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We Asked Athletes And Dietitians What They Actually Drink Before & After Their Workouts

Drink up.

Hydration is always important in our everyday lives — but it's especially key as it relates to working out.

So to get some inspiration on what to drink before or after workouts, we asked pros — including fitness instructors, athletes, and registered dietitians — what they reach for when they need a pre-workout or post-workout beverage.

But first: It's important to note that everyone's needs and wants are different, and there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all food or drink workout fuel or hydration. (Except for, of course, water!) Still, if you're looking to switch things up — or if you're just curious as to what others reach for — we hope this list is helpful.

1. Kale Smoothie: For a simple, five-ingredient classic that packs veggies, fruits, and nut butter — and is vegan-friendly.

Anjali Shah

"This kale smoothie is one of my favorite go-to pre- or post-workout drinks! It can be easily modified to include more or less protein — depending on whether you're making it for a before- or after-workout snack. It's light, refreshing, perfectly sweet, and made with just five simple ingredients."

Anjali Shah, board-certified health coach, founder of the Picky Eater, and author of Kid Chef Junior: My First Kids' Cookbook

Recipe: Kale Smoothie

2. Strawberry, Mango, and Peanut Butter Smoothie: For a fruit-forward option that blends nicely with your powder of choice.

Dianne Bondy

"My post-workout drink is very, very boring! It is a scoop of collagen protein powder (usually Organika), half a mango, four strawberries, 1.5 cups of coconut or oat milk [of] your choice, and a scoop of peanut butter. Sometimes I switch out the strawberries for pineapple, and I pretend it’s a piña colada!"

Dianne Bondy, accessible yoga teacher E-RYT 500, author, and the leader of the Yoga for All movement.

3. Turmeric Sweet Potato Latte: For a creamy, caffeine-optional pick that has plenty of fiber and vitamin A, thanks to the sweet potato.

Holly Perkins

"This is a favorite for pre- and post-workouts because: 1) It’s easy to digest so the nutrients can get to your muscles, and 2) It’s got my ideal ratio of protein, fat, and carbs for recovery. I also like to add collagen, which can help repair tissues, hair, skin, and nails. It’s incredible with a shot of espresso, too."

Holly Perkins, BS, CSCS, author of Lift to Get Lean: A Beginner's Guide to Fitness & Strength Training in 3 Simple Steps, and creator of the Nutrition Project

Recipe: Turmeric Sweet Potato Latte

4. Drinkable Yogurt with Fruit: For a fast, fiber-packed treat that doesn't require you to mess with a blender.

Krista Linares

"I like to pour a glass of kefir and top with a tablespoon of chia seeds and a few pieces of frozen fruit. I love kefir (or any drinkable yogurt) as a post-workout drink. I usually am not super hungry after a workout but still want to get some protein and carbohydrates in to help with recovery. I love this combo because it's even faster than a smoothie and has a great combination of carbohydrates to refuel and protein for my muscle recovery. The fruit adds flavor, and the chia seeds add fiber!"

Krista Linares, RDN, Founder of Nutrition con Sabor

5. Ginger Turmeric Smoothie Recipe with Mango: For a sweet, satisfying, and slightly spicy pick-me-up.

Anne Mauney

"My absolute favorite post-workout drink is my homemade Ginger Turmeric Smoothie Recipe with Mango. In addition to being absolutely delicious (refreshing, sweet, creamy, and a little spicy thanks to the ginger), it's also anti-inflammatory thanks to the turmeric, which can help with post-workout recovery. And the protein in the milk and yogurt will help your muscles repair — and you feel more satisfied — as well. Total win/win."

Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, founder of Fannetastic Food

Recipe: Ginger Turmeric Smoothie Recipe with Mango

6. Spiced Blueberry and Chia Seed Smoothie: For a sweet and spicy blend that mixes fruit, nut butter, and add-ins like cinnamon and ginger.

Rachel Beller

"I call this smoothie my 'AM Body Fuel,' but it’s great any time of day — especially after a hard workout. My personal favorite protein powders are single-ingredient, like almond powder, but feel free to sub with your powder of choice! I like to add a hint of natural sweetness and flavor complexity with my custom morning spice blend (a fragrant combo of Ceylon cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and clove). Plus, spices are an amazing way to give your post-workout smoothie an antioxidant boost. Just blend all the ingredients together until smooth, and enjoy!"

1 cup plant milk of choice

1 tablespoon almond protein powder (or other)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

½ cup blueberries, frozen

½ banana, frozen

¼ teaspoon Morning Boost Nutrition Blend (or spice blend of choice)

—Celebrity Dietitian Rachel Beller, MS, RDN, CEO of Beller Nutrition, and creator of the Beller Method Transformation Masterclass

7. Peanut Butter, Cocoa Power, and Fruit Shake: For a gorgeously hued option that you can customize as you see fit.

Nicole Rodriguez

"I'm usually in a bit of a rush after I lift, but I'm also HUNGRY! I need a shake that's going to eat like a meal, you know what I mean? My go-to combo is a scoop of whey protein paired with a serving of Fairlife skim milk, a mix of frozen banana and strawberries, cocoa powder, and some peanut butter. Yes, the protein is essential, but berries provide much-needed post-workout antioxidants, cocoa powder amps up the fiber content, and peanut butter helps keep me satisfied 'til snack time. The gorgeous color is just a bonus!"

Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, NASM-CPT, founder of Enjoy Food Enjoy Life

8. Cherry Cheesecake Smoothie Bowl: For a fruit-fueled option that you can drink as a smoothie or eat as a bowl.

Kara Lydon

"My go-to post-workout option is my cherry cheesecake smoothie bowl. It's packed with frozen, dark sweet cherries and protein powder and cottage cheese for my ideal carb-to-protein post-workout recovery ratio. It's also super refreshing and satisfying, perfect to cool down with after exercise. Keep the consistency thick for a smoothie bowl, or add a little more liquid to make it drinkable out of a glass."

—Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, founder of Kara Lydon Nutrition and The Foodie Dietitian Blog

Recipe: Cherry Cheesecake Smoothie Bowl

Note: Some responses have been lightly edited for length and/or clarity.

What's your favorite pre- or post-workout drink? Share in the comments below!