Why You Should Be Drinking More Orange Juice After A Hard Workout

Intense workouts make us sweat. A lot.

The longer we work out the more we sweat, which could also create an imbalance in our electrolyte levels. Electrolytes is a fancy word that sports drink companies market the hell out of, but is really just sodium and potassium.

While I don't recommend dipping a banana in salt and considering that a great workout snack, I do recommend drinking natural, fresh squeezed fruit juices to help replenish the nutrients lost during exercise.

But why are sodium and potassium important, and how does natural fruit juice fit into all this?

Let's take a look...

It Prevents Muscle Cramps

Sodium increases the rate that our bloodstream absorbs fluid, which helps us stay hydrated. Potassium helps the transmission of nerve impulses, maintains heart function, and supports muscle flexibility. If your electrolytes get low during a workout and your potassium levels fall too far, then you are at a high risk of muscle weakness, cramps, and fatigue.

Don't go reaching for that Gatorade bottle yet, however. While commercial sports drinks are beneficial and help regulate electrolyte levels, they are also filled with high fructose corn syrup. Drinking a glass of squeezed fresh orange juice provides all the same benefits while also giving your body natural sugars and a whole lot of vitamins and nutrients.

I am particularly fond of the Honey Tangerine juice from Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Co. Tangerines provide all the same benefits of oranges, but with a little more Vitamin A (which helps boost the immune system). 

It Improves Blood Pressure

Regular consumption of orange juice can also help improve blood pressure, since it contains hesperidin. This healthy chemical in our morning OJ supports small blood vessels which leads to lower blood pressure and decreased risk of heart problems. If you want to get more scientific about this, then check out this 2011 study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Grapefruits, like oranges, are a great source of hesperidin. But they also act as a natural fat burner and metabolism booster. The grapefruit juice from Natalie's is a great choice for your post-workout drink.

This post was sponsored by Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Co.

Photos by Ramon Abreu