Fuel Your Performance With the Right Fluids

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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.

EARLY-MORNING BUZZER

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:

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Fast-digesting protein to provide amino acids and help prevent lean tissue breakdown.

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Half-and-half or nut milk to slow the absorption of protein for a more steady delivery of nutrients.

PREWORKOUT ENERGIZER

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.

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