Before we get started, let’s get out of the way that red wine will not be included in this list (we’ll save that for another day).

What I want to address here is what to drink and when to enhance your workout and make sure that you’ve restored some of the energy lost post-workout. Whether you are jumping on the treadmill or elliptical for just an hour a day, or preparing for a marathon, what you put into your body can either help or hurt you in the long run (no pun intended).

Water

By far one of the most important things you could consume, researchers say to drink 2-3 glasses of water, about 2-3 hours before your workout. Water is actually attributed to maintain energy levels, as well. Dehydration before a workout, especially a run, can lead to cramps, nausea, and fatigue.

Enhanced Waters

But when water gets too boring, sometimes it simply is just hard to keep hydrated. Try an electrolyte-enhanced water, like Smartwater, or flavored water. Just be careful when choosing; certain brands of flavored waters are packed with sugar and artificial sweetener.

Sports Drinks

What’s the real deal with sports drinks? They’re great during a workout. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, restore the electrolytes lost in sweat. Not only that, but the carbohydrates in these drinks act as great fuel for energy while you work out.

100% Juice

Don’t think you’re off the hook just yet. When I say juice, I mean REAL, 100% juice. It needs to come from a fruit, not a process that involves machines and added sugars. When you drink a glass of 100% juice after a workout, it helps to restore some important antioxidants. A glass of tart cherry juice is a great resource for this.

Milk

Although too much dairy consumption is said to be unhealthy for adults, milk is a great post-workout beverage. The carbohydrates and protein in milk helps to aid in muscle recovery. Even chocolate milk works! However, my suggestion is to go for organic milk if possible; the hormones pumped into non-organic milk products block the nutrients our bodies need.

Remember that your body needs prepping and restoring when working out regularly. Regenerate those muscles so that you can achieve your workout goals beyond your expectations!