Sweetened electrolyte-replacement beverages aren’t the only game in town when it comes to post-workout recovery drinks. Coconut water, a drink that has stayed pretty much under the radar for its more than 4,000 years in existence, is going mainstream as an after-sport sipper. Its claim to fame: This all-natural beverage from the inside of a coconut features five essential electrolytes, including more potassium than a banana in each serving. Brands such as Vita Coco and Zico, once health-food-store-only finds, are as easy to spot these days as pomegranate juice, yesterday’s trend-setting and now-mainstream beverage.
Another post-workout drink is even easier to find — just pop open your child’s lunchbox. Chocolate milk is being hailed as an ideal after-exercise recovery drink. According to a study done by the University of Texas at Austin, low-fat chocolate milk provided physical recovery benefits for athletes, including better body composition in the form of more muscle and less fat and overall better physical shape during the four-and-a-half-week study. What’s more, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, when consumed right after exercising, milk-based proteins promote greater muscle-protein synthesis than soy-based proteins. Maybe chocolate milk is the reason kids have so much energy.