Best Recovery Drinks For Runners – Ratio, Recovery & More – 2022
Runners that use recovery drinks are more likely to speed up the recovery process than those who don’t. However, knowing what the best recovery drinks for runners are can go a long way to helping to recover faster.
In this article, we discuss why runners need recovery drinks, as well as the best drinks for muscle recovery. So, if you are struggling to recover fast enough after a workout, keep reading!
What is a Recovery Drink?
First, it is important to know the difference between a protein drink vs a recovery drink, as most people get this wrong. So, it is not uncommon for people to think of a protein drink as a recovery drink.
A recovery drink for runners is designed to rehydrate your body after a run. That means replenishing all the minerals you lost while sweating. These minerals are called electrolytes.
Most recovery drinks on the market contain a mixture of protein, electrolytes, and carbohydrates. They are then mixed to a ratio that contains a ratio 3:1 and 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.
Do Runners Need Recovery Drinks?
Now you may be wondering why do runners need recovery drinks? Even though you can usually replace lost minerals, carbohydrates, and protein through the right food, it often takes time to prepare it. Not only that, food can take longer for the body to process, that’s why a recovery drink was born.
Every runner knows that after hard training or a long run it is important to replace energy and have protein to speed up muscle recovery. That’s why a recovery drink has the ratio it does (3:1 and 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio).
Another reason why it contains varying electrolytes is those essential electrolytes are lost in sweat and if you don’t replace these you may experience muscle cramps as well as lost performance on your next run.
Not all runs require a recovery drink after training though. Easy or recovery runs are much easier on the body and because of that, you should be able to get away with food as your main source of recovery. However, when it comes to more intense or long training sessions, the body needs carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes replace as quickly as possible after a run.
However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about eating after a run. That is still important, but by taking a recovery drink directly after a run, followed by a small meal 30 minutes later you will find your recovery from training rapidly increases.
What Do Runners Take For Recovery?
Since there are many drinks on the market all promising faster recovery, it is often confusing which to take.
So, what do runners take for recovery?
Any recovery drink that has a mixture of carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes is often the best choice. The ratio will depend on the type of session you are doing. For example, after a long run, where muscle fatigue and calorie expenditure are much higher, you may opt for a ratio of 4:1 (carbohydrate: protein), while after a shorter more intense session you may opt for a 3:1 ratio.
However, most of the time it comes down to trial and error to find the right combination.
What Is The Best Drink For Muscle Recovery?
For the runner, the best drink for muscle recovery is a protein drink. However, most runners need carbohydrates post-workout as well. So, choosing a drink that has a higher ratio of protein is the best choice. However, it is important not to forget carbohydrates as this will help refill glycogen stores after a run.
For people that feel they need more protein post-run, you can combine both a protein drink and a recovery drink together. If you decide to do that, focus on a recovery drink that mostly contains carbohydrates and electrolytes with a small amount of protein. As the protein will then come from the protein drink.
What Is The Best Recovery Drinks For Runners?
Since there are unlimited recovery drinks on the market, you may be wondering what is the best recovery drinks for runners?
Some of the best recovery drinks on the market contain BCAA’s. BCAA’s (branched-chain amino acids) are a group of amino acids (3) that help
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids that can’t be produced by your body. These amino acids have been found to decrease muscle soreness, reduce soreness and increase muscle growth. Three things that are important in a runner’s recovery.
Another important factor when choosing the right recovery drink is the amount of carbohydrates in each serving. Aim for a minimum of 1.5 grams of carbs for every one kilogram of body weight. Then the amount of protein you will need will sit between 0.3–0.5 grams/kg.
So, as long as your recovery drink can provide the right amount of protein and carbohydrate per serving you are on the right track.
The last thing left is taste. Of course, the last thing you want is an ill-tasting recovery drink after a run. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to take it. So, test some different drinks on the market and see which one works best for you!
Just remember, having a recovery drink on hand after a run can provide all essential carbohydrate, protein and electrolytes after a run no matter where you are. So, there is no excuse for a delayed recovery after a training session. It also provides a quick and easy way to refuel before you have your post run meal.