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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Beverages with Benefits

It's Saturday morning, shortly after 7 am. I just had a cup of coffee and a bagel to get some energy before heading for my cross training at the Gold's Gym at UBC. Looking outside my window I don't see any signs of hot summer that everyone predicts we will have this year. It's raining and cold and I feel for Tanya, a friend of mine who is participating in the Ride for Cancer, biking from Vancouver to Seattle this weekend.  However, only 3 days separate us from the official beginning of summer and sooner or later we'll be running on hot days that require proper hydration before, during and after a run. I came across a good article in Runners World describing beverages that offer various benefits to runners. Here you go:
  • Chocolate Milk - speeds up recovery after a run due to ideal ratio of protein and carbs (1:3, 8g of proteins and 26 g of carbs). I usually dilute it with Almond Milk as the chocolate milk is too sweet for me.
  • Coconut Water - it has more electrolytes than sports drink and has fewer calories (Blue Monkey Coconut Water lists 80 calories, astonishing 430 mg of potassium and 150 mg of sodium). However that may not be the case all the time. Gatorade G2 has only 20 calories and 5g of sugar, and some of the brands of coconut water I tried (Grace Coconut Water) had 26g of sugar and 130 calories. Taking Bikram classes, I remember that the teachers were advising students to drink coconut water after a session to replenish lost electrolytes. Drew replied to my earlier post saying that it was his drink of choice as well. Update: Coming back from the gym, I stopped by IGA and quickly looked at the selection of coconut water drinks. That's what was available: Grace in a 520 ml can for $1.69, Blue Monkey in a 500 ml bottle for $2.89, Blue Monkey in a 520 ml can for  $3.49, and O.N.E in a small 250ml container for $2.59. Grace product seems to offer the best value for a buck, but is also rich in sugar (26 g). Blue Monkey in a can has 10 g of sugar, but is also the most expensive one. Experimenting with coconut water I also realized that mixing Chia drink (see my previous post) with coconut water would result in a ultimate drink for runners: Chia Coconut Fresca!! with carbs, good fats and proteins from Chia, plus electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium from coconut water :-) 

  • Grape Juice - has more antioxidants than other juices and offers many health benefits.

  • Iced Green Tea - offers anti-inflammatory properties due to a compound called EGCG. My plan is to add green tea to my diet to prevent another inflammation of IT Band that kept me from running for 4 weeks back in February this year. 
Run strong and stay hydrated during the summer!


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