I can offer you
- a super duper pricey specially formulated energy drink or
- a mother nature’s special (chocolate milk)
Most sports nuts would probably opt to swig down the specially formulate sports drink, but mother nature’s formulation would be a better option, both for your muscles and for your wallet.
The post-exercise pep up
The muscles following a stiff work-out, do appreciate a little tender loving care. The best time to give them a little love, is in the two-hour window following a strenuous exercise session.
The benefit of giving them a little TLC, is that the muscles will be able to recover speedily from the stresses and strains and so be in tip top shape for the next exercise session.
The Chocolate milk advantage
Researchers tested out there theory that chocolate milk would be the perfect post-exercise pep up on moderately trained male runners.
After an exercise session, the athletes either consumed a typical sports drink or a carton of chocolate milk. The pep up beverages were identical, in terms of the number of calories consumed, to ensure that there was no difference in the energy provided by the drink. The effects of the drinks were assessed by analyzing muscle biopsies.
After chocolate milk, the muscles synthesized more protein suggesting more repair and rebuilding was happening
- the glycogen concentration (muscle fuel) was higher after 30 minutes and 60 minutes
- there was less signs of muscle breakdown
Overall, the milk outperformed the carbohydrate loaded sports drink.
Not just for runners
The researchers also tried chocolate milk on a group of elite male and female cyclists. The riders were put through a tough ride and were given either chocolate milk or a carbohydrate drink during a four hour rest.
Next they did a 40 km time trail. The chocolate milk peddle was significantly quicker than the ride following the carbohydrate drink.
So what is so special about chocolate milk ?
Milk includes both carbohydrates (in the form of lactose and glucose) and high-quality protein, whereas sports drinks contain carbs only (in the form of glucose).
Mother nature manages to package the proteins : carbohydrates in the optimal ratio for muscle recovery. The carbohydrates provide energy to refuel exhausted muscles and the protein builds lean muscle. At the same time, the milk provides fluids for rehydration, replaces the electrolytes lost through sweating and adds in a few extra goodies, not typically found in sports drinks.
Chocolate milk is a cost effective option
Chocolate milk is far more than a kid’s beverage – it’s the drink of champions. If you need to refuel and recover, you don’t need to spend a fortune on commercial sports drinks – just down a carton of low fat chocolate milk.
PS. If you just ran for the bus or barely worked up a sweat, then your exercise session does not qualify as a strenuous workout. Don’t swig down anything. It will just put on the pounds, because as soon as calories in, exceed calories out, the scales have been tipped towards weight gain.
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..