These days, I’m looking for water that has super powers. Sure, H2O is fine and delicious on its own, but this humid heat wave—combined with the fact that I’m still getting my workouts in—calls for a little something extra: recovery drinks that have added benefits to just hydration.
Drinking traditional sports drinks—for the sake of electrolytes—isn’t the only way to get the good stuff that you need. Now, the recovery drink market is filled with plant-based electrolyte and magnesium tablets, more bioavailable hydration powders you swirl into your water, hydrogen water packets, and more. The end game of each of these is to fuel your body, without the added sugar.
“In the summer it’s easy to quickly lose essential electrolytes through sweat and regular daily activities,” says Lisa Richards, nutritionist and founder of The Candida Diet. “Replenishing electrolytes is important as they keep your body in perfect balance. Recovery drinks with electrolytes replenish these compounds and keep your body functioning at full capacity.”
Similarly, sipping on hydrogen water helps boost your hydration and aid muscle recovery. “By adding hydrogen water to your post-workout routine, you can speed up muscle recovery post-workout,” says Richards, who adds that molecular hydrogen gives antioxidant properties, too, which can help with free radical damage inside your body. Besides those two star hydration ingredients, chef and celebrity nutritionist Nicolette Pace says that glucose and protein are also needed for recovery.
Feelin’ extra thirsty? Grab one of these magical uber-hydrating drinks (and drink boosters) to make sure you’re quenched AF.
The highlight of my (and my colleagues’) day is dropping a Nuun tablet into my water. It fizzles into my glass, and turns my water into an electrolyte-packed beverage that tastes heavenly to keep me more hydrated. Besides electrolytes, these also have essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium, adding only one gram of sugar.
H Factor Hydrogen Infused Water, $18 for a six-pack
These are like a Capri Sun for grown-ups. Drinking one of these babies helps your body recover from tough workouts, and the plain flavor just tastes like water. If you’re so inclined, they also come in different fruity flavors.
Liquid I.V., $32
You just sprinkle some Liquid I.V. into your water, and reap the benefits of the brand’s unique cellular transport technology that says it delivers hydration to your bloodstream quicker than just plain water alone. And it’s got electrolytes, too. Who needs an actual IV?
A special blend of sodium, electrolytes, and a small pinch of sugar make Hydrant a delicious way to get even more hydrating water into your system. “Sodium is an electrolyte,” says Richards (something I didn’t know). “The concentration of sodium in your body determines how much water your body retains.” This stuff doesn’t taste salty, just unique and pretty delicious.
The father of anti-inflammatories—known for his skin and inflammation research—also has hydrogen-infused water, another way to feed your body and your muscles after a grueling sweat sesh. It tastes like water, but gives you even more perks.
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