Skip This Protein-Packed Drink Before Going On A Run

A good, strong run can strengthen your body, calm your mind, and empower your spirit. Whether you're heading out for a short run to shake off stress or a long run to prepare for your first marathon, you'll need a certain amount of hydration in your system. According to Better Health Channel, running while dehydrated can make your workout seem harder and can put excessive strain on your body and mind.

While it's good practice to maintain your hydration levels throughout your waking hours, you'll need to drink at least 20 ounces of fluids within two hours before your run, according to Runner's World. Water is your best option, and a sports drink might help for longer runs. If you're a morning runner and need a little help from caffeine, it's fine to have a cup of coffee or tea. If you're feeling bold, you could try some beet juice. Because milk is high in protein, you'll probably want to skip it until after your workout.

Milk does a body good...after a run

A cup of 1% milk has 8 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat. According to the Cleveland Clinic, protein and fat take longer to digest, so milk might have your stomach gurgling as it tries to digest during your run. That could leave you feeling a little sick and sluggish for the track. Milk also contains 13 grams of lactose, which can be difficult to digest for two-thirds of the world with lactose malabsorption, according to the National Institutes of Health. While not everyone with lactose malabsorption experiences symptoms, others could experience gas and bloating, which are not fun when running with friends.

While milk may not be the best choice before a run, chocolate milk can play a valuable role in post-run recovery, according to Runner's World. Chocolate milk contains two essential nutrients for recovery: protein and carbohydrates. The protein in milk provides the amino acids necessary for repairing and building muscle tissue damaged during exercise. Additionally, the carbohydrates help replenish the glycogen stores in the muscles that are depleted during a run. Chocolate milk will also help you rehydrate (via Shape).

Other drinks and foods to skip before a run

Although you might have enjoyed Sunny D or juice boxes as a kid, they aren't a good choice before a run. "Most of these fruity drinks are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener that's been shown to initiate liver dysfunction, metabolic syndrome, and obesity," dietician Angela Onsgard tells Runner's World.

A beer run might be necessary on a Friday night, but a beer before a run isn't a wise choice. Alcohol dehydrates you, so you're defeating any efforts to keep up your hydration levels. Wine and beer do have some nutrients, but it's better to enjoy them after a run.

A cool glass of La Croix might be refreshing on a hot day, but any carbonated drink will bubble in your stomach as well. Finally, don't think that you can cut calories in your sports drink. Some low-calorie or sugar-free sports drinks have sorbitol, which can make your run a little noisy and uncomfortable.