You crush a training run or workout drenched in sweat.
You run fast, long, hard or all three, until there’s nothing left in the tank.
Or maybe you cross the finish line feeling like you’ve left everything on the course.
All the hard work you put in to get from where you are to where you want to be makes a difference.
But what you do AFTER you’re done is just as important.
If you want to bounce back faster, rehydrate, and limit the amount of time you’re feeling tired, sore, or exhausted after a run or workout, add a recovery drink to your post-run recovery plans.
So what makes a good recovery drink?
Ask your running friends or Google for advice on a recovery drink, and you’ll get a pretty big mix of answers. Right?
Think about the primary goal...You want to help your body recover faster after a workout so you can keep on training.
There’s 3 things a recovery drink should include, according to the University of Wisconsin Sports Performance Program. Here’s what to look for:
Tip: You can also combine a recovery drink with foods (like bananas, berries, milk or Greek yogurt), to help you get the right mix of protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes to speed recovery.
How about a little help picking a recovery drink that works?
There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with recovery drink options to find out what works best for you.
But if you’re looking for a shortcut, check out these 8 runner-tested recovery drinks.
This one checks all the boxes…
It’s also the go-to recovery drink for ultrarunner and GU-sponsored athlete Corrine Malcolm.
Never mind the fact that Hammer Nutrition Recoverite has all the essentials you need to speed recovery.
That’s only one of the reasons mountain runner and Hammer Nutrition-sponsored athlete Jason Poole uses this drink.
“I like Strawberry Recoverite SO much that I often daydream about drinking it when I’m in the middle of a training session,” says Jason.
Hammer Nutrition athlete Victor Sheldon lives by a simple code:
“Live every day like it’s your last.”
And he does...riding mountain bikes, jet skis, surf board, road bikes, and more.
When he’s done, he tops off the tank with Vegan Recoverite.
It contains all the essentials to rebuild and repair muscle + wipe out soreness and fatigue
PacificHealth Labs put this recovery drink through 18 peer-reviewed studies involving hundreds of athletes, and they found that it:
Runner Karen Gordon used Endurox to run 6 marathons in six months, even after knee surgery.
“I used Endurox for recovery,” says Karen. “I not only made it through...without injury, but I recovered really quickly after each one. In fact, I didn’t have any need to recover. I could just jump right into the next one the week after.”
Looking for a recovery drink to help you keep cranking on the bike or running miles?
Eric Zaltas munched through his first PowerBar more than 30 years ago during a bike race in Texas.
After a few twists and turns in the road, he started working there to help endurance athletes go even further.
And then something unexpected happened. His company Pivot Nutrition recently acquired PowerBar, opening the door to new avenues of marketing and product development, including PowerBar Recovery Max.
“It tastes like a chocolate shake...” Zaltas told SlowTwitch in a recent interview, “...while delivering 20 grams of high quality protein that will jump start the muscle recovery and rebuilding process.”
There’s a reason Skratch Labs athlete Hillary Allen is a world-ranked ultrarunner.
She lives by the mantra: “Just show up.”
That’s how she’s made a comeback after a nearly-fatal fall that broke 12 bones (including her back), a biking accident that left her with more serious injuries, and a sexual assault.
Showing up helped her go the distance, along with meditation and fueled by Skratch Labs nutrition.
“I told myself to keep showing up,” says Hillary. “...On days when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed or facing the world and its unrelenting challenges, this mantra helped me to at least give myself a chance to be better.”
You ever vomit mid-race or spew everything at the finish and feel terrible for days?
Jeff and Jenny Vierling were tired of training hard, showing up to race, and then suffering the curse of Runner’s Stomach.
After testing a long list of homemade recovery drinks, they founded Tailwind Nutrition almost a decade ago to solve a personal problem and help other athletes go the distance.
“I was fed up with fueling issues hijacking the blood, sweat and tears of my training,” says Jeff. “I wanted to find an endurance product that spared my gut, was easy to use and with a taste and texture that would propel me to the finish line.”
If you want to be a better runner, choose a recovery drink to help you go the distance.
This list includes a few runner-tested recovery drinks that work. But there are many others to choose from.
Just make sure they include a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes or complete your recovery with a drink + food.
What’s your go-to recovery drink for running? Leave a comment or create a Weeview for your favorite recovery drink.