If you’re juicing and exercising, you may have already discovered the value of having a go-to pre workout juice to boost energy and stamina during your workouts. You may even have a collection of your best juicing recipes for muscle gains. And of course, many of us replenish after a sweaty workout with a deliciously rewarding post workout juice for weight loss.
There’s no doubt about it – juicing and exercising play well together and you can very well take advantage of your juicing habit to add healthy fuel to your workouts.
After all, if you’re taking the time to exercise, you want to make the most out of each sweat session. To optimize each and every sit-up, burpee, and lunge, you need to consume the right nutrients to energize, optimize, and replenish your muscles and vasculature to keep your endurance high and your recovery time short.
Juicing helps you do that. So if you’re not already juicing for better workouts – here’s your handy guide to creating your very own pre workout energy elixirs and post workout muscle replenishers!
Pre Workout Juice: What to Juice
Whether you’re hitting the gym, the spin class, the running track, the fighting ring, or a yoga class – what you put in your body matters. But you don’t want to eat something that’s going to weigh on your stomach and slow down your workouts – and this is where juicing comes in.
Juicing the right foods makes for a quick, easy way to get the perfect, energy-boosting, metabolism-burning fuel that your body needs for an effective workout.
So what foods should you be cramming into your juicer for a great pre workout juice? Take your pick…
You may have heard that hot-dogs are unhealthy due to their nitrate content. Turns out, nitrates are good for you – if they’re consumed in vegetable form.
Take beets, for example. Beetroot has a very high nitrate content, which can actually increase athletic performance, helping you exercise longer so you can burn more calories. A 2012 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed increased running performance following beetroot consumption.
This is because the nitrates from the beets cause your blood vessels to dilate, allowing for more blood flow and greater oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles and organs. That makes them perfect for endurance athletes – runner, cyclists – as well as all of us who can use a little more energy to power through that last set.
This is exactly why beetroot for pre workout is the best kept secret of athletes and gym goers.
Oh, and beets are also a good source of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, folate, potassium, manganese, and fiber so you’re getting a lot of goodness along with those circulation-pumping nitrates!
While we’re on the topic of workout-enhancing nitrates, you should know that strawberries are a sweet fruit that are also high in nitrates, making them a great sweetener to add to your workout juice recipes!
Spinach is packed with nutrients that promote healing of the muscles and bones and improve athletic performance.
One cup of raw spinach contains 181% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) or vitamin K—which helps to build strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. Spinach also contains substantial amount of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.
One of the most beneficial things that spinach offers is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a natural plant pigment that has powerful healing and detoxing benefits. It helps in the formation of strong bones and contributes toward muscle toning. Chlorophyll also helps to restore and regenerate red blood cells—cleansing the body and allowing more oxygen to be delivered to the muscles and organs.
Yet another great leafy green to mix into an energy-fueling pre workout juice shot, watercress is the perfect gym companion. This underrated leafy green is rich in B complex vitamins like pantothenic acid, thiamin, vitamin B6, riboflavin and niacin, which help convert nutrients to energy and even enhance mental function and mood.
Plus, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that watercress can help boost your workout by restoring energy levels and relieving the body of stress. Plus, the antioxidants in watercress help the body recover faster so this doubles as a post workout drink as well 🙂
Speaking of post workouts…
Post Workout Juice: What to Juice
Okay, you’ve had an incredibly workout. You felt light on your feet, your body felt unstoppable and now you’re drenched in sweat and feeling like you’re on the top of the world and at the top of your game.
So what do you juice to reward yourself and your hard working body? Take your pick…
This sweet, nutty water is way better for you than all those energy drinks out there. Coconut water contains so many important nutrients and electrolytes that will revitalize your system after an intense workout. Coconut water is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.
For proper hydration after exercise, lost electrolytes need to be replenished. Coconut water is the perfect drink for a post-workout fix.
Watermelon is an incredibly nutritious fruit with plenty of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Since watermelon is 92 percent water and full of electrolytes, it’s ideal for rehydration after exercise. Not only will watermelon rehydrate you, but because it contains the amino acid L-citrulline, it helps reduce muscle soreness and enhance recovery time after a workout, making it a must-have when you’re juicing for muscle recovery.
Love the results of a butt-busting workout but hate the soreness you get for days after? There’s a natural solution for that: tart cherry juice.
Tart cherries have recently become famous in the workout scene thanks to their anti inflammatory properties. As you already know, that aching and burning you get after exercise is due to muscle damage and the inflammation that it set off.
As one of the best natural anti inflammatory foods in the world, tart cherry juice can help alleviate that soreness.
Extra perk? Tart cherries have even been shown to boost melatonin – the sleep hormone – so you’ll get better rest as well, further helping to speed recuperation.
The only thing is that tart cherries can be a pain in the butt to get your hands on. If you can’t find any locally, there’s always the option to order raw, frozen tart cherries from Amazon. They’re already de-pitted so you can either blend them into smoothies in their frozen state or thaw them a bit and then juice them.
Yup, this one again. But let us just extol its post workout juice benefits for a moment. Watercress is a leafy green belonging to the cruciferous vegetable family and it packs a lot of nutritious value in just one cup—so if you add this vegetable to your juicer, you’ll get plenty of vitamin K (more than 100% of your DRI), vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, manganese, potassium, and many other essential vitamins and minerals.
Watercress also contains chlorophyll, that powerful plant pigment that provides plenty of potent pluses.
Green peas are among the vegetables with the highest protein content. In just one cup of peas, you’ll get 8 grams of protein – which is important for muscle recovery after a workout.
In addition to their tremendous protein contribution, green peas are full of vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll for fast recovery after exercise. They are also relatively low in calories compared to other beans that also have high protein content.
One cup of yellow corn contains 5 grams of protein, which is pretty darn high for a vegetable. Since protein is essential for muscle recovery, vegetables like corn can actually help to speed up recovery time and reverse muscle damage.
Wheatgrass is a young grass of the wheat plant that contains a lot of vitamins and minerals (90 minerals!) including vitamins A, E, C, K, and B6, and calcium, selenium, magnesium, and iron.
Wheatgrass contains 19 amino acids which are the principal building blocks of protein, and are essential for muscle recovery. Professional athletes and body builders use wheatgrass for quick recovery and regeneration of cells, and to increase muscle tone.
Wheatgrass encourages red blood cell production, which in turn promotes oxygenation, increasing the productivity of the muscles. Chlorophyll is also present in wheatgrass, contributing to all that makes this plant a perfect superfood.
With the amount of nutrition that kale contains, you may find yourself wondering “what doesn’t kale provide?”
There are numerous health benefits to consuming this vibrant veggie including cholesterol and cancer risk reduction, electrolyte replacement, weight control, immune system boost, and energy increase.
Kale boasts many powerful antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, chlorophyll, and 18 amino acids. It is a good source of protein, and surprisingly contains more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6—which is unusual for a plant. Kale has been deemed one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet—so consume this food before or after a workout—but just consume it.
Many people are aware of the anti-inflammatory benefits of aloe vera, and most have used skin products containing aloe vera gel from the inside of the plant. But aloe vera can do wonders when used orally.
Aloe vera contains 18 amino acids for repair and regeneration of muscles, and it also aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system, protects against cancer, and improves many different skin conditions.
4 Workout Juice Recipes
Working out doesn’t need to be accompanied by fear of tomorrow’s aches and pains. When you eat foods with the right nutrients to promote recovery and rehydration, you’ll find each session more rewarding and more satisfying.
And all you have to do is add these nutrient-dense foods to your juicer and see the results yourself. But in what combination, you ask? We got you covered. Here’s a little roundup of pre and post workout juicing recipes to get you started!
Beet Pre Workout Juice
Here’s the perfect juice recipe for challenging workouts (and days):
- 2 carrots
- 1 cucumber
- 1 beet (both the bulb and the greens)
- 1/2 cup watercress
- 1/2 apple
- 1/4 inch ginger
This delicious, antioxidant-rich juice recipe keeps you hydrated, provides an energy boost, and gives you a heap of nutrients all in one go!
Spicy Pre Workout Juice for Weight Loss
Want a simple way to rev up your metabolism before you hit the gym? Here’s the perfect spicy, green pre workout juice for weight loss to sip on:
- 1 cup watermelon
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 cup watercress
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds (partially or entirely) removed
- 1/2 lime, juiced
The result is a seriously hydrating juice that’ll give you a heap of electrolytes as well as B vitamins to fuel your workouts. But the real star in this recipe is the spicy jalapeno, a thermogenic food, which thanks to its capsaicin content speeds up heart rate, reduces the bad fat in the arteries and stimulates metabolism so you burn more fat during your workout.
Post Workout Muscle Repair Juice
Feeling sore after a workout? Good, that means you’ve earned this juice 😉
- 1 cup tart cherries (frozen/thawed or fresh)
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1 lime (peeled)
- 1 inch ginger
Tart cherries will help put a lid on the muscle soreness and help you recuperate faster and the pineapple definitely helps as well – it’s packing an enzyme called bromelain that’s been shown to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. It even helps your body digest proteins better, which is good news for your sore, tired and aching muscles.
Oh, and did you know that spicy ginger also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that accelerate recovery and even reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)? So drink up.
Pink Post Workout Juice for Weight Loss
Want a post workout juice to lose weight? This pretty pink juice recipe looks disarmingly sweet, but it’s packing a whole LOT of fat burning goodness:
- 4 large slices of watermelon
- 1 ruby red grapefruit (peeled)
- 2 inches fresh turmeric root
- about ¼ cup aloe flesh, pressed or scraped from the leaf, greens discarded
Did you know that even the mere scent of grapefruit can curb cravings and help you lose weight? But that’s not all – this is the perfect fruit to juice for weight loss since it’s low in calories and sugar but high in vital nutrients.
Add to that metabolism-boosting turmeric which also comes with anti-inflammatory, pain-fighting compounds as well as electrolyte-rich watermelon and you’ve got yourself the perfect post workout juice for weight loss and muscle recovery.