What You May Be Missing From Your Post-Recovery Drink
Are you quick to grab a carbohydrate-based sports drink immediately after a workout? If so, you’re missing out.
Science shows us that a combination of carbs AND protein has the biggest impact on recovery.
Timing is Everything
What we eat after a workout could impact how we perform at our next workout. This “window of opportunity,” or 30 minutes following exercise, is the best time to refuel with both carbs and protein.
Energy is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver and is readily available for energy. Carbohydrates from food replenish your glycogen stores so you are ready to get on with your day. Protein repairs and rebuilds muscle. The best food to refuel and rebuild has a ratio of carbohydrate to protein of 3:1. Complicated? Chocolate milk meets that standard, and so much more.
Nature’s Sports Drink
Athletes often pay close attention to how they are fueling their body throughout the day to enhance performance. The right macros (carbohydrate, protein and fat), other nutrients and timing may give an athlete a competitive edge. Science tells us that the carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes found in chocolate milk can aid in refueling and recovery when consumed after exercise. That’s why chocolate milk has been described as nature’s sports drink.
Chocolate milk helps replace fluids and electrolytes (such as calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium) lost through sweat.
Other dairy snacks can provide similar benefits. Try a smoothie with milk, Greek yogurt and fruit, or cheese and crackers.
The Latest Research
A recent study adds further support for this body of research. It showed that athletes competing or training multiple days in a row performed BETTER the day after refueling with carbohydrate and protein during the window of opportunity than athletes who refueled with carbohydrate only (such as sports drinks). These athletes were able to exercise longer and at a higher intensity than the carbohydrate only group. These results support chocolate milk as an ideal recovery drink.