out, try chilled iced tea (homemade, not the sugary mixes sold in stores) like black tea or green tea. Not only does this create a relatively neutral base for any supplement powders (flavourless) you’re using, but the boost in antioxidants can improve your energy levels!
- After a Workout: Milk
If you’re taking a post-workout fitness supplement and want to improve your muscle recovery, consider a type of milk. Depending on the source of milk, milk can contain a natural blend of protein, carbohydrates and salt to improve rehydration faster and more effectively than plain water.
While there’s nothing wrong with water, switching up your hydration game can keep you motivated to drink (and eat) healthily while also giving you small boosts in your fitness.