Friday, January 7, 2011

Recovery drinks of choice

After a good workout, I always wonder about what to eat or drink to optimize my post-exercise recovery.

For cardio:
I try to find something simple to replenish electrolytes. I find Gatorade and Vitamin Water to be too sugary/salty and the serving sizes too large.
Recently after intense hot yoga sessions, I turn to coconut water. 11fl ounces of coconut water provides: 14g of sugar, 60mg of sodium, 40mg of calcium, 25mg of magnesium, 60 calories, and a whopping 670mg of potassium. It's about the same sugar content as one serving of vitamin water (usually each bottle has 2.5 servings), and check out that potassium level. Great for recovery and cramp prevention.
If you don't want to go too fancy, a banana works as well.

After strength training regimens, I don't usually go for coconut water because I need something more substantial for muscle maintenance. Protein powder is too much of a leap for me, so as of now, I stick to something classic: Milk. Milk contains about 20% whey protein, the most easily digestible form, and about 80% casein. Casein is a protein that digests slowly, and will continue releasing amino acids long after the whey is digested. Casein is not exactly ideal for post-workout because it is known to take longer to digest, but can work well in conjunction with whey for building and maintaining muscle.
And as a female, milk is also a great drink in general because of the high calcium levels.
Drink milk!

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