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 the body refuel, recover 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, the carbohydrates in white milk (12g) and chocolate milk (25g) helps refuel muscle glycogen. 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, and most proteins from plants are lower-quality proteins.
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.