Ask the Fit Professionals: Workout Boost and Recover

Tired runnerDear Fit Professionals,

Two questions for you. First, I just signed up for my first half Ironman, and the workouts are getting longer and more intense. I find myself lagging toward the end of the workout and in need of an extra boost. What should I drink for superpower hydration? Second, I always see people downing protein drinks post-workout. Are recovery drinks legit? And which one should I try? (No chalky drinks, please!) Oh, and can you tell me a cool electrolyte fact? I’m trying to impress this super cute girl who just joined our Wednesday morning swim group, and I’m pretty sure an electrolyte fact will do the trick.

Give Love A Tri

Dear Give Love A Tri,

Wow! Your questions cover a lot of ground! The good news is we’re endurance athletes, and covering a lot of ground is what we do best. (We’re like grass. Only more fun. And mobile.) We asked 9-time Ironman Brian Schoenholz his opinion on the matters at hand, and he gave us some GU-ood advice. (Get it?) Cheers!

The Fit Professionals

Superpower hydration?
GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink (Available in Lemon-Lime, Grape, and Tropical Fruit. $2.90 per single-serve packet.)

It’s a simple equation. When you ask your body to give more, your body is going to need more. And half-hearted hydration won’t cut it. The gurus at GU understand this concept better than anyone else in the industry. That’s why they created GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink. With 59 grams of “strategic” complex and simple carbs balanced for optimal absorption, this superpower drink marries the electrolyte benefits of GU Brew with the citrates, histidine, amino acids, and energy-giving carbohydrates of GU Roctane Gel. Taurine is added for improved heart and skeletal muscle function, caffeine for increased power output (and lower perceived effort), and amino acids for reduced muscle damage and improved focus. GU Roctane Ultra Endurance drink can serve as both your hydration and your energy source for workouts lasting up to 2 hours. For workouts longer than that, simply supplement it with a GU gel or chew.

Recovery drink?
GU Recovery Brew (Available in Orange-Pineapple, Strawberry-Watermelon, and Chocolate Smoothie. $2.70 per single-serve packet.)

Tough workouts overload muscles. Muscles break down. Muscles rebuild themselves to withstand a greater load. Another tough workout breaks down the muscles again. Muscles rebuild, this time to be even stronger. This is the fitness cycle. Break down. Rebuild. Break down. Rebuild. Fitness, then, is absolutely contingent on a key concept: the ability to rebuild (or recover).

Recovery drinks are made to help your body do just that: recover. And as Brian puts it, “Why feel bad if you don’t have to?” He suggests GU Recovery Brew. First and foremost, it’s not chalky or grainy. (WOOP!) And not only does it taste good, but GU Recovery Brew is specially formulated to replenish energy stores and accelerate the muscle rebuilding process after an intense workout. The proper blend of complex and simple carbs recharges glycogen levels, while high quality whey protein speeds up muscle reconstruction. Amino acids support your immune system (which temporarily drops after tough workouts, making you more susceptible to illness). Sodium and potassium balance depleted electrolyte levels. And Vitamins C and E combat tissue breakdown, reducing your risk of injury.

Carry easy, single-serve packets of GU Recovery Brew in your bag (along with a bottle of water) so you can drink it within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. We suggest mixing the Chocolate flavor with milk for an extra yummy, higher protein treat!

Fun Electrolyte Fact?
Pure water does not, in fact, conduct electricity.

We all know how the ladies love electrolyte facts! Contrary to popular belief, pure H2O doesn’t conduct electricity. It’s actually the particles (often in the form of sodium and other electrolytes) floating in the water that make water conductive. From your bathtub to a mountain stream to that $3 bottle of Aquafina, water always has something in it besides pure H2O and thus will conduct electricity to some degree. (That means that trying to toast a bagel while you’re sitting in an ice bath is still a bad idea.)

We’re certain the lovely lady in your swim group will be impressed by your electrolyte knowledge! (Good luck!)

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