Five of the Best Energy and Recovery Drinks for Cyclists

With hundreds of different 'sports drinks' on the market, it can be a bit daunting to the consumer. How do you know what works best for recovery? What tastes best? What is the best value? A lot comes down to personal preference; but, the ingredients and quality of the product are also paramount to getting the most from sports drinks. In this blog post, I've picked out five of my favourites…



The 'Everyday Hydration Aid' Drink: O.R.S Hydration Tablets

First up, a drink which you can use every day; whether or not you are out on the bike. These simple effervescent electrolyte tablets from O.R.S. are the best that I've tried. They're not too strongly flavoured, and not too acidic; but most importantly, they do a great job of replenishing lost salts. They'll help ward off cramp, and probably encourage you to drink more than if you were using water alone.

View O.R.S Hydration tablets at Wiggle (Link)



The 'During Exercise' Drink: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Train and Sustain

If you've read my post on 'Fuelling on Fat and Protein', you'll know that I've moved away from sugary energy drinks and gels; opting instead for hydrating drinks and more sustaining fuel sources. The new Gold Standard BCAA Train and Sustain drink from Optimum Nutrition, is a great option.

The BCAA drink mix is built on the principle that Branched Chain Amino Acids reduce catabolic damage to muscles during endurance training; while also helping to kick-start the muscle building process after training. The key amino acid is Leucine, which is shown to 'switch on' the anabolic functions within the body. Gold Standard Train and Sustain also contains electrolytes, vitamin C and other performance and immunity supporting ingredients; such as the natural stimulant Rholdiola Rosea. The powder formula is easy to mix, easy to drink, and contains just 32 calories per serving; encouraging you to drink more often throughout exercise. It has fast become my favourite training drink.

View Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard BCAA Train and Sustain at onacademy.co.uk (Link)



The 'Post Ride Shake': MultiPower 100% Pure Whey Protein

The magic recovery window, when your metabolism is raised, is open for about 30 minutes after you finish exercising. During that time, it is widely recognised that a mix of carbohydrates and protein will work best to kick-start your muscle repair.

My favourite recovery drink at the moment, is to blend a frozen banana with three scoops of Coffee Caramel flavour Multipower 100% Whey powder, in the Nutribullet; it provides a refreshing, cooling, and easy-to-drink option.

View Multipower 100% Pure Whey Protein at multipower.com (Link)



The 'Post Ride Beer': Erdinger Alkoholfrei

An ice cold beer can just be too tempting after a tough summer training session. The problem is, alcohol is not a good friend to recovery. My solution is Erdinger Alkoholfrei. It tastes better than many 'normal' beers, in my opinion; with a crisp citrus tone. It also has beneficial isotonic properties, and contains metabolism stimulating B vitamins. The perfect post-ride guilt-free drink!

Read my blog feature 'Erdinger Weissbier Alkoholfrei - The Sports Drink!' (Link)



The 'Bedtime Recovery Boost': Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

Casein is a protein derived from milk; but unlike whey, it has a far slower digestion rate. The result, is that it is the ideal protein to take at bedtime; as it lasts throughout the rebuilding process that your body goes through overnight.

Containing 24 grams of protein per serving, as well as BCAAs and Glutamine; the Gold Standard 100% Casein mix from Optimum Nutrition, will help to avoid damaging muscle-catabolism during your sleep. My 'Top Tip' is to mix it up with hot milk; to make a great bedtime drink, which can improve sleep quality and recovery.

View Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein Protein at onacademy.co.uk (Link)



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