Most of us may have water on tap and milk chilling in the fridge, but did you know these budget-friendly bevs (and more!) could do more than quench your thirst? We’ve rounded up 21 drink suggestions for every type of situation and need. From pickle juice to whiskey to cherry juice, these drinks can boost endurance, ease colds, and even help beat upset stomachs.
To Build Muscle — Milk
Milk can get you jacked. Bro or not, milk contains the proteins whey and casein (both have all the essential amino acids) that help build muscle . Hartman, J.W., Tang, J.E., Wilkinson, S.B., et al. Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Aug;86(2):373-81..
To Lose Weight — Green Tea/Grapefruit Juice
Turn to the world’s most widely consumed beverage, green tea, which can help control weight by slightly enhancing metabolism (with four cups a day) . Cabrera, C., Artacho, R., Gimenez, R., Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología, Facultad de Farmacia, Campus Universitario de Granada, Granada, Spain.Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2006 Apr;25(2):79-99. . Basu, A., Sanchez, K., Leyva, M.J. et al. Nutritional Sciences, Human Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2010 Feb;29(1):31-40.. Grapefruit juice has also been shown to have weight loss benefits, and eating ½ a grapefruit with each meal showed greater benefits than juice alone . Silver, H.J., Dietrich, M.S., Niswender, K.D. Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2011 Feb 2;8(1):8..
To Recover — Water/Chocolate Milk/Sports Drink
Most important after a workout: Drink water to replace water or sweat losses . Maughan, R.J., Shirreffs, S.M. University Medical School, Aberdeen, UK. Journal of Sports Sciences, Jun;15(3):297-303.. Chocolate milk can also help the body recover after exercise because of its carb-to-protein ratio (four to one) Lunn, W.R., Pasiakos, S.M., Colleto, M.R. Exercise Science Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2012 Apr;44(4):682-91.. Or try making your own — with carbs, sodium, potassium, and sometimes a hint of protein — for a cheaper, more natural (less fluorescent alternative).
For a Run — Water/Tart Cherry Juice/Coconut Water
Water should be the first go-to, but longer (90 minutes or more) may require a sports drink like Gatorade to replace lost sodium and other electrolytes . Sun, J.M., Chia, J.K., Aziz, A.R., et al. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, 2008 Apr;37(4):261-5.. Drinking tart cherry juice for a week before a strenuous run can minimize post-run muscle pain, too . Kuehl, K.S., Perrier, E.T., Elliot, D.L., et al. Department of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2010 May 7;7:17. . Bowtell, J.L., Sumners, D.P., Dyer, A. Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre, London South Bank University, London, United Kingdom. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2011 Aug;43(8):1544-51.. But it doesn't always have to take that long. Tart cherry juice can also improve muscle recovery when it's consumed immediately after a workout . Bowtell, J.L., Sumners, D.P., Dyer, A., et al. Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre, London South Bank University, London, United Kingdom. Medicine in Science and Sports Exercise, 2011 Aug;43(8):1544-51.. Coconut water has been found to offer the same hydration and exercise endurance support as the leading sports drink, but with fewer calories . Ismail, I., Singh, R., Sirisinghe, R.G., Sports Science Unit, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. 2007 Jul;38(4):769-85..
For Muscle Cramps — Pickle Juice
If you can stomach it, might help alleviate — painful muscle spasms, usually in the legs. Those same cramp-fighting properties can also help people prevent painful contractions from even occurring. Research suggests the juice may even help our muscles and brains communicate better when fatigued . Miller, K.C., Mack, G.W., Knight, K.L. Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2010 May;42(5):953-61..
For an Upset Stomach — Ginger Ale
Sick to your stomach? Maybe drinking all that pickle juice to quell muscle cramps did you in. Even though kicking back fluids may be the last activity on the want-to-do list, stick to — like water and ginger ale — and sports drinks to get the body some much-needed hydration . Ryan, J.L, Heckler, C.E., Roscoe, J.A., et al. Department of Dermatology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY et al. Support Care Cancer, 2012 July; 20(7): 1479-1489. Sun, J.M., Chia, J.K., Aziz, A.R., et al. Changi Sports Medicine Centre, Changi General Hospital, Singapore. Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore, 2008 Apr;37(4):261-5.. may also do the trick since ginger root can help treat nausea. (Pro tip: Flat soda will be easier on the stomach without that carbonation.)
For a Head Cold — Lemon and Honey Tea
Drinking fluids can generally help loosen up the gunk that makes us congested (hot tea or broth may be especially helpful) . A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Last reviewed: August 2, 2011.. It may be best, however, to steer clear of milk and other dairy beverages when you’re all stuffed up. Some people might be more susceptible to an increase in phlegm production (ew) when loading up on dairy ? Bartley, J., McGlashan, S.R. Division of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Counties-Manukau District Health Board, New Zealand. Medical Hypotheses 2010 Apr;74(4):732-4. Epub 2009 Nov 25.. A — whiskey, lemon, and honey — may alleviate a cold (and there’s liquor, so it’s got to make us feel better, right?).
For a Cough — Honey
Honey can help treat coughs associated with upper respiratory tract infections because it coats the back of the throat and the sweetness may cause us to . Paul, I.M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A. Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.2007 Dec;161(12):1140-6.. Drink plenty of fluids in general, because they help thin the mucus lodged in the throat and make it easier to cough up . A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Last reviewed: May 25, 2011..
For a Sore Throat — Turmeric Tea
Drinking most fluids will help keep the throat moist. To sooth a sore throat, try Mark Sisson’s . Warm (made from ground almonds and water), ginger, cayenne, and honey combine for a magical peacemaker to an unhappy throat. The turmeric helps because it can reduce inflammation in the throat . Prasad, S., Aggarwal, B. Bookshelf ID: NBK92752PMID: 22593922.
For Mouth Sores — Coconut Milk
We don’t have to tell you to avoid spicy stuff… it’s gonna hurt. If you do have mouth sores or burns from hot food, try gargling (or drinking some) because coconut oil can help treat fungal infections, like canker sores . Ogbolu, D.O., Oni, A.A., Daini, O.A. Department of Medical Microbiology & Parasitology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of Medicinal Food, Jun;10(2):384-7..
For Constipation — Aloe
If you’re backed up, try — aloe has laxative effects . Surjushe, A., Vasani Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2008; 53(4): 163–166.. A hefty glass of water with powdered (a plant fiber) can also help get you on the right track . AHFS Consumer Medication Information. Last Revision: October 1, 2010..
For Sleepiness — Coffee/Water/Spirulina
For a mid-day pick-me-up, sip on a mug of coffee (duh). can perk you up, too, and so can a drink spiked with powder (you can get it at most health food stores). The powder, derived from blue-green algae, is one of the most nutrient dense foods with a ton of vitamins and minerals that boost energy . Kulshreshtha, A., Zacharia, A.J., Jarouliya, U., et al. School of Studies in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Jiwaji University, India. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 2008 Oct;9(5):400-5..
To Fall Asleep — Tart Cherry Juice/Warm Milk/Chamomile
Brandy used to be the go-to sedative in the medical community during the 19th century . Guly, H., Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital Plymouth, Derriford Rd., Plymouth, UK. 2011 July; 82(7-2): 951–954.. A (or seven) before bed may soothe you into dreamland, but for an alcohol-free drink, try tart cherry juice. It ups melatonin levels, which help improve sleep duration and sleep quality . Howatson, G., Bell, P.G., Tallent, J. School of Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Northumberland Building, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. European Journal of Nutrition, 2011Oct 30.. Chamomile can also help ease you into a deep sleep . Srivastava, J.K, Shankar, E., Gupta, S. Department of Urology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Molecular Medicine Reports, 2012 Nov 1; 3(6): 895-901..
To Lift Spirits — Lemon Balm Tea
, herbs steeped in hot water, can chill us out when we’re peeved . Kennedy, D.O., Wake, G., Savelev, S., et al. Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, Northumbria University, UK. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2003 Oct;28(10):1871-81.. Teatime, in general, has been found to reduce blood pressure . Rogers, P.J., Smith, J.E., Heatherley, S.V., et al. Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, UK. Psychopharmacology, 2008 Jan;195(4):569-77. Epub 2007 Sep 23..
For Digestion — Water/Herbal Tea
(and after eating) helps digest food, as does herbal tea (especially mint or peppermint) . Prescrire International. 2008 Jun;17(95):121-3. . Ranasinghe, P., Perera, S., Gunatilake, M., Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Pharmacognosy Research, 2012 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 73–79.. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon for an extra digestion aid.
For Spicy Food — Milk/Yogurt
The fat and protein in milk or drinkable yogurt (such as ) can ease the burn of spicy food (so nonfat milk or dairy products may not do the trick) . Nasrawi, C.W., Pangborn, R.M. Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California. Physiology and Behavior, 1990 Apr;47(4):617-23.. The slightly acidic milk helps neutralize ingredients like capsaicin, which are basic.
For a Hangover — Water/Orange Juice/Banana Smoothie
Drinking water is key to avoid feeling like death the morning after. But if it’s too late (we’ve all been there), whip up a smoothie. The two potassium rich ingredients up the electrolytes lost from boozing too hard. Since alcohol leads to a drop in blood sugar, a glass of OJ can also help bring us back to normal . Huang, Z., Sjoholm, A. Karolinska Institutet, Department of Internal Medicine, Stockholm South Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Endocrinology, 2008 Jan;149(1):232-6. Epub 2007 Oct 4..
For Dehydration — Coconut Water
can rehydrate, perhaps more than plain old water. The carb-electrolyte balance is great for hydrating, especially after exercise Rehydration . Saat, M., Singh, R., Sirisinghe, R.G., et al. Department of Physiology, School of Medical Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia. Journal of Physiologal Anthropology and Applied Human Science. 2002 Mar;21(2):93-104..
For Bad Breath — Water
This one’s easy. Since acids — like coffee, and orange juice — and sugary beverages bring on bad breath, it may be best to follow the malodorous beverages with to wash that stink away . A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Last reviewed: February 22, 2012..
For Hunger — Milk
Drinking between meals can stave of hunger. In comparison with a fruit drink, guzzling skim milk leads to increased satiety (a fancy word for feeling full or satisfied) . Dove, E.R., Hodgson, J.M., Puddey, I.B., et al. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009 Jul;90(1):70-5. Epub 2009 May 27..
For Gas and Bloating — Water with Baking Soda
Not this kind of gas. If you’re out in public and afraid one will slip, mix a small amount of , and kick it back. Probiotic drinks may decrease flatulence too . Nobaek, S., Johansson, M.L., Molin, G., et al. Department of Surgery, Lund University, Lund University Hospital, Sweden. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2000 May;95(5):1231-8.. Also avoid . Inhaling all that air will cause… well you know.
What are your go-to drinks for ailments or workouts? Share your tips in the comments below!