Is it good to juice After a workout?

Juicing has become a popular health trend in recent years. Many people juice fruits and vegetables as a way to increase their intake of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Some people also juice after working out, believing that it helps their muscles recover and provides other benefits. But is juicing after a workout actually good for you? Let’s take a closer look at the potential pros and cons.

The Potential Benefits of Juicing Post-Workout

There are a few reasons why some people believe juicing after a workout is beneficial:

  • Provides hydration – Juices can help replenish fluids lost through sweat during your workout.
  • Delivers nutrients – Fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Juicing helps concentrate and deliver these nutrients when your body needs them most.
  • Aids muscle recovery – The nutrients and natural sugars in juice may help replenish glycogen stores and support muscle repair after exercise.
  • Provides antioxidants – Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage caused by exercise.
  • Boosts energy – The natural sugars in juice can provide a quick energy boost after an intense workout when you need it.

Some research has supported these potential benefits as well. For example, one study found that drinking tart cherry juice helped reduce muscle pain and strength loss in runners after a marathon compared to a placebo drink.

The Potential Downsides of Post-Workout Juicing

However, there are also some potential downsides to consider with juicing after workouts:

  • Lower fiber content – Juicing strips away the pulp and fiber of whole fruits and vegetables, which provides important health benefits.
  • Less filling – Liquids don’t provide the same satiety as whole foods, so juice may not keep you full.
  • Blood sugar spikes – The natural sugars in juice are less complex than whole foods and can spike blood sugar levels.
  • Oxidation – Once produce is juiced, the nutrients start to oxidize and degrade quickly.
  • Not enough protein – Most juices lack protein, which is important for muscle recovery.
  • Excess sugar – It’s easy to consume a lot of sugar from juices, even with no added sugar.

Some dietitians argue that eating whole fruits and vegetables provides more overall nutritional benefit than just drinking vegetable and fruit juices.

Ideal Post-Workout Juices

If you do choose to juice after your workouts, there are ways to mitigate some of the potential downsides.

Here are some tips for creating ideal post-workout juices:

  • Include leafy greens like spinach and kale for nutrients and fiber.
  • Add in non-starchy veggies like cucumber and celery for hydration.
  • Include some fresh ginger or turmeric for anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Stick to low sugar fruits like berries and green apples.
  • Add protein powders or nut butters to boost protein.
  • Drink soon after making to minimize oxidation.
  • Keep portions small – 8 oz or less.

Here is a nutrient-packed juice combo that would make a great post-workout choice:

Ingredients Benefits
Spinach Iron, magnesium, vitamin K
Kale Vitamin A, C, K, antioxidants
Cucumber Hydration
Celery Electrolytes
Ginger Anti-inflammatory
Berries Antioxidants
Almond butter Protein, healthy fats

Pre-Workout Juicing

While post-workout juicing gets more attention, sipping on juice before you exercise can also be beneficial.

Potential perks of pre-workout juicing include:

  • Energy boost from natural sugars
  • Hydration to fuel your workout
  • Nutrients to optimize performance
  • Antioxidants to minimize pre-workout oxidative damage

Some great ingredients to include in a pre-workout juice include:

  • Beets – for nitric oxide production
  • Pomegranate – for antioxidants
  • Carrots – for vitamin A for muscle work
  • Ginger – to reduce inflammation
  • Citrus fruits – for vitamin C and electrolytes

However, you’ll still want to avoid excess sugar before working out. Here is a more low-sugar pre-workout juice recipe:

Ingredients Benefits
1 cucumber Hydration
1/2 beet Nitric oxide boost
1 carrot Vitamin A
1-inch ginger Anti-inflammatory
1/2 lemon Vitamin C

Other Post-Workout Recovery Tips

While juicing can provide benefits after exercise, it shouldn’t be your only recovery strategy. Here are some other things to do after a workout:

  • Rehydrate – Drink plenty of water to replenish fluids lost during your workout.
  • Refuel – Eat a mix of carbs and protein to promote muscle repair and replenish glycogen.
  • Relax – Take time to cool down, stretch, and give your body rest.
  • Recover – Get plenty of sleep, which is key for muscle recovery.
  • Reduce soreness – Consider ice baths, Epsom salt baths, gentle movement, or massage.
  • Supplement – Some supplements like protein, creatine, or omega-3s may aid workout recovery.

The Bottom Line

Juicing fruits and vegetables can provide important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients around workout time. This liquid nutrition may help with energy, hydration, muscle recovery, and more.

However, juicing removes valuable fiber from produce and makes natural sugars more concentrated. To get the most benefit, choose vegetable-focused juices with anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger.

For the best workout recovery, juice in moderation as part of balanced nutrition focused on whole foods. Hydration, protein, carbohydrates, rest, and other lifestyle strategies are also key.

Juicing can be a good addition to your pre- or post-workout routine as long as your main nutrition comes from whole foods and you listen to your body’s needs.

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