Studies have shown that milk’s powerful nutrient package has several benefits for post-exercise recovery. Emerging research shows drinking milk — both white and chocolate — after exercise can be as effective as some sports drinks in helping to restore the body. It’s a one stop shop to help professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike meet the three of the R’s of recovery — rebuild, refuel and rehydrate.
Hydrating & Recovering After Exercise
Milk is an effective workout recovery drink. Its protein helps muscles recover after a tough workout and stimulates muscle growth. Plus, chocolate milk has the right 3:1 carb-to-protein ration scientifically shown to replenish muscle glycogen (muscle fuel) quickly. Milk is approximately 90% water, so its fluid and electrolyte content (sodium and potassium) can help rehydrate your body and replenish what’s lost in sweat.
Providing High-Quality Protein
Dairy foods are a good source of high-quality protein. Not only does protein help us feel fuller longer, but it also protects muscles after we work out, strengthens our immune system and regulates our metabolism.
Milk contains two types of protein: casein (80%) and whey (20%). Both offer high-quality protein and essential amino acids in amounts sufficient to support the many roles of protein in the body. White milk, chocolate milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and Greek-style yogurt all contain high-quality protein. Proteins from animal food sources are complete high-quality proteins. The high-quality protein found in milk, cheese, yogurt and whey protein powder, as well as in meat, pork, poultry, fish, eggs and soy, can help you meet your daily needs. Since most plant proteins do not provide significant amounts of all the essential amino acids the body needs, a variety of plant foods are often needed.
Whey protein is one of the best sources of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), including leucine, which has been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Whey protein can be removed from milk, dried into a powder and used as an ingredient providing high-quality protein to a number of food and beverages.
Consuming whey protein after your exercise can help restore muscle and replenish glycogen — helping you make the most out of your next workout. When consumed as part of a resistance training program, whey protein can help build more lean muscle.