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Got Chocolate Milk?

08/01/2014, 1:45pm EDT
By JH

Got Chocolate Milk?

The combination of carbohydrates and protein in low-fat chocolate milk appears to be "just right" for refueling weary muscles, says William Lunn, PhD, an exercise scientist at the University of Connecticut.1

As an athlete, you have probably heard a coach or trainer tell you that it is beneficial to have a post-workout snack that included some protein and some carbohydrate.  Up to now you’ve probably chugged a sugary sports nutrition drink and grabbed a protein bar, but now researchers indicate that you can get both of these essential recovery nutrients in one drink, CHOCOLATE MILK.  That’s right the staple of school lunches everywhere, is also a great source for replenishing muscles after a strenuous workout.   Additionally, studies also advocate that milk is better at rehydrating the body after particularly grueling workouts, “milk may be more effective than water or sports drinks at restoring and maintaining normal hydration status after exercise, likely due to milk’s electrolyte content and energy density”.2 This is particularly beneficial to wrestlers due to the inherently large loss of fluids during workouts. Furthermore, the calcium in milk can help stave off the negative effects of rigorous exercise on substantial calcium loss, which in turn could reduce the risk of stress fractures3. So it appears that the drink you may have always considered a treat, is also a beneficial tool in post-workout recovery. "Serious and amateur athletes alike enjoyed physical recovery benefits when they drank low-fat chocolate milk after a vigorous workout," said Dr. John Ivy, lead researcher on the studies and chair of The University of Texas at Austin College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. "The advantages for the study participants were better body composition in the form of more muscle and less fat, improved times while working out and overall better physical shape than peers who consumed sports beverages that just contained carbohydrates."4 Consider pairing your chocolate milk with an easy to carry carbohydrate rich food like, banana, apple or bagel and as always add plenty of water as well.  Wrestling workouts, as we all know, are some of the most taxing workouts in the world, thus you’re going to lose a lot of fluids and they need to be replaced. (Talk to your coach about how much is appropriate if you’re making weight.) Because wrestling workouts are so strenuous, you are also going to tear down muscle with every workout.  A suitable post-workout snack is an essential tool for ensuring you maximize your recovery and ultimately your training.  Good luck!

Next Installment: Competition Day Nutrition

 

1.      http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/chocolate-milk-after-workout/

2.      Sawka MN, Montain SJ. Fluid and electrolyte supplementation for exercise heat stress. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000;72:564S-572S.

3.      Klesges RC, Ward KD, Shelton ML, Applegate WB, Cantler ED, Palmieri GM, Harmon K, Davis J.. Changes in bone mineral content in male athletes. Mechanisms of action and intervention effects. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1996; 276:226-230

4.      http://www.utexas.edu/news/2011/06/22/milk_studies/

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