Sport: Nutrition, Energy & Recovery1

Athletes have good reason to focus on nutrition: replacing fluid and nutrients after an intense work out helps repair and replenish muscles and maintain strong bones. If nutrients are not replaced during and after exercise, athletes experience fatigue and may not be able to keep up the intensity of their workouts.

Milk is an effective sports recovery drink due to it’s naturally occurring carbohydrates (energy), proteins (muscle recovery) and electrolytes (re-hydration). One beverage that is often overlooked as a recovery drink is milk.   Milk’s nutrients are rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body to produce energy during and replenish nutrient stores after activity. New research shows that milk consumed as a post-exercise recovery and rehydration beverage is just as effective, if not more so, than commercially-available sports drinks, and can increase muscle growth.

One of the key nutrients in milk is protein: the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein for healthy adults is 0.4 grams per pound of body weight, however for athletes it may be higher. 

Milk is also a good source of carbohydrates: carbohydrates consumed within thirty minutes after exercising will be transported to muscles for immediate use or stored as glycogen for Failing to consume adequate carbohydrates after exercising can lead to fatigue and muscle soreness.

Flavoured milk has become a favourite of athletes as a post-exercise rehydration beverage: While providing all of the nutritional benefits of plain milk, the additional carbohydrates from sugar in chocolate or strawberry milk are easily absorbed and metabolised.  Recent research has found the chocolate milk is not only an effective recovery aidafter prolonged exercise, but that it can actually improve performance in subsequent exercise bouts.  

Rugby player Joe Marler2 recently revealed that drinking two pints of "full cream” milk every day was the secret behind his remarkable recovery from a broken leg in less than three weeks to take his place in the England team to face France. Marler says he dramatically increased his consumption of milk-consuming over six gallons in total-to aid his recovery that was masterminded by England’s senior physiotherapist Phil Pask.



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