1. Water - Pretty obvious. What may not be is that sometimes we are dehydrated before we even begin to work out. A study of a group of NFL prospects has found that 98% of them were dehydrated the morning of their workout! Experts say you should drink at least two to two-and-a-half 8-ounce glasses up to two hours before your workout, one 8-ounce glass 15 minutes before, and one 8-ounce glass every 15 minutes during your workout.
2. Coffee - A little surprising but a study has shown that that a little dose of caffeine can help increase endurance, boost your workout, and even help relieve post-workout soreness. Plus, caffeine can reduce your perception of pain and exertion.
3. Sports Drink - You really need a sports drink to replenish your fluids after an intense, sweaty workout. A sports drink will help your body gain back lost carbohydrates and electrolytes; plus, the sodium in it makes you thirstier, and the combination of glucose and salt helps your body absorb water and hydrate faster.
4. Coconut Water - Some studies have shown that coconut water may rehydrate you better than water or sports drinks — but you have to drink a lot more of it to get the same results as drinking water. And while most tout the huge amount of potassium in coconut water, it’s lacking in sodium and carbohydrates, two other essential nutrients that need to be replenished post-workout.
5. Cherry Juice - Not the cocktail! A study has shown that runners who regularly drank cherry juice before and after a workout had faster muscle recovery. The antioxidants in cherries, namely the flavanoids and anthyocyaninsM, can alleviate inflammation and swelling post-workout.
6. Chocolate Milk - There's a reason it's the drink of champions. Chocolate milk has the right amount of protein and carbohydrates to replenish tired muscles. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that milk-based protein promotes muscle protein synthesis better than soy-based protein. Plus, the amount of sugar and sodium in milk is just enough to boost insulin levels for the body to retain water and regain energy.
7. Beer - Suprisingly enough, researchers in Spain have found that beer can rehydrate the body faster than a sports drink or water. Just like chocolate milk, beer has the right combination of carbs and protein to help the body recover faster and rehydrate faster. Plus, beer alleviates post-workout aches and pains.