You know you’re supposed to consume plenty of fluids — especially water — every day. But you also can rely on other beverages to provide hydration, including coffee, tea, milk and protein shakes. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of your daily beverages.
Coffee is a low-cal way to get your brain synapses snapping when you first rise and is especially useful preworkout: Research shows that consuming caffeine blunts the pain associated with lifting heavier weights or increasing workout volume, which boosts long-term performance. Coffee is also high in antioxidants, which neutralize harmful free radicals, preventing damage to cells and allowing for better recovery and long-term health. Myth buster: Research shows that coffee does count as part of your daily fluid intake and that caffeine only has a modest dehydrating effect. Augment your coffee value by adding one or both these items to your cup of joe:
Half-and-half or nut milk to slow the absorption of protein for a more steady delivery of nutrients.
Preworkout drinks provide you with sustained energy, improving performance and mental and physical endurance during your workout. But not all of them contain everything you need for a killer sweat sesh. See if yours is missing one of these beneficial ingredients, and mix it in before hitting the iron:
Easy-to-digest protein to provide readily available amino acids to prevent muscle breakdown.
Branched-chain amino acids, creatine and glutamine to support better performance, improve muscle protein synthesis, boost ATP production and prevent muscle breakdown, respectively.
WAKE AND RELAX
Green tea offers a myriad of health benefits, including improving mental focus for better athletic performance, elevating mood, facilitating the release of fat from storage and supporting joint health. You also can drink green tea before bedtime. (Seek out a decaffeinated version if you’re sensitive to caffeine.) It contains the amino acid theanine, which promotes a deep and restful sleep. Enhance the effectiveness of your tea with one of these boosters, depending on the time of day you drink it:
At night, add protein to prevent muscle breakdown while you’re sleeping.
Preworkout, add beta-alanine for increased strength and endurance.
RELY ON GENEPRO FOR FLUID DYNAMICS
Genepro from MuscleGen is a blend of high-quality proteins and is organic, non-GMO and gluten-free. It is made up of 98 percent absorbable protein, and because of Genepro’s patented process, the size of the protein molecules is reduced by more than 54 percent, making them easier for your body to digest and absorb. Added digestive enzymes further support its absorbability.
This flavorless product dissolves easily in beverages, but you also can add Genepro to food: Use a fork to mix it into your oatmeal, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing or soup to give your everyday meals a solid kick of protein.