What you put into your body directly effects what you get out of it. So, if you’re cracking a beer before you grind out an 8-miler, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You should wait and crack that beer when you get back (seriously). Below are four drinks that you can slam before your workout to keep yourself performing at your peak, and three drinks to drink after you’re done to keep your fuel tank topped off and your engine running clean.
Oh yes. At least around the Made Man office, this isn’t exactly something you have to ask us twice to inject directly into our carotids (or shower in, or mix in our beef jerky). Besides keeping you awake during meetings about t.p.s. reports, though, it’s been proven to increase your long-term endurance. A study at Vanderbilt concluded the following:
“In conclusion, caffeine’s use as an ergogenic aid has been proven to increase physical endurance but has many side effects and precautions. However, caffeine’s use for short-term endurance appears to have no affect on the athlete. Many sources seem to support these two statements…”
This is sort of a no-duh situation, but what you may not know is how long beforehand you need to be drinking water for it to be effective. If you’re dehydrated, depending on how dehydrated you are, it could take as long as 24 hours to build yourself back to a rehydrated state. Further, on a shorter-term scale, you don’t want to chug a bottle of water 5 minutes before you go running. Water is absorbed by your stomach and small intestine at 5ml per minute and 500ml per hour respectively, so you should be able to fully absorb most of a bottle of water if you chug it one hour before you plan to work out.
Whatever you drink, make sure it’s not loaded with sugar. As extreme as some sodas claim to be (which is very extreme), they offer only a short burst of energy which burns out and can cause you to “bonk.” This happens when your body’s energy stores (glycogen), are burned up and your metabolism isn’t able to keep up and produce more. This leaves you with no energy, and a fairly wobbly set of legs to limp home on.
Half-strength sports drinks
Sports drinks, like Gatorade, are too concentrated as they are sold to be effectively and efficiently absorbed by your body. The reason it’s effective at all, though, is because it replaces electrolytes that you sweat out during exercise. Just replacing water does not replace those ions (like sodium). And when you have those ions in your body, it is easier for it to retain water. However, to be most effective, dilute your sports drink by one half before drinking it to hydrate (that goes for after your workout as well)
Did the little kid inside you just get really really excited? Thought so. Well, guess what, this is no joke. Chocolate milk, in addition to being delicious and way better on your Fruity Pebbles than normal milk, is actually an effectual workout recovery drink. Milk has water and electrolyte like sports drinks, but also includes protein which is key for helping you to recover after a strenuous workout. Also: chocolate is yummy. Here is what CBS says about it:
"[Milk] is a sports drink ‘plus,’" Keith Ayoob, EdD, a registered dietitian and associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, tells WebMD. "It will supply you with things you need whether or not you’re working out."
A protein shake is potentially a better choice than milk if you’re more concerned with getting the correct number of milligrams of l-carnitine than you are quaffing some chocolaty goodness. However, it’s best if you go old school with protein shakes, too, and make your own using whole foods as opposed to buying prepackaged muscle-milk-type drinks. If you’re in the market for a protein shake recipe, here’s 76 right here.
Oh hell yes. Guess what, researchers at Granada University in Spain found out something pretty cool a few years ago. When it comes to recovering and rehydrating after a workout, beer is better than water. Spain seems like a pretty cool country. They probably conducted half of the experiment to find that out, took a siesta to make love to their beautiful wives, then another to ravish their beautiful, younger, mistresses. Then they probably rolled a clove cigarette and drank some brandy. Then they finished the study. Probably. Anyway, here’s what they found:
The subjects in the study were asked to run on a treadmill at temperatures of 104F (40C) until they were close to exhaustion. Once they had reached the point of giving up, researchers measured their hydration levels, motor skills, and concentration ability.
Half of the subjects were given two half pints of Spanish lager to drink, and the other half were given just water.
Garzon said that the rehydration effection in those who were given beer was "slightly better" than those who were given only water. He also believes that the carbon dioxide in beer helps quench thirst more quickly, and that beer’s carbohydrates replace calories lost during physical exertion.