A new school year brings another year of school sports. With average temperatures still in the 90s throughout much of the South, it’s vital that student athletes are properly hydrated before, during, and after practice. As little as a 1 percent loss in body weight due to sweat loss results in a decrease in performance and focus.
Milk is an inexpensive, readily available recovery beverage that will help your student athletes bounce back from intense workouts. Even more, with protein and eight other health benefits of dairy, milk offers more nutrition than the average sports drink with much less sugar at a fraction of the cost.
Here are some ways milk can keep your student athletes hydrated and satiated.
As the temperature and humidity increase, so does your need to hydrate. Since your muscles are 75 percent water, both fluids and electrolytes are important to achieve optimal hydration and prevent performance deficits. As hydration is cumulative, you want to focus on hydrating all day long. Before and during training, water or sports drinks are the best choices. After workouts, low-fat milk provides both fluid and electrolytes, as well as carbohydrates and protein, making it an optimal hydration beverage.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the recommended daily protein intake for athletes is 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. They emphasizes that the timing of protein consumption is also relevant. Consuming protein before strength training will provide the amino acids your body needs to begin the repair process immediately. After training, protein will continue to support muscular repair and ensure optimal recovery and muscular development to keep you prepped for tomorrow’s workout. High-quality, milk-based protein like the kind found in low-fat chocolate milk, cottage cheese, string cheese, and yogurt are especially beneficial for mitigating lean mass loss and promoting muscle gains.
If you compare your body to a high-performance vehicle, carbohydrates are the fuel for your engine. They keep you going for extended periods. Most athletes need about 5-8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight daily, and about 8-12 g/kg during long duration workouts or heavy training periods. Chocolate milk is a quick and balanced source of easy-to-digest carbohydrates.
Make sure your student game plan includes nutritious, real dairy milk this fall.