With most of central and eastern Canada in the midst of a heat wave, many runners (even those who run before dawn) will find themselves day dreaming about their post-run beverage. While everyone is looking forward to a beverage of some sort, the drink they’re longing varies from person to person. Here’s the definitive ranking of post-run beverages, from the least drinkable to the most drinkable (in our humble opinion).
Note: some of these drinks are more hydrating than others. If you’re having alcohol (which is dehydrating) after a really, really hot run, please enjoy in moderation and accompany it with some shade and several waters. Another note, always have good old fashioned water on hand. Water wasn’t included on this list because it should be on everyone’s list, occupying the top spot of “what I drink when I’m dehydrated.”
The worst – a heavy beer
By heavy beer we mean a double-hopped IPA, a stout or anything dark in colour. All of these drinks have their place in the world – just not post-run.
The second-worst – bubbly water
When you’re looking to get hydrated as quickly as possible, carbonation is not what you want. While it is technically hydrating, bubbly just doesn’t go down as smoothly as flat water when you’re really warm.
The divisive liquid – milk
Dairy is one of the most hotly-debated topics among runners. Lots swear off the stuff for stomach reasons, but others wouldn’t trade milk for the world. There are two kinds of runners: those who crave milk post-run (chocolate is usually the go to) and those who would rather let their mouths go dry than glug back some dairy product.
The crowd pleaser – Gatorade (or really any electrolyte drink)
Getting in some electrolytes is always a good idea in the heat. Especially if you’ve been exercising for a while, a mix of sugar, salt and fluid is a winning combination. With a million flavours, no one will be upset with any of these options.
The fancy crowd pleaser – lemonade
Lemonade goes with summer like peanut butter goes with jelly. Some lightly sweetened lemonade on ice really hits the spot when it’s hot.
The treat yourself drink – light beer
A light beer is pretty perfect after a hard exercise day. While it may not be your first choice when your internal temperature is normal, when’s it’s over 30 C outside, it’s a dream.
The number one, can’t beat it, post-run beverage – slushies
The slushie has it all. It’s fun because of the colour, it’s hydrating because it’s all ice, there’s a ton of sugar (which provides some needed carbohydrates after a hard effort) and it feels like a special treat. When it’s really hot out, no one is going to turn down a drinkable popsicle post-run.