Drink This, Not That Before You Work Out

The best — and cheapest — drink to have before you exercise is usually water, but there are some other good choices for a pre-workout quaff — and some drinks you definitely want to avoid, the Daily Meal reported June 14.

In addition to plain old (free) water, coconut water is good to drink before working up a sweat because it contains potassium, sodium, and magnesium — electrolytes you lose via sweat. Not coincidentally, these are also the main ingredients in most sports drinks. Low-sodium V-8 juice also contains potassium and magnesium, along with just enough sodium to replenish what you lose during exercising.

On the other hand, you should never drink Coca-Cola or other sugary carbonated drinks, which can cause an energy spike and crash as well as stomach cramps and nausea during exercise. Ditto for store-bought lemonade and other sugar-sweetened drinks.

Energy drinks are another no-no: they’re loaded with sugar and calories, too. And besides the fact that these sugary drinks will make for a lousy workout, they also may increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems.

(Photo © Pink Sherbert Photography via Flickr)