Much of the scientific work in optimizing recovery post workout has focused on the use of “experimental solutions” prepared in a laboratory designed to optimize specific components of foods (e.g. carbohydrate and protein) that may be useful in isolation to enhance sport performance. Unfortunately these solutions miss out on the “package” of nutrients found in foods, which work in concert to improve the health as well as the performance of a body undergoing the rigours of athletic training for sport performance.
However, in the last few years clinical research in sport nutrition has focused on a food that contains the potential to aid physically active men and women in their quest for losing excess body fat and gaining muscle mass, and to improve athletes’ refueling, re hydration and subsequent sport performance(1).That food is chocolate milk. It supplies a carbohydrate-protein combination that maximizes post workout recovery, it contains calcium and vitamin D which promote overall muscle, bone, and cardiovascular health; and it is a source of fluids for post-exercise replacement of sweat losses.
Chocolate milk has proven to be an effective food and fluid for optimal recovery from the stress of training for sport performance.Wilkinson et al, 2006 found that young men doing resistance training could get greater gains in muscle protein by drinking chocolate milk versus the equivalent amounts of a soy beverage. Karp et al. 2006 highlighted chocolate milk’s ergolytic potential for maintaining exercise performance in subsequent bouts of exhaustive endurance exercise when used as a post workout recovery drink. Shirrafs et al., 2007 recently pointed out that milk has potential to be more effective for post-exercise replacement of sweat losses and maintenance of euaydration when compared to water and commercially available sports drinks of similar concentration of carbohydrate.
Chocolate Milk’s Nutrient Power Punch Profile
Milk is 87 per cent water and the perfect beverage to hydrate our bodies before, during and after exercise. Milk also contains protein, minerals and vitamins essential for your body to recover.
Drinking milk after a resistance training workout promotes greater gains in muscle protein, which is important in repairing skeletal muscle damage caused by exercise
Drinking milk post workout contributes to greater gains in muscle mass and body fat loss than soy beverages or sport drinks.
Milk is effective as a post workout re hydrater.
For optimal recovery, encourage your athletes to include chocolate milk and to follow the R5 approach:
1. Re-energize muscles with carbohydrate rich foods such as breads and cereals, fruits, low fat chocolate milk and fruit yogurts for maximum energy;
2. Re-vitalize muscles with anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals found in brightly colored vegetables and fruits;
3. Re-build bones and muscles with protein and other essential nutrients found in low fat milk products, meats and alternatives
4. Re-oxygenate muscles with iron and protein found in meats, leafy green vegies, fortified grains and cereals;
5. Re-hydrate with water and other fluids, before, during, and after physical activity sessions.
(1) (Wilkinson et al., 2006. AJCN 85:1031-1040; Hartman et al., 2007, AJCN 86:373-381; Shirrafs et al., 2007 Br J Nutr; 98:173-180; Karp et al., 2006; IJSNEM, 16:78-91).