Remember Lucozade, anyone? The orange drink we used to drink before and after exercise? Nowadays, you’re just as likely to see runners reaching for a coconut water or beetroot juice. The world of natural recovery/rehydration drinks is booming, leading to a 2% year-on-year growth in the soft drinks market. There are a number of new players emerging, too, who are using innovative techniques to squeeze every bit of nutritional value from their juice.
One such brand is Mello, the first and only range of raw, fresh melon juice.
Mello prides itself on using an innovative new technology called High Pressure Processing. This is a move away from Heat Pasteurising, an approach that can damage the taste and vitamin levels of the natural fruit (it can, for instance, reduce the vitamin C content in some fruits by nearly a third). But why melons? Well, the fruit is highly concentrated with excellent levels of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and dietary fibre. Cantaloupe melon is also rich in antioxidants that can help to prevent cancer and heart diseases.
The hipster beverage of choice, coconut water has taken the drinks market by storm over the past 18 months. Yet it’s hardly a new discovery. For thousands of years, coconut water has been used as a source of hydration. Rich in electrolytes but low in calories, it’s an ideal thirst quencher.
Vita Coco may have the lion’s share of this market, but a number of new brands are emerging to give it a run for its money. INVO prides itself on its “100 per cent raw” product. Picked, opened and extracted from Thailand, it says its coconut juice is bottled and packaged up within minutes.
Like Mello, the product then undergoes HPP to ensure the liquid doesn’t lose any of its natural nutrients, keeping it pure and clean.
INVO’s Gabrielle Griot said: “Coconut water is naturally isotonic, so it’s incredibly hydrating. It’s nature’s answer to a sports drink. I would say its best to drink it after exercise as it is replenishing. But it is light and low in calories, so is good to drink during too – you can never be too hydrated!”
Another brand looking to become a coconut king is Zico. Founded by Mark Rampolla, a keen runner and hiker, the product is aimed at both athletes and non-athletes alike. The drink boasts many of the same benefits as Invo, with their coconuts being sourced from Thailand and Indonesia.
Research has shown that beetroot juice can help you train for longer and tolerate more exercise as it improves the body’s ability to turn oxygen into energy. It is also great for the heart as it lowers blood pressure, making it the perfect health drink.
The strong taste of beetroot juice, however, makes it a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of drink. But if you can stomach the taste, its benefits are many.
A leading brand of beetroot juice is Beet IT. The drink is made of 90 per cent beetroot juice and 10 per cent apple juice and is free from all fertilisers and pesticides
What’s your favourite recovery drink? Let us know in the comments section below