I am a firm believer in recovery nutrition, especially recovery drinks!
Multiple studies show that consuming the right amount of carbs, proteins, and electrolytes within 15 minutes following exercise plays a huge factor in how sore you are and how effective your training is the next day.
You can restore the nutritional components used during exercise with food or drinks, but my stomach is not always a huge fan of eating things right after a run, ride, or workout, so being able to drink a beverage that has all the pertinent components is awesome for me!
I’ve tried several different recovery drinks including Endurox and Gu Recovery Brew, and they work great (Endurox Fruit Punch is my all-time favorite)! But, I wanted to see if I could create my own out of more natural ingredients.
This recipe I created includes the 4:1 Carb:Protein ratio that has demonstrated to be most effective in recovery, and has ingredients that naturally provide various electrolytes as well.
It does have a pretty noticeable cherry taste, so if you absolutely hate cherries, you probably won’t like this, but give it a try and let me know what you think.
I’ve had great results with it thus far and feel much better the next day.
- 8 ounces of O.N.E. Pure Coconut Water (You can get this at most grocery stores, but make sure it is the pure kind with no added sugar)
- 6-8 ounces of water
- 1 bag of Yogi Muscle Recovery Green Tea (Can also get 1 box at a time from Whole Foods)
- 2 Tbsp Organic Certified Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate (I haven’t found this in a store without added ingredients)
- 2 heaping Tbsp Whey Protein (You can use whatever whey protein you like, but you just have to make adjustments based on the amount of protein to get a 4:1 Carb:Protein ratio for the entire drink)
- 1 Packet Truvia (optional)
Why These Ingredients?
Coconut Water: Our muscles contract and relax by way of a sodium-potassium pump. Guess what? Coconut water has a lot of potassium AND some sodium! If your pump balance is off, that’s when you start to feel cramps and/or muscle pain. One caveat – if you’re exercising for more than 3 hours or in intense heat, you need more sodium than you find in coconut water.
Tart Cherry Juice: 2 Tbsp of tart cherry juice concentrate contains the equivalent of 80 cherries! So, each serving of this delicious natural recovery drink contains the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of 40 cherries, which can help decrease post workout soreness!
Green Tea: Green tea in and of itself has great anti-inflammatory benefits, but Yogi’s Muscle Recovery tea contains some other great plant extracts, including turmeric – a fabulous natural anti-inflammatory found in curry.
Whey Protein: Basically – it’s a good way to get the 4:1 Carb:Protein balance we’re looking for.
So…use these ingredients to make one heck of a delicious natural recovery drink that should leave you feeling much less sore and ready to rock it out again the next day!
- Make the tea according to the directions with the 6-8 oz of water.
- Mix tea, coconut water, cherry juice concentrate, whey protein, and Truvia in a bottle. Make sure all ingredients have mixed well.
- I add some ice to it because the tea will be hot.
- Sometimes I will let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before my workout or overnight to make sure all the ingredients have had plenty of time to blend and to make sure it’s cold.
Nutritional Info: (Based on 1/2 recipe)
I’ll often only drink half of it and give the other half to my husband. How much you need depends a lot on how long or how difficult your exercise activity was (That’s a different blog).
Try half of it (ends up being about 10 oz total) at first and see how you feel the next day. If you feel like you need something more, drink all of the next time and see if you can tell a difference.
Remember, if you change any of the ingredients you will have to adjust to get the 4:1 Carb:Protein ratio.