Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just want to stay active, we’ve got some great news: a drink after your workout can help you lose weight.

The best drink for weight loss is one that has lots of electrolytes and hydration. In fact, researchers at the University of New Mexico found that drinking an electrolyte-rich drink after exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels, which can prevent cravings later on.

So what exactly are electrolytes? They’re minerals that play an important role in cellular function and keeping your body’s fluids in balance. They include sodium (salt), potassium, calcium and magnesium. When you sweat during exercise, these minerals get washed out of your body along with water. To replenish them, try adding some lemonade to your water bottle.

Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on what to drink after workout, best carbs after workout, what to do after workout to lose weight, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Best Drink After Workout For Weight Loss

When used alongside healthy lifestyle changes, certain beverages are more effective than others at promoting weight loss.

Beverages like green tea, coffee and high-protein drinks have been shown to boost metabolism, promote fullness and decrease hunger, all of which may encourage weight loss.

Here are eight drinks that are some of the best to include in your diet when trying to lose weight and get healthy.

1. Green Tea

Green tea is often associated with health, and for good reason.

Not only is it packed with beneficial antioxidants and other powerful nutrients, it’s also one of the most effective drinks for weight loss.

Drinking green tea has been shown to decrease body weight and body fat in several studies.

A review of 14 studies found that people who drank high-concentration green tea for 12 weeks lost an average of 0.44 to 7.7 pounds (0.2 to 3.5 kg) more than those who did not drink green tea (1Trusted Source).

It should be noted that this benefit is linked to green tea preparations that contain high amounts of catechins, antioxidants that may increase fat burning and boost metabolism (2Trusted Source).

Matcha is a type of green tea that contains a higher amount of catechins than loose leaf green tea, which makes it a good choice for weight loss (3Trusted Source).

One study found that women who consumed 3 grams of matcha per day experienced greater fat burning during exercise compared to women who did not drink matcha (4Trusted Source).

Plus, green tea contains caffeine, which can help promote weight loss by boosting energy levels and improving performance while exercising (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

What’s more, people who drink green tea tend to have lower blood pressure and a lower risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes (6Trusted Source).

SUMMARYDrinking green tea may help you lose weight by boosting metabolism and encouraging fat loss.

2. Coffee

Coffee is used by people around the world to boost energy levels and lift mood.

This is because coffee contains caffeine, a substance that acts as a stimulant in the body and may benefit weight loss.

Coffee can reduce energy intake and boost metabolism, which may help you lose weight.

One study in 33 overweight adults found that those who drank coffee containing 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight consumed significantly fewer overall calories than those who drank less caffeine or no caffeine at all (7Trusted Source).

Caffeine intake has also been shown to increase metabolism and promote fat burning in several other studies (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

Coffee drinkers may have an easier time maintaining their weight loss over time, as well.

A study in over 2,600 people found that those who were successful in maintaining weight loss over time drank significantly more caffeinated beverages than a control group (5Trusted Source).

SUMMARYCaffeinated beverages like coffee may stimulate weight loss by increasing metabolism, decreasing calorie intake and stimulating fat burning.

3. Black Tea

Like green tea, black tea contains compounds that may stimulate weight loss.

Black tea is a type of tea that has undergone more oxidation (exposure to air) than other types of teas, resulting in a stronger flavor and darker color.

Black tea is high in polyphenols, including a group of polyphenolic compounds called flavonoids. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce body weight.

Studies have shown that the polyphenols found in black tea promote weight loss by reducing calorie intake, stimulating fat breakdown and boosting the growth of friendly gut bacteria (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

A study in 111 people demonstrated that those who drank 3 cups of black tea daily for three months lost more weight and had greater reductions in waist circumference compared to a control group (11Trusted Source).

Another study in 2,734 women found that those with higher intakes of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages like black tea had significantly lower body fat and belly fat than women who consumed less dietary flavonoids (12Trusted Source).

SUMMARYBlack tea contains polyphenols, antioxidants that have been shown to reduce body weight. Studies show that drinking black tea may help reduce body fat and encourage weight loss.

4. Water

Increasing your water intake is one of the simplest ways to improve overall health.

Drinking more water may also benefit your waistline by keeping you full in between meals and increasing the number of calories you burn.

Research suggests that having water before meals can set you up for success when trying to cut back on calories and lose weight.

A study in 48 overweight adults found that those who drank 500 ml (17 ounces) of water before meals while following a low-calorie diet lost 44% more weight over 12 weeks than those who did not drink water before meals (13Trusted Source).

Drinking cold water increases resting energy expenditure, which is the number of calories you burn while resting.

For example, a study in 21 overweight children showed that resting energy expenditure was increased by up to 25% for 40 minutes after drinking 10 ml of cold water per kilogram of body weight (14Trusted Source).

SUMMARYDrinking more water can help burn calories and decrease intake at meals, which can result in weight loss.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, a compound that may stimulate weight loss by decreasing insulin levels, improving metabolism, suppressing appetite and burning fat (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

Animal studies have shown that acetic acid can prevent weight gain and decrease fat accumulation in the belly and liver (15Trusted Source).

Although research is limited, there is some evidence that vinegar is effective in promoting weight loss in humans.

A study in 144 obese adults demonstrated that drinking a daily beverage containing 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of vinegar per day resulted in significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and belly fat compared to a placebo group (17Trusted Source).

Apple cider vinegar slows stomach emptying, which helps keep you fuller for a longer period of time and may reduce overeating (18Trusted Source).

However, it should be noted that drinking acidic beverages like apple cider vinegar can erode teeth, which is why it should be consumed sparingly and always followed by rinsing with water (19Trusted Source).

SUMMARYAlthough more research is needed on the risks and benefits of apple cider vinegar, consuming a small amount per day may encourage weight loss.

6. Ginger Tea

Ginger is popularly used as a spice to add flavor to dishes and as an herbal remedy to treat a number of conditions such as nausea, colds and arthritis (20Trusted Source).

Human and animal studies have also shown this flavorful root to have a beneficial effect on weight loss.

A study found that rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with 5% ginger powder for four weeks had significant reductions in body weight and significant improvements in HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels compared to rats fed a high-fat diet without ginger (21Trusted Source).

Although this study used a concentrated ginger powder, a study in humans found that ginger tea also helps reduce appetite and increase calorie expenditure.

One study in 10 overweight men found that when they drank 2 grams of ginger powder dissolved in hot water with breakfast, they experienced increased fullness and decreased hunger compared to days when no ginger tea was consumed.

Plus, the study showed that the ginger tea increased the thermic effect of food (the number of calories needed to digest and absorb food) by 43 calories (22Trusted Source).

Although that isn’t a huge number of calories, this suggests that — when combined with its satiating properties — ginger tea could be an effective way to enhance weight loss.

SUMMARYHuman and animal studies indicate that ginger can promote fullness, decrease appetite and increase metabolism, which is helpful when trying to lose weight.

7. High-Protein Drinks

Beverages that are high in protein can curb hunger, decrease appetite and promote fullness, which is important when trying to shed excess pounds.

There are countless protein powders available to consumers that make preparing a quick, healthy snack or meal a breeze.

Protein increases levels of hunger-reducing hormones like GLP-1 while decreasing ghrelin, a hormone that drives appetite (23Trusted Source).

A study in 90 overweight adults found that those who consumed 56 grams of whey protein daily for 23 weeks lost 5 pounds (2.3 kg) more fat than a control group who consumed no whey protein but the same number of calories (24Trusted Source).

Whey, pea and hemp protein powders are just a few varieties that can add a satisfying protein boost to shakes and smoothies that may help you drop pounds.

SUMMARYProtein drinks decrease appetite and increase fullness. Protein powders can be easily added to any beverage for a quick and satisfying snack or meal.

8. Vegetable Juice

Although fruit juice has been linked to weight gain, drinking vegetable juice may have the opposite effect (25Trusted Source).

In one study, adults who drank 16 ounces of low-sodium vegetable juice while following a low-calorie diet lost significantly more weight than those who did not.

Plus, the vegetable juice group significantly increased their vegetable consumption and significantly decreased their carb intake, two factors that are important for weight loss (26Trusted Source).

Consuming whole vegetables whenever possible is the best choice for health due to the high amount of fiber that is lost in the juicing process.

However, consuming a low-calorie vegetable juice can increase your vegetable intake and may even help you lose weight.

SUMMARYAlthough whole vegetables make the best choice, drinking vegetable juice may encourage weight loss when incorporated into a healthy diet.

The Bottom Line

Certain drinks such as green tea, coffee and ginger tea may help boost metabolism, minimize hunger and increase satiety, all of which can facilitate weight loss.

Additionally, these beverages contain beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and other powerful compounds that can benefit your health.

Replacing high-calorie beverages like soda and fruit juice with the drinks listed above is a smart way to cut calories and help you achieve your weight loss goals.

What To Drink After Workout

From building strength to boosting your mood, there are all sorts of benefits to exercising regularly. But a tough workout can leave you running low on water or nutrients like electrolytes, both of which can contribute to feeling dehydrated, tired, or sore, says Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian, and nutrition consultant for AI-driven visual diet diary app Freshbit.

Luckily, there are plenty of after-workout drinks to help you replenish following a depleting sweat session. To help you settle on the right beverage for your post-workout snack, Byrdie talked to dietitians to learn which options are the best to help you recover and refuel in time to get your sweat on all over again.

Water

Feeling tired or thirsty during or after your workout? Though it may sound obvious, water is your surest bet to replenish, says Minchen. “Every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies uses water to function,” she tells Byrdie. “Our bodies pull water from food and fluids to manage temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints, so providing plain, clean water directly is the best, fastest way to rehydrate after a workout.”

Electrolyte Drinks

Electrolytes are minerals that your body needs to function well, including sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. But an intense workout—and all the sweating that comes with it—can drain your body of those nutrients, resulting in an electrolyte imbalance that can leave you feeling run down and dehydrated, says Minchen. The solution? Restore that balance with the help of an electrolyte-packed beverage. Although Minchen advises sticking to the low-sugar varieties to rehydrate most efficiently, sports drinks are one common option.

Coconut Water

Love water but want to switch things up? Try coconut water, says Diana Savani, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant at Vita Coco. It’s a natural source of electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and magnesium, making coconut water a great pick to help you replenish depleted minerals after a sweaty workout, she adds. It also contains natural sugars, which Savani says can help restore your energy after a tiring gym sesh.

Unsweetened Decaf Tea

If water is too boring, but sports drinks are too much, settle somewhere right in the middle with a hydrating glass of tea after your workout. The antioxidant-rich concoction can help support hydration, muscle recovery, and overall health, according to Minchin. She recommends fruit-flavored, chamomile, ginger, mint, and decaf green teas. Just be sure to pick a decaf variety, she emphasizes. Caffeine can cause further dehydration, which is the last thing you need after a tiring workout.

Chocolate Milk

Though a glass of chocolate milk might remind you of your elementary school lunchroom, it’s also a great way to recover from an intense workout, says Savani. “Chocolate milk is a nutrition powerhouse when it comes to refueling after exercise, bringing along all of those beneficial components for post-workout fuel — carbohydrates, protein, fluids, electrolytes,” she tells Byrdie. Those nutrients can help restore depleted energy sources and give your body the sustenance it needs to repair and re-energize muscles that are stressed from exertion.

Vegetable Juice

Vegetables are an essential nutrient source to keep your body feeling and working its best, so why not kill two birds with one stone and use green juice to refuel after exercise? Juices that contain leafy greens, beets, carrots, and other veggies provide the vitamins, minerals (including electrolytes), and antioxidants needed to support muscle recovery and rehydration post-workout, according to Minchen.

Smoothies

Not feeling an all-vegetable beverage? Cut it with some fruit, says Savani. She recommends blending your favorite fruits and vegetables with your liquid and protein source of choice — like coconut water, almond milk, Greek yogurt, or protein powder — to custom make the smoothie of your dreams. This is an excellent option if you tend to lose your appetite after your workout, she adds, since plant-based smoothies contain tons of nutrients to replenish your exhausted body without the need to prepare a whole meal. Bonus? It’s delicious.

Best Carbs After Workout

Supporting your activity with nutritious foods is essential for performance, recovery, and results. Protein, fats, and carbohydrates are the three macronutrients that play crucial roles. But carbohydrates are especially important; they’re your body’s primary fuel source, providing the energy to power through your training, replenishing lost energy stores and boosting muscle repair.

Why carbohydrates matter when you’re working out

Your carbohydrate needs depend on the type, intensity, and duration of your training, body size and composition, and personal goals. Some carbs are high in fiber and nutrients that support long-term energy and balance blood sugar. Others are faster absorbing and give your body a quick boost of glycogen, which supports muscle growth and repair.

What’s glycogen? It’s made from glucose molecules bound together in long chains, and it’s the stored form of glucose in the body, reserved in your muscles and liver. When you exercise, your body uses up your glycogen stores to provide quick fuel to power your activity. Muscle glycogen is used chiefly by your muscles to produce force while you lift weights, run, bike, or perform other actions. Liver glycogen is used throughout your body as needed and powers your brain and spinal cord.

Replenishing your glycogen stores with carbohydrates boosts muscle protein synthesis, vital for muscle growth. When you eat carbs, your insulin levels will spike, which is a good thing after a strenuous workout. Insulin acts like a delivery worker, transporting nutrients into your cells–that means your carbs will reduce muscle soreness and inflammation from training, allowing you to get back in the gym and perform again.

The best carbs to eat after a workout

Once you’ve hit the gym or worked up a sweat, your body is especially primed to accept nutrients that will go to work repairing tissues. While this “window” may be open for up to 48 hours, the first 2 hours after your training are particularly optimal for packing in your post-workout carbs for the best results.

Here are the best carbs to choose for all of your post-workout needs.

1. Breads

Both whole and refined grain bread products are smart post-workout carb options. Breads are high on the glycemic index, which measures how quickly your blood glucose levels will spike after eating certain foods. Foods with a GI score under 55 are low GI, while foods higher than 70 are considered high GI.

While many people, especially those with diabetes or who are sedentary, may do best eating low GI foods, choosing ones higher on the list will provide that shot of glucose that helps initiate muscle protein synthesis and tissue repair.

Whole grain options, while lower GI, provide essential nutrients that can boost recovery, such as manganese, selenium, calcium, and thiamine.

2. Pancakes and waffles

Pancakes and waffles make excellent tasty post-workout meals. These flour-based breakfast favorites will increase your blood sugar and are conduits for other healthy foods such as fruit, protein powder, and yogurt.

A post-workout protein pancake made with wheat or oat flour and topped with fresh fruit is a delicious nutrient-dense way to support muscle growth and tissue repair. You can make your own or use a healthy pancake mix. If you’re gluten-free, try making cassava flour waffles.

3. Rice cakes

Rice cakes are a popular food for bodybuilders because they’re low-calorie, carbohydrate-dense foods that come in many flavors and can be paired with other foods for a tasty post-workout snack. They range from about 60 to 90 on the glycemic index. Top them with fresh fruit, jam, honey, or Greek yogurt.

4. Crackers

Crackers such as stoned wheat thins and rye crispbread are tasty snack-sized post-workout carbs that can help replenish your glycogen stores. Adding high-protein foods as toppings will boost muscle protein synthesis, with insulin helping to shuttle the protein into your muscle cells.

Try crackers topped with chicken, chickpea, or tuna salad, boiled eggs, or bean dip.

5. Cereal

Breakfast cereal is often thought of as sugar-laden and devoid of nutrients, but it can be a part of a healthy diet. Cereal is affordable and nutritious, especially since it’s fortified with many essential nutrients like folate and iron.

Skip the trendy high protein and fiber cereals since getting these nutrients from whole foods is a more affordable and practical option, and instead, stick to tried and true whole grain cereals for your post-workout carbs. Try puffed wheat, shredded wheat, and brown puffed rice cereal.

6. Cream of wheat

Cream of wheat is a high-GI food made from finely processed farina wheat. It contains a bevy of vital nutrients to support recovery after a workout, including iron and several B vitamins. Top your cream of wheat with milk, such as filtered high protein varieties and fresh fruit for even more post-workout support.

7. Oatmeal

Versatile, comforting, and easy to prepare, oatmeal is one of the best carb-based breakfast foods enjoyed post-workout. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and selenium while high in fiber and protein.

Try adding fruit, maple syrup, honey, nuts, and greek yogurt to your oatmeal for a nutrient-dense post-workout treat. Need some inspiration?

8. Rice

Rice is a popular grain for a good reason. It’s a staple food worldwide, providing carbs, fiber, and nutrients like iron, thiamin, and manganese. White rice is a high GI food at 70, while brown rice has more fiber and nutrients than white and is only slightly lower on the glycemic index at 68.

Both white and brown rice contain magnesium, an essential nutrient for supporting muscles, nerves, and bones. Magnesium helps boost muscle relaxation post-workout and is an electrolyte lost in sweat during intense or prolonged exercise, making it important to replenish post-workout.

Plus, rice is endlessly versatile.

9. Millet

Millet is a grain that’s less commonly consumed than rice, but it’s worth adding to your post-workout meal. It’s a high GI gluten-free grain that’s relatively high in protein, adding to its appeal as an after-training food. Like rice, it contains magnesium and manganese – and millet pairs well with seafood, in salads, and as a base for grain bowls.

10. Pasta

Pasta or noodles made from wheat, rice, corn, cassava, or other grains is fantastic to have on hand for a post-workout meal. Adding protein and veggies to pasta or noodle-based dishes is easy with endless options and flavor combinations.

Dig into one of our favorite clean pasta recipes after your next workout.

11. Ripe bananas

Ripe bananas provide a quick source of easily digested carbs after your workout, along with essential vitamins and minerals to support electrolyte balance and muscle repair. These include potassium and magnesium.

Unlike green or barely ripe bananas, the ripe or overripe fruit’s sugar content is faster to absorb and get to work replenishing your glycogen stores.

12. Melons

Packed with vitamins A and C and potassium, cantaloupe is a hydrating and refreshing fruit perfect after a workout. It’s high on the glycemic index at around 65 to 70. Try it paired with savory ingredients like zucchini and ham or in a smoothie with mint.

Watermelon is another delicious water-packed melon that packs a nutrient punch with lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A. This summertime favorite is high GI at 76, with half of the sugar coming from fructose, one-quarter glucose, and less than one quarter from sucrose.

13. Mango

Super flavorful mango is so versatile as a post-workout carb. You can eat it out of hand, in a smoothie, tossed into a chicken salad, made into ice pops, or as a sweet element in a curry. Packed with carbohydrates, vitamins A, E, and C, it also helps to reduce inflammation that can cause muscle soreness after a strenuous workout.

14. Potatoes

Fluffy, comforting white and sweet potatoes are perfect post-workout carbs. They’re starchy and nutrient-dense with more potassium than bananas, vitamin B6, and magnesium and can be eaten any time of day. Research shows that potatoes are as good as energy gels at supporting energy levels for your workouts. Exercise scientists agree that potatoes are a solid choice as a whole food carb source for a post-workout meal.

15. Beets

This sweet root vegetable is an all-around star for supporting your training. Beets have been studied for their ability to support endurance workouts by increasing cardiorespiratory performance. As a post-workout carb, beets are high in natural sugars and inflammation-fighting phytonutrients. Research shows beets can help aid muscle recovery and reduce pain after intense exercise like sprinting.

How to choose the best carbs for you

The number one way to choose a post-workout carb? Decide what you like best! Enjoying your food helps you build healthy habits and stick to them.

If you usually don’t eat a lot of natural sugars, after a workout is a fantastic time to add those into your diet. They will boost your recovery and can increase muscle if that’s your goal.

Starches and fiber are also essential components of carbs that support gut health and keep you feeling satisfied with your meals. If you’ve had a very strenuous or prolonged training session or your goal is to build muscle, choosing high glycemic carbs to eat post-workout is wise. Be sure to include high fiber, slow-digesting carbs for the rest of your meals to improve heart health and digestion, balance weight, and boost meal satiety.

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