Your cardiovascular system is what’s primarily being trained during, well, cardio exercise (makes sense, doesn’t it?).
The problem is, your cardiovascular system has to recover for quite some time.
You need nutrition to hit your system as soon as you’re off the bike, which will help make recovery times shorter, and help stave-off that post-ride fatigue.
Your cycling recovery drink could be anything, as long as it supplies your body with the nutrition it needs to resupply what you spent during that intense cycling session.
We have suggestions, a DIY recipe, and some critical information that you need to know about post-cycling recovery.
- 1 Does Cycling Require a Recovery Drink?
- 2 What’s the Best Recovery Drink for Cycling?
- 3 DIY Recovery Drink (4 Recipes)
- 4 Your Body Needs a Boost; Provide it!
Does Cycling Require a Recovery Drink?
Not only that, but it also needs a pre-game drink! Your body spends so much when you put it through that much cardiovascular exercise, and while it’s good to do that exercise, you still put your body through its paces.
It needs to be rewarded with sufficient nutrition to actually make those leg muscle gains, to hydrate those blood vessels, and so on.
You can use any recovery drink as a pre-game drink as well.
If you find that one of the drinks that we list, or our DIY recipe are a little too heavy, that’s okay: just drink a half serving before you go out, and a full one when you get back.
What’s the Best Recovery Drink for Cycling?
Well, there are a few, actually. It’s expected that nearly three fourths of the people in America are dehydrated, and that doesn’t bode well for exercises that are cardio-intensive.
Each of these drinks help out with hydration, as well as delivering some nutrition.
Keep in mind that the effects differ for everyone since everybody has a different diet and source of other nutrients.
This is a serious recovery drink. Not something you throw back because you had a fifteen minute stroll around the block.
We’re talking about two-hour high-intensity mountain bike rides, or street races through ten miles in the middle of summer.
For the hardcore cyclists that really need a powerful recovery.
Fitaid includes tons of natural ingredients, which you don’t really see with energy/post-recovery drinks.
Magnesium, potassium, calcium, turmeric, and other essential vitamins that your body needs and constantly processes to help you build muscle and maintain cardiovascular health.
Apart from being good for you, Fitaid makes some fantastic flavors. It’s on the pricier side, but it gives your body what it needs and is nice and easy on the palette.
You can’t really ask for more.
2. Nuun Electrolyte Tablets
A ridiculously high number of Americans are dehydrated. Hydration is key to recovery. In fact, it’s absolutely paramount.
Nuun electrolyte tablets are helping people stay hydrated throughout workouts and in the post-game session as well.
Take Nuun before you go cycling and as a recovery drink as well.
The reason that this didn’t hit the top spot is simply because this is a hydration drink; it doesn’t supply the vitamins and minerals that your body needs for all post-cycling recovery, but it does tackle a tremendously serious issue of hydration.
Pair this with a recovery-themed meal after your long cycling trip, and you’ll be able to hydrate yourself while packing away those vitamins.
Consider this an accessory, not an entire recovery drink.
3. Cytosport Cytomax Recovery Drink Mix
Cytosport is one of the best supplemental recovery drinks on the market and comes in a ton of flavors to boot.
You’re going to find pre-game drinks as well as recovery formulas, and to be transparent here, they all taste amazing, but the recovery mix offers the best benefits out of them all.
Hitting you with that sweet hydration that you need, Cytosport will begin by helping those constricted blood vessels to open back up, and at the same time you’ll get hit with a blast of vitamins and minerals that your body just used up to carry you through that cardio exercise.
Cytosport makes a ton of other drinks as well, so if you enjoy these, you can pair different drinks with your other training methods, such as running and strength training. It just might be the one thing that was missing from all your physical activity.
4. Ghost Burn
There are plenty of Ghost drinks out there, but their Burn lineup are designed to help with cardio workout recovery, and they get props for being undeniably and ridiculously tasty.
You’ll find intense fruity flavors that have you wondering if this is a recovery drink or a smoothie.
Ghost drinks are themed around fun, so you’re going to find great flavors but with some not-so-organic ingredients to help create those.
The artificial flavors and dyes can be a bit concerning, but the boost of vitamins and minerals is helpful, so it’s a toss-up for you to decide on.
I will say this, though: having this tasty drink at the end of your workout feels like a mostly guilt-free reward for all the hard work, and it’s amazing.
5. Axe & Sledge Supplements
You can use just about any of their supplemental drink mixes, and you’re going to end up on top.
Low in calories, this fine-tuned supplemental lineup will help you bulk up the muscles you’re working out from your ride. It means no leg day at the gym.
Alternatively, you have to watch out for the carb content.
Recovery drinks tend to be carb-rich to replenish energy, and science tells us that it’s okay because of what our bodies are going through post-workout, but Axe & Sledge doesn’t include a lot of carbs in their drinks.
Good news for bulking, bad news for recoveries from long cycling trips.
DIY Recovery Drink (4 Recipes)
The thing you have to realize about making your own recovery drink is that there’s a carb to protein ratio, even though this might seem like it’s an excess or a dessert that’s going to undo everything you just did, it’s really not.
Chocolate Banana Recovery Drink
1. One ounce of chocolate syrup
2. Sixteen ounces of 1% milk
3. Two teaspoons of protein powder
4. One tablespoon of flaxseed meal
5. One banana
6. One teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Yeah, it seems super simple, but that’s because it is.
Protein powder adds a boost, while the banana adds carbs and the milk helps you feel full. It’s chocolatey, it’s carb-rich, and it tastes fantastic.
Simply put everything into a blender cup, spin it up, and drink.
Coconut Protein Explosion
1. One cup of coconut milk
2. Three-fourths a cup of baby spinach
3. One medium-sized banana
4. One-fourth a cup of kale
5. Three tablespoons of protein powder (vanilla works better here than chocolate)
This is something you’ll find yourself making just because you want it, and that’s okay because this is entirely healthy regardless of whether you just worked out or not.
Spinach, banana, kale—it should be in your regular diet from now on if we’re being totally honest.
Dark Stain Blueberry Smoothie
1. One cup of almond milk or coconut milk
2. Two medium-sized bananas
3. Two and a half cups of frozen blueberries
4. Half teaspoon of vanilla extract
5. One teaspoon or organic honey
6. Half-cup of yogurt
Simple, delicious, and filled with antioxidants to fight all those free radicals.
You’re basically giving your body a big dose of delicious fruit, and protein from the milk of your choosing.
Add honey to taste if it isn’t quite sweet enough for you at first, but try to avoid adding sugar in.
Those four recipes should be enough to tie you over for a while.
Give them each a shot on days that you return from your long cycling sessions, and begin recovering in a must better (and more delicious) way than you currently are.
Oat and Peach Smoothie
1. Two cups of frozen diced peaches
2. One cup of coconut milk
3. Four ounces of yogurt of your choosing
4. Half-cup of ice
5. Half-cup of oats
6. Half a banana
This one is simple, but just like with the Chocolate Banana Recovery Drink, it’s super simple: toss it all in the blender and let her rip.
The oats don’t blend in the exact way that you would expect, so if you need to put this on a puree setting for a little while, you can do that.
Your Body Needs a Boost; Provide it!
Food is fuel, no matter how you look at it. You’re not going to put 87 in a BMW, are you?
Treat your body the same way as a fine car: load it up with the best, and you can expect the best from it.
Cycling recovery drinks are like maintenance for your workout, so don’t forget about it and have something at-the-ready to throw back the second you get off your bike.