Balance Mineral Drink
Energy drinks are often touted as the best option for runners because of their ability to reduce fatigue and improve performance. The problem with such drinks, however, is that they often contain lots of sugar and caffeine. Although this will initially cause energy levels to rise, thus helping you through a run, this energy boost is short-lived and will likely be followed by a noticeable drop in energy. This means energy drinks aren’t the best option for anyone doing a longer run, as it may leave you feeling weary towards the end of it.
Balance Mineral Drink makes a good alternative to regular energy drinks as it is made from natural ingredients, and lacks the high caffeine or sugar that can be so problematic for runners.
The addition of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamin D means that Balance drink also contributes normal muscle function. This combination even helps to reduce fatigue and tiredness which is just what you need during a long run!
Balance can be mixed with water to make a tasty, strawberry flavoured drink. Alternatively, simply add it to your favourite smoothie recipe for an extra energy boost.
Did you know that beetroot juice could improve running time? Well, according to a study by Exeter University, drinking beetroot juice before a race could knock 2% off the athlete’s running time.1
These significant results may be down to the fact that beetroot aids blood flow around the body, including to the muscles, thus allowing them to perform better.
There is also some suggestion that athletes experience improved stamina levels when drinking beetroot juice.2
In light of the positivity surrounding beetroot juice and athletic performance, the drink has become increasingly popular in recent years. As a result of this newfound popularity, the number of beetroot-based drinks has grown. As many of these drinks have added ingredients and sweeteners, however, they don’t always offer the same benefits that pure beetroot juice does. Therefore, if you opt for beetroot juice during your run, be sure to scan the ingredients list before you buy.
Biotta’s Beetroot Juice contains 100% organic pressed beetroot and is not from concentrate, so this is one product you won’t have to scrutinise. This particular drink is high in nitrates and potassium, both of which can contribute to better athletic performance.3
Now, how could we talk about drinks for runners without mentioning water? During a run we, of course, lose water through sweat and so it is essential to stay hydrated with plenty of plain, still water. Dehydration can contribute to low energy levels and fatigue which will only hamper your attempts to improve your running performance.
Staying hydrated is particularly important during a long run but, that being said, we shouldn’t take big gulps of water whilst moving as it has the potential to cause digestive upset. As this is likely to disrupt your run by causing cramps and pain, stick to small sips instead.
Nowadays, we can get water bottles that attach to running belts, or that are easy to grip while you're out and about.
Another drink that has seen a surge in popularity recently is coconut water, a clear liquid that comes from the inside of a green coconut. This has benefits for short distance runners as it contains natural sugars that can provide a quick energy boost.
In addition, coconut water contains potassium and sodium, two nutrients that we lose through sweat during a run.
Like plain, still water, coconut water helps to rehydrate the body so, if you fancy something more exciting than water during your workout, this is a good option.
Vegetables such as spinach may not be your first choice of smoothie but, with the potential benefits it could bring to your run, you may just be persuaded to give it a try!
Green vegetables are a good source of nitrates which, research shows, are beneficial for muscle fibres. They may also improve glycogen storage which, again, is good for maintaining energy. This seems to suggest that they could help to sustain you during a workout.4
For some simple green smoothie recipes just take a look at our recipe hub. Our apple and spinach smoothie and our super veg and fruit green smoothie are popular options!
Ok, so this may not be the best drink option during your run but, as it has some benefits to offer post-workout, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Pure cherry juice contains antioxidants which can reduce inflammation and, therefore, aid recovery after a workout should you be experiencing stiff, sore muscles.
Again, take care when reading any product labels as many cherry juice brands will have added sugar that could interfere with your running performance!
2 Muggeridge, D.J., et al. 2014, 46(1) (143-150)
3 Thompson, C, Wylie, LJ, Fulford, J, et al. Dietary nitrate improves sprint performance and cognitive function during prolonged intermittent exercise Eur J Appl Physiol , 115(9), 1825-1834