We checked in with registered dietitian, Kim Rose, to get her recommendation on how to maximize your workouts and recovery.
When it comes to getting the most out of your workouts, exercise is only one half of the formula to success. In order to perform well, you have to fuel your body well. A typical 32-ounce sports drink contains between 56 and 76 grams of sugar – equal to about 14 to 19 teaspoons – and four to six times the recommended daily amount for kids and teenagers. (1)
It's pretty common knowledge that carbohydrates, a certain amount of fats and a whole lot of protein play an important role in pre and post-workout meals. But what you may not know is certain nutrients and molecules found in watermelon, beet juice, and cherry juice, may bump things up a notch, microscopically speaking. Piqued your interest yet? Keep reading.
Let's start with watermelon. Watermelon is a very refreshing fruit that contributes to overall hydration when consumed in ample amounts. Watermelon is not only sweet, but is a natural, plant-based source of L-citrulline. L-citrulline? Yes, L-citrulline. L-citrulline is an amino acid that holds promising results in the athletic world. "Why," you ask? Because L-citrulline may relieve muscle soreness (2,3). Ever had super sore muscles after working out? Yup, that's lactic acid build. And watermelon may help to accelerate lactic acid removal (4). Though the exact amount needed is debatable, one thing is certain: watermelon naturally contains this amino acid, and L-Citrulline is an excellent aid.
If you ever had beetroot juice, it's possible that the earthy flavor turned you off. But I promise you, when it comes to exercise, beetroot juice is amazing on a microscopic level. One study found that chronic supplementation with beetroot juice may very well improve cardiorespiratory performance (5). Cardiorespiratory refers to the ability of your heart and lungs to supply oxygen to muscles during a continued workout session. In other words: hello, heart and lung efficiency! While more research is needed to solidify this, with the impact beetroot juice is already known to have, it holds a promising future.
Finally, let's talk about cherries. In my opinion, the cherry is one of those fruits that should be in season all year long. It has a great flavor and is packed with antioxidants. Cherries--especially tart cherries--are commonly consumed in the form of cherry juice, which may improve how you feel post-workout. Tart cherry juice concentrate (with no sugar added) has several benefits. It may improve muscle function, reduce inflammation, and decrease muscle soreness in athletes (6). If you're thinking "I need some tart cherry juice RIGHT NOW", hold on a sec. I have something even better in store.
As you're seriously considering whether you should drop everything and make a run to the store to buy any or all of these items, let me stop you right there. I've got to ask you, how would you like to have the power and might of all three of these in one? Splendid Spoon's Recovery Shot is a trifecta! It contains watermelon, beet juice, and cherry juice. Plus, there is absolutely no sugar added in the mix. Unlike sports drinks, which are loaded with tons of sugar (and dyes), the Recovery Shot is free of these additives. The only sugar found in the 3 oz shot comes from the fruits and vegetables it contains.
Truth be told, sometimes we just want an "au naturale'' option, because like I said before, in order to perform well, you also need to eat well. When you eat nutrient dense meals that include ingredients with microscopic benefits, they can help boost your athletic performance. And soon you'll be on track to making the most out of your workouts. That, my friend, is an all around win.
Kimberley Rose-Francis RDN, CDE, CNSC, LD
Click here to add the Recovery Shot (or shots!) to your delivery today.