Runners regularly need their energy infusions to bring out their best, be it during their training or on the day of the run. No matter what season it is, beverages and fluids are a critical part of a runner’s diet. The array of products in a 'Beverages' section in a supermarket can give a runner nightmares when it comes to choosing the one that meets his/her needs. Especially in case of a beginner, this can be truly haunting. There are a lot more other options than just water and neon-hued sports drinks, and let’s take a look at a few other options runners have to quench their thirst:
Iced Green Tea
An excellent source of catechins, this pre and post run drink helps in fighting heart disease and cancer. Along with that, it helps in reducing muscle damages and speeds up recovery. Iced green tea is a tasty alternative to water on easy, short runs. To brew your best green tea, steep the bag for minimum of 3 minutes to release more catechins.
Tart Cherry Juice
A sour fruit juice, rich in anthocyanins – an enzyme that suppress inflammation in the body, is a boon for runners. This is particularly true for long distance runners, as it often leads to a lot of muscle damage and inflammation. Studies have shown that athletes who consumer this juice before exercising have less pain and inflammation after their workout, and it also speeds up muscle recovery. Though the taste may bring a pucker, it's still too little for the goodness it has got.
This nitrate rich purple juice is a great source of stamina. It does this by increasing the nitric acid in the body, which reduces requirements of muscles and there by you exercise with less oxygen, increasing intensity by 15 per cent.
Plain coconut water can be a beverage for those who are looking for a drink that is less sweet than soda or juice. The clear liquid from inside a green, unripe coconut has been an inexpensive way to rehydrate after sweating. Coconut water has got a lot of potassium in it, which helps in muscle functioning, and in it’s fairly low in sodium, and fewer carbs than sports drinks. This might not be an ideal drink for intensive and strenuous workouts, but is a tasty substitute for water.
For all the chocolate lovers out there, this is great news, isn't it? With a blend of carbs and protein, this favorite “kid’s drink” is great for recovery. The carbs in chocolate help replete glycogen and stored carbs (chocolate milk is better than regular milk because of the added ingredients), the protein helps rebuild and recover muscles after exercise. It is an inexpensive and tasty option as post recovery workout drink.