Your hands might be burning and your disc brakes scorching, but once the bike is safely locked in the shed your only concern should be choosing the right recovery drink to ensure you get your mind and body get back on track. Here’s our run-through of the best, wildest, and tastiest post-ride drinks, a sure-fire way to round off a great day of riding in shaken, not stirred, martini style.
The classic – but it has to be chilled for the ultimate refreshment (none of that room-temperature rubbish). This golden-yellow hop-based drink is an unofficially official staple for any true mountain man. Locally brewed beers score extra points, and forget Becks & Co. After a hard ride, the first sip can prompt one of two reactions: one, an explosion of your senses, or visions of the fluid incarnation of heaven on earth. Either way, never drink and ride, otherwise heaven might actually come earlier than you think.
The double trouble of beer and lemonade presents you with an ultra refreshing, mega-palatable, and therefore duly popular beverage. Plus, there’s no need to stop at one.
Water is life, right? Seeing as the earth’s surface is basically 70 % water, it’s a pretty vital ingredient for everything on this list, making it the ultimate thirst-quencher. It’s just a shame it doesn’t get your taste buds going quite like the other options. You can try adding slices of lemon, but don’t expect wonders.
With such a sexy-sounding name, we can only guess how hard you’re finding it to resist. As you might guess, this is a non-alcoholic cocktail of just two ingredients, apple juice and water. It’s a particularly isotonic mix, so it’s actually a fairly sensible option for a post-ride refuel. But who wants sensible?
Known purely to the elite that go skiing in the alps every year in their neon garb, Skiwasser has a touch of exclusivity, and any self-respecting Alpine skier must have tried it at least once. Skiwasser is a super-sweet and revitalizing drink made with equal measures of raspberry syrup and soda water, and freshened up with a slice of lemon. While in winter it’s the ultimate pre-apres-ski loading drink, in summer it’s just an unbeatable thirst-quencher.
When your body is short on energy, there’s really only one answer – and it just happens to be this sugar-overloaded beverage. Usually most sought-after when suffering sugar cravings, you’ve surely earned the treat after all that exertion on your bike.
Crammed with chemicals and usually overly sweet, energy drinks are not usually classified as tasty, but you’re usually drinking one for a reason: to push yourself (or just to emulate one of their many super-cool sponsored riders). The caffeine wakes you up not only while you’re shredding in the bike park, but also for the long journey home as well. However, be aware that it’s just a short-term boost, and the subsequent slump isn’t easy to overcome. Another can, anyone?
For true hipsters, there’s only drink in existence and that’s got to be a smooth espresso. Not just a tool to help wake up, it’s also a good conversation starter: beans, roasts, grinding, and brews… the topics are endless. Pro tip: if you want two espressos, don’t say two espressos, or two espressi, but go for ‘due café.’
Best avoided as the immediate post-ride recovery drink, but ideal for quaffing while out on the terrace once you’re showered. Also an accepted replacement for sleeping tablets after a long day out riding.
Gin and Tonic
There’s more controversy surrounding gin and the right tonic than there is about tire combinations, forks, and other bike parts. Be wary of trying to explore all the potential tastes on offer, as you’ll have a big job ahead of you. Plus, gin is best enjoyed on an infrequent basis, ideally outside on a rare summer’s day with a glass heaped full of ice cubes.
Weißbier (Wheat beer)
The ancient Egyptians were among the first to celebrate this beverage, which boasts more nutrients and electrolytes than pretty much all else. Plus, it’s super-isotonic. Your best bet is to go for the non-alcoholic version for true regeneration, but we won’t tell if you don’t. Pro tip: don’t pour the whole bottle into the glass straight away. Pour half, then give the remainder a little swill to loosen up the yeast.[/emaillocker]
For those who’ve been to Berlin, you’ll be well familiar with Club-Mate, as you’ll rarely see a clubber without one in their hand. Ultra-high in caffeine, it’s a fizzy soft drink that tastes more like a water-filled ashtray in your mouth. Doesn’t sound delicious – but trust us, it’s a grower.
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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Noah Haxel, Julian Mittelstädt