It is obvious children enjoy milk. Kids are quick to request a glass of cold, delicious milk. They drink it with a straw, beg for it at lunch and before bed and eagerly pour it on cereal. Then at some point, they grow up and stop drinking milk in favor of sugary drinks and the ‘cool factor’ associated with them.
Or maybe, big kids still love milk; it just isn’t as readily available as it always was. Thanks to the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA) and Ole Miss Sports Nutrition, University of Mississippi student athletes have near 24 hours access to white, chocolate and strawberry milk, yogurt and cheese.
Let us tell you, no one here is lacking in calcium.
Our student athletes drink carton after carton of performance-enhancing milk. They drink it in smoothies, request it after a hard practice and before an exam, and still pour generous amounts of it on cereal. Our “kids” might be college athletes, but when they have a happy chocolate milk mustache, slurp down a yogurt smoothie or peel off string cheese, they are reminded of why they fell in love with dairy foods in the first place.
With tough SEC (Southeastern Conference) opponents, final exams, learning to be an adult and everything else on a student athlete’s plate, sometimes it’s nice to have something that lets them feel at home and be a normal “kid.” It creates a space in which yesterday’s game and tomorrow’s homework are forgotten for a moment in favor of goofing off and enjoying a chocolate milk with one’s teammates.
As sports dietitians, we get excited to see athletes readily reach for dairy foods, because we know milk is a great recovery beverage. Athletes are catching on to dairy’s place on the training plate as well, as milk is easy to grab, keeps athletes full and is nutritious.
Dairy foods are here to stay in Ole Miss Athletics as low-fat chocolate milk and other dairy foods help repair and rebuild our athletes’ bodies—but mostly because our athletes love it.
Ole Miss Sports Nutrition is a team of devoted nutrition professionals and students who work to ensure the well being of student athletes. Together, they enhance performance potential and overall health by providing proper fueling before, during and after workouts or game days.