A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice may sound simple, but it provides a refreshing, delicious and nutrient-packed start to your day. Beyond its status as a tasty breakfast beverage, OJ provides a quick and easy way to hydrate and fuel for your mid- or late-day workout or training session.
How Orange Juice Stymies Inflammation
Orange juice contains a boatload of antioxidants, including—you guessed it—vitamin C, which helps quench muscle-damaging inflammation and oxidative stress brought on by intense exercise.
Can Orange Juice Enhance Your Workout?
Research findings on whether orange juice can improve endurance or performance remain inconclusive. However, one study showed that a deficiency in vitamin C impairs the body's ability to use oxygen during exercise, and causes a subsequent dip in endurance.
Another study found that hesperidin, a flavonoid in orange juice, lowered blood pressure and boosted vasodilation—the ability of blood vessels to widen. Dilated blood vessels promote the transport of more oxygen-rich blood to hard-working muscles during training.
Opt for organic oranges, if possible, for the fresh-squeezed OJ recipe below:
- 3 to 4 medium-sized oranges
- Cut oranges in half and squeeze into a glass or bowl using a citrus reamer.
- For a pulp-free version, use a hand juicer with a strainer or feed quartered orange slices into your electric juicer.
If plain orange juice sounds boring, add a variety of other flavors and textures to your recipe. Here's a creamier, tropical variation on the theme:
- 1/2 cup of fresh pineapple pieces
- 1/2 a banana
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or water
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