We all know that kid who shows up to the gym with a Kool Aid Jammer or whatever other ridiculous drink, then complains about being tired halfway through. There’s a correlation there. Certain drinks, on the other hand, can actually help you in a variety of ways, and there are some you’ll want to avoid. You may notice this list is basically divided up drinks that don’t have sugar, and those that do. It’s not really a co-incidence. Not only will sugary beverages give you a quick, unhealthy rush and crash, but they can also make a big mess if you spill them on the mats.
We’re not just including this to be cute. It’s the obvious answer, so that’s why we’re getting it out of the way first, but simple hydration is something that some people still overlook. If you’re sitting around home, doing nothing on a cool day, you might not even need the full recommended 8 cups, but if you’re working hard, sweating, training… you’ll need more than 8 cups of water. Just listen to your body, and always have a bottle handy.
This drink is made from the leaves of the holly tree, and it’s kind of like tea – but it’s not made with the tea plant. It does contain a good amount of caffeine, and gives off more focused-feeling caffeine buzz than you’d expect from coffee, and many people don’t even experience any kind of crash after the rush wears off. You can make yerba mate like normal tea, you can make it iced (Its called Terere), you can even make yerba mate latte for a treat.
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It’s a classic, and obviously you can drink it brewed and hot, or as an iced tea. Tea has a lot of alleged health benefits, some of them are better studied than others. Some have some good studies backing them up, but others are a little more wishy-washy. In either case, tea is a very relaxing and tasty drink, and green tea has a combination of caffeine and L-Theanine, and when these two compounds work together they create a heightened mental focus, which can be really helpful as your brain-computer tries to calculate your next move on the fly.
There are also some drinks you should avoid. This might seem too obvious, but still, we’ve all seen people drinking these things at practice. The worst part is when it’s a blackbelt who sips down two Monsters a day and still somebody runs circles around you.
Energy Drinks – This includes those “5 Hour Magic Energy Potion” things in the small bottles, too. While these can all give you a quick boost of energy, they’re also riddled with sugar or sugar substitutes, and usually leave you feeling bloated. If you still like that carbonation, Kombucha is a good drink with numerous benefits to your health and energy.
Gatorade – Similar to the energy drinks, it’s basically just sugar and water, and a lot of sugar for that matter. Something more natural is a much better bet, and will give you a better kind of energy, too, not just a sugar rush.
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Hopefully this article has helped shine some light on something new for you to try, if you have any other go-to drinks please let us know in the comments!