Should You Drink Water or Sports Drinks When Running?

After Your Run

Tempted to reach for a cold beer after a race? Don’t. A protein shake? Nope.

Matt Fitzgerald, nutritionist and author, stresses the importance of real food.

"Runners should consume fluid to rehydrate, carbohydrate to replenish muscle fuel stores and protein to repair muscle damage. It doesn't really matter what form these nutrients come in, but I prefer to see runners get them from natural, unprocessed sources such as water, yogurt, and fruit,” he says.

Dr. Howe advises runners to drink during meals and whenever they feel they need it. If water doesn’t sound appealing, she says mix it up.

"I sometimes will drink carbonated san Pellegrino, which has a light fruit juice flavor. Or put cucumbers or strawberries in a pitcher of water to enhance the flavor slightly," Howe says.

Takeaway: Rehydrate with water, but eat real food to get the carbs and protein you need to keep your muscles happy.

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About the Author

Jason Saltmarsh is an RRCA Certified Distance Running Coach and marathon runner who has been writing about health and fitness since 2012. His work has appeared in Runner’s World and Club Running, and on many popular running websites. He is a regular contributor to ACTIVE.com and the Huffington Post and recently published his first book, Marathon Running: A Complete Guide for Beginners. Learn more at saltmarshrunning.com.
Jason Saltmarsh is an RRCA Certified Distance Running Coach and marathon runner who has been writing about health and fitness since 2012. His work has appeared in Runner’s World and Club Running, and on many popular running websites. He is a regular contributor to ACTIVE.com and the Huffington Post and recently published his first book, Marathon Running: A Complete Guide for Beginners. Learn more at saltmarshrunning.com.

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