Try milk for a natural sports recovery drink.
By: Sarah Sleziak Johnson, Michigan State University Extension
Michigan State University Extension and National Dairy Council suggest “Milk: Nature’s Sports Drink.” Milk provides key nutrients to your body so it’s a great way to refuel. Milk is a natural recovery drink with benefits, from taste to nutrients.
Chocolate milk, according to National Dairy Council’s Think Your Drink, contains carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium. These are all mentioned above as the items that are needed to refuel the body after physical activity. In addition to the vitamins and minerals listed, milk also contains potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and niacin. In total, that’s nine essential nutrients your body needs. These nutrients are not added to milk, they occur in milk naturally.
Twenty minutes to two hours following physical activity, according to gotchocolatemilk.com, athletes should refuel the following:
- Electrolytes: Electrolytes are salts and minerals that help your body maintain fluid balance and perform at its best. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes like sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
- Protein: Protein reduces muscle breakdown and stimulates growth. It also works with carbohydrates to help replenish the energy stores in your muscles.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs are an athlete’s preferred source of energy. After a long practice or race your muscle glycogen (the back-up fuel storage in your muscles) is depleted.
Rehydrating after physical activity is also important. Chocolate milk will also replenish fluids lost during physical activity because it is 90 percent water. This can help to prevent dehydration.
Although you may not want to drink chocolate milk during physical activity, because it may upset your stomach, it is the perfect drink after physical activity. After physical activity, choose a drink that will help you rehydrate and refuel. Reach for nature’s sports drink, chocolate milk.