Every coach wants their athletes to perform at their highest levels on the field or court, as well as in the classroom. Optimal performance begins with proper recovery. Flavored milk for recovery nutrition, such as low-fat chocolate milk, is a great option. Cow’s milk has been proven to rehydrate the body and quickly replace the carbohydrates lost after workouts and practice sessions. Student-athletes and coaches can take advantage of the benefits of flavored milk for recovery immediately following strenuous exercise by focusing on the three R’s: replenish, repair, and rehydrate!
Flavored Milk for Recovery
Replenish – Exercising uses energy in the form of carbohydrates, so give the muscles and body an energy source to replace what the body uses. Flavored milk is a nutrient powerhouse that offers protein and eight health benefits of dairy, including calcium and vitamins A, B, and D.
- Timing: Replenish your body immediately following exercise or at least 15-60 minutes after training and again three to four hours later.
- Amount: Your body weight (in pounds) ÷ 2 = the number of grams of carbs you should consume.
- Choose: Low-fat chocolate milk, fruit (apple or banana), pretzels
Repair – Exercise breaks down muscles, so give them the recommended daily protein intake to build them back up.
- Timing: Immediately or within 15-60 minutes after training and again 3-4 hours later
- Amount: 20-30 grams of high-quality protein
- Choose: Low-fat chocolate milk, Greek yogurt, string cheese, peanut butter
Rehydrate – Exercise can dehydrate the body and cause a loss of electrolytes, so give your body the fluid it needs.
- Timing: In the first two hours after training
- Amount: 16-24 ounces of fluid per pound lost (heat, humidity, intensity, and length of workout are factors that increase the amount of fluid to be replaced following a workout)
- Choose: Water and flavored milk (this packs a one-two punch to replace fluid and nutrients, such as protein and carbohydrates).
Flavored Milk is the New Sport Drink
Flavored milk for recovery nutrition isn’t just a trend. Chocolate milk offers the body multiple benefits after physical activity. Whether it’s strength training, running, organized sports, or yoga, drinking cow’s milk is cheap, tasty, and nutritious. Dairy has continuously proven itself as great post-exercise nutrition, as well as great for bone, dental, gut, and reproductive health.
Milk mustaches are in and they are here to stay post working out. Post your after-workout milk mustache picture today on social media and tag @thedairyalliance.
Dairy nutrition is a key and important part of a well-balanced diet. Are you lactose intolerant? No problem! Lactose-free chocolate milk is available, as well as every other percentage and flavor of milk.
For more information on the benefits of dairy and flavored milk for recovery nutrition, visit the dairy blog for recipes, facts, and more.
Paul Moore, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, CSCS, NSCA-CPT provides continuing education for fitness, personal training, and strength/conditioning professionals through Fitness4Professionals, Inc. In addition to being a registered dietitian, Paul is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Find Paul on Twitter @fitness4pros.