Supercharge your workout with these tasty beverages. – By Jessica Cassity
A sports drink won’t make you ride faster or longer – it’ll merely replenish nutrients and fluids you lose while sweating. But there are other beverages that do have positive training effects. As you ride, sip water or a sports drink, but off the bike, try these other drinks for real results.
How much: 2½ cups
Best time to sip: Every day for a week leading up to (as well as the day of) a race or a long ride.
Beverage benefits: Endurance athletes who drank cherry juice before running a marathon felt less pain afterward than those who didn’t. Phytochemicals in the drink appear to ease inflammation. Cherry juice can also help you sleep more, the best ingredient for recovery.
Best time to sip: Right after hill-training or a fast ride
How much: 2 to 4 cups
Beverage benefits: The protein in the milk helps repair muscles you’ve exerted. The calcium and vitamin D strengthen bones and may help you lose more fat.
Best time to sip: Daily, including right before a ride
How much: 3 to 4 cups
Beverage benefits: The caffeine in green tea will help you pedal longer. You’ll also shed more fat, thanks to compounds called catechins, which increase fat burn, especially during aerobic exercise.
How much: Add ½ teaspoon grated ginger to 240ml of lemonade
Best time to sip: Daily
Beverage benefits: Ginger, which contains anti-inflammatory compounds, has been found to ease post-workout muscle soreness by up to 25%.
How often: Daily, especially before a ride
Best time to sip: Drink 3 to 4 cups prior to a ride
Beverage benefits: Caffeine can increase endurance and delay fatigue – helping you ride longer and stronger. The deliciousness is an added bonus.
This article originally appeared on Prevention.com.