The Best (and Worst) Drinks for Before and After a Workout

Think you're limited to Gatorade and water? Think again

What to drink before and after a workout.

We're not going to sugarcoat this: it's getting close to swimsuit season. And while we're ramping up our gym time, bike rides, and hikes, we're even more conscious of the weather outside that's making us sweat. Which is why it's more important than ever to think about what we're drinking before and after a workout

Click here for The Best (And Worst) Drinks Before and After a Workout Slideshow

More important than the foods you're ingesting are the drinks you're ingesting, especially when you're hitting the gym. Most of us are dehydrated before we even hit the gym (you can check out symptoms of dehydration here), and that can cause some hiccups during a workout. A study from Loughborough University showed that dehydration during a workout didn't just affect the study participants' performance, but their mental clarity and physical capabilities as well. In severe cases, dehydration during or after a workout can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. 


So you know you should be drinking tons of water while working out, but what about all the other drinks on the market? From coconut water to Gatorade, coffee to beer (say what now?), every drink claims to be the perfect drink for a workout — but that's not always the case. We'll break down why certain drinks are perfect for your pre- and post-workout hydration, and why some drinks just don't add up.