After a hard run, there’s nothing more satisfying than kicking back with a cold beverage. And in the summer, when temps are high and sweat is serious, post-run drinks are not just enjoyable, they’re crucial.
“Our joints are made up of about 70% to 80% water, so lack of hydration can cause joint pain,” says Staci Lupberger, RD at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. Rehydrating with the right recovery mixture also supplies amino acids to repair muscles and electrolytes that are lost through sweat.
Using the latest research, the following post-run drinks were created by Julia Momose, owner of Chicago cocktail bar Kumiko and champion of nonalcoholic drinks, or what she calls “spiritfrees.” These runner-friendly mocktails are fun and satisfying on a hot day—even without the booze. (But if you want to add alcohol, we’ve got you covered there, too.)
And when it comes to alcohol, not to burst any bubbles: While post-run brunch is definitely a thing, you want to watch alcohol intake in the hours after a hard workout. Research found low-alcohol beer doesn’t exacerbate fluid loss, but excessive imbibing can affect muscle recovery. After a run, aim for at least 6–8 ounces of water or electrolyte beverage for every 15 minutes of running, says Lupberger.