When it comes to refueling after exercise; there are few foods that compare to the nutritional powerhouse of milk. Emerging research in adult athletes has demonstrated that one serving of cow’s milk post-exercise may help reduce muscle damage and improve muscle recovery–which in turn, may help the body perform better during its next workout. So what happens to the body during exercise and why is recovery nutrition so important?
- When you exercise, you lose fluid in the form of sweat. The harder you exercise, the more fluid is lost. In addition to fluid, electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are depleted as we sweat.
- During exercise, your body relies on blood glucose and stored muscle glucose (glycogen) as fuel – or energy. This stored muscle glucose is often depleted after exercise and needs to be replaced, in the form of dietary carbohydrates.
- Lastly, during activity, muscle is broken down. While this is a natural result of strenuous activity, future athletic performance in practices and games is largely impacted by how well our muscles rebuild and resynthesize new muscle fibers after a workout. Protein aids in this recovery effort. Milk, both white and chocolate, provides key nutrients needed after exercise.
- Milk is 90% water and a great tasting choice after practices and games. Milk’s fluids and electrolytes, including calcium, potassium and magnesium, rehydrate the body and replenish what is lost in sweat.
- Carbohydrates in milk refuel muscles and replenish glycogen (energy) stores.
- High quality protein aids in muscle recovery and repair.
- Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus build and maintain strong bones.
- Milk provides potassium to help ward off muscle cramping.
- B vitamins in milk help convert food to energy.
For the past five years, Pedal The Plains riders have been refueling with Colorado chocolate milk provided for free by the dairy farm families of Dairy Max. Chocolate milk provides what many consider the “golden ratio” of carbohydrates to protein (3 to 4 grams of carbohydrate for every 1 gram of protein) necessary for optimal recovery. Improve your post-exercise regimen by refueling with milk within 30 minutes after a workout.
Visit DairyDiscoveryZone.com to read more about milk as an exercise recovery beverage and learn how to eat for peak athletic performance.
Note: 2019 PTP riders will be stopping at Syracuse Dairy in Syracuse, Kansas. This is a great opportunity to see a huge dairy operation. Anyone that takes a photo of themselves at Syracuse Dairy and posts on Facebook and/or Instragram, and tags PTP and Dairy MAX you will receive a $10 off coupon for PTP merchandise!