Sports Recovery Drinks

What should you drink during and after a workout?

Endurox R4   |   Amino Vital

You're tired and sweaty, and maybe you still have a lot of exercise yet to do. So what should you drink? Well the obvious choice is probably the right one... Pure Water.

The most important thing is that you get enough water and stay hydrated. Once you start get dehydrated you may need more than just simple water to rehydrate quickly. Sugar and sodium help transport water back into the cells, and can speed up the hydration process.

For this reason sports drinks can be beneficial, especially if you need to refresh on a short break during a long workout. Most do contain sugar (or artificial sweeteners) and so they aren't necessarily appropriate for someone trying to lose weight. The sugar in these drinks makes them taste good and it gives a slight boost of energy. They also contain certain minerals, mainly sodium and potassium that are lost as you sweat. If you start to get muscle cramps, you should check your electrolyte intake prior to or during the long workout.

More advanced sports drinks provide small amounts of protein or amino acids. These help muscle tissue recover faster and prevent the body from breaking down muscle tissue to be used for energy. You don't want a heavy protein drink, such as a protein shake in the middle of a workout, so these lighter versions can be quite effective.

Overall, you should still choose water in most cases. But if you do have a rigorous exercise schedule, or you engage in strenuous labor outside on a long, hot day, then you should consider sports recovery drinks, such as those listed below.

Featured Sports & Recovery Drinks

Endurox is a recovery sports drink geared toward endurance athletes. Instead of just sugar and electrolytes, they go one step further by blending in whey protein. It's not as heavy as a whey protein shake, but it does deliver some needed protein during a long workout.

Supplementing a small amount of protein can make a huge difference in recovery time and gains made. The whey protein does give the drink a distinctive taste. It's not bad, but it tastes different than many other sports drinks.

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Directly after a tough workout, or even during a long workout you need to rehydrate and replenish. Water is fine, but a little sodium actually helps your body pull the water in more rapidly.

Amino Vital delivers more than just water and eletrolytes, it also delivers amino acids... the building blocks for protein. But it's not protein that your body has to digest. You wouldn't want to take a heavy protein supplement during exercise. The presence of amino acids helps stop the body from breaking down muscle for energy, among other positive factors.

In one way I like that this product isn't packed with sugar like most sports drinks. However, I don't know what possessed the manufacturers to put aspartame in it. Aspartame is probably the most dangerous of all the artificial sweeteners out there, and in my opinion it tastes horrible.

There is actually no sugar in the product, and yet a small amount of sugar helps rehydrate a person faster, makes it taste better, and helps replenish some of those dwindling carbohydrate (glycogen) stores. On the other hand, too much sugar leads to insulin spikes that can actually drastically reduce your energy level. So in a sports drink you should look for a balance, or drink a little bit mixed with a lot of water.

So I personally can't drink Amino Vital. Worse yet, it leaves that horrible chemical aftertaste in your mouth which is really bad when you're exercising. My vote is to forget Amino Vital and get Endurox instead. If you don't want the sugar, then just drink water.

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