Should you juice before or after a workout?

Juicing has become a popular way to get nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Many people juice as part of their health and fitness routines. But when is the best time to drink your juice – before or after a workout? There are good arguments on both sides. This article examines the potential benefits and drawbacks of both options to help you decide when juicing will work best for you and your fitness goals.

The Potential Benefits of Juicing Before a Workout

Here are some of the theorized benefits of drinking juice before your workout:

Pre-hydration

Drinking juice before you exercise can help hydrate your body so you start your workout better hydrated. Being well hydrated may improve physical performance and endurance.

Juice Water Content
Celery juice 95%
Cucumber juice 96%
Watermelon juice 92%

As you can see from the table above, many vegetable and fruit juices are mostly water, so they can be very hydrating.

Energy boost

The natural sugars in fruit and vegetable juices can potentially give you an energy boost before your workout. This quick energy may help you power through an intense gym session.

Nutrient timing

Drinking juice before you exercise allows your body to start absorbing the nutrients from the juice so they are available during your workout. For example, the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in many juices may help reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammation.

Potential Drawbacks of Juicing Before a Workout

Drinking juice before your workout also has some potential downsides:

Blood sugar spikes

The natural sugars in fruit and vegetable juices can cause a quick spike in your blood sugar levels. An energy crash may soon follow once your blood sugar drops again. This rollercoaster effect could leave you feeling tired and sluggish during your workout.

GI discomfort

Some people experience gastrointestinal distress when they consume fruits and vegetables right before intense exercise. Juicing separates the fiber from the juice, which may make the liquid easier to digest. But juice before a tough workout could still cause issues like side stitches, cramps, and nausea in some individuals.

Dehydration

The fluid in fruit and vegetable juice empties from your stomach faster than water. While juicing before your workout provides initial hydration, this fluid may not stay in your system long enough to sustain you throughout your entire gym session. You may still need to drink additional water during and after your workout to stay properly hydrated.

Benefits of Juicing After a Workout

Here are some potential upsides of drinking juice after you exercise:

Rehydration

Drinking juice after your workout helps rehydrate your body after the loss of fluid through sweating. Rehydration is crucial for replacing fluids and electrolytes (like potassium and sodium) lost during exercise.

Juice Electrolytes
Coconut water Potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, manganese
Watermelon juice Potassium, magnesium

As shown in the table, juices like coconut water and watermelon juice contain vital electrolytes to help rehydrate you after your workout.

Muscle recovery

The carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in many juices may help facilitate recovery after exercise by reducing inflammation and damage to your muscle tissue.

Timing of nutrients

Consuming juice after your workout allows your body to absorb nutrients that will help you recover and replenish. The timing of these nutrients could potentially optimize the benefits.

Potential Cons of Juicing After a Workout

There are also some possible downsides of drinking juice after exercise:

Rapid absorption

Since juice separates the fiber from the nutrients in fruits and veggies, the sugars and other compounds may absorb very quickly into your bloodstream. Rapid absorption could potentially cause an unbalanced blood sugar spike after an intense workout.

Insufficient calories/protein

Most juices do not provide adequate calories or protein compared to a full meal with protein, carbs, and fat. After an intense workout, a juice alone may not provide sufficient nutrition to fully replenish your body and maximize workout recovery.

GI issues

As with pre-workout juicing, some people may experience gastrointestinal distress when they consume fruit and vegetable juice on an empty stomach after exercising. Pay attention to how your body responds.

Tips for Juicing Around Your Workouts

Here are some tips to help you decide if and when to juice around your exercise:

  • Try both options and see when juicing makes you feel best.
  • Use juices with less sugar and more electrolytes if juicing pre-workout.
  • Add protein powder or nut butter to your post-workout juice.
  • Drink extra water before, during, and after workouts when juicing.
  • Don’t juice before intense ab or core work to avoid GI issues.
  • Juice only fruits/veggies you know don’t cause personal GI problems.
  • Always listen to your body’s response.

Conclusion

There are pros and cons to drinking juice both before and after your workouts. Pay attention to your body’s signals and remember that hydration is key both before and after exercise. Juice can be a convenient way to hydrate and nourish your body to help you get the most out of your fitness routine. But be mindful of your blood sugar levels and GI comfort. Overall, listen to what your body responds best to so you can customize an optimal juicing schedule around your workouts.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *