17 Dec Is This the Ultimate Sports Nutrition Drink?

The ultimate drink for complete sports nutrition may, in fact, be a good old fashioned glass of milk. Well, in today’s world, ORGANIC milk would be the preferred choice.  Milk represents a great source of proteins, lipids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.  Additionally, it contains carbohydrates or lactose that is comparable to many popular sports nutrition beverages that contain the glucose and maltodextrin form of carbohydrates.  Workout nutrition is critical for a number of reasons including recovery, increased muscle hypertrophy, and improving lean muscle mass.

Milk is a nearly perfect sports supplement, with the exception being for those that are lactose intolerant.  Let’s dive a little deeper and let me explain to you how beneficial this simple beverage is as a nutrient dense drink.  Here’s a few of the main benefits and unique features:

  • Milk contains both casein and whey proteins in a ratio of 3:1 which allows for slow digestion and absorption resulting in sustained elevations of blood amino acid concentrations.
  • The whey protein in milk contains high portions of BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) which have a critical role in muscle metabolism and protein synthesis.
  • Milk has high concentrations of electrolytes.  Typically, electrolytes are lost during sweating with moderate and higher intensity exercise.

There is growing evidence supporting the use of milk as a post exercise sports beverage, for these reasons.  There is a more sustained delivery of amino acids to skeletal muscle facilitating protein synthesis, as compared to a post exercise carbohydrate and electrolyte and replacement drink.  These benefits may lead to improvements in overall protein metabolism following resistance exercise.

There is data to suggest that milk increases muscle hypertrophy following resistance exercise, as compared to a soy beverage and a carbohydrate beverage containing maltodextrin.  In this study, the milk group also gained the most lean body mass over the duration of the study and fat mass decreased to the greatest extent.

~Hartman JW, Tang JE, Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Lawrence RL, Fullerton AV, Phillips SM: Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. Am J Clin Nutr 2007 , 86:373-381.

Consuming low fat milk appears to create a potent anabolic (building) environment following resistance exercise causing increases in lean muscle mass.  And, surprisingly, milk may also lead to greater losses in body fat when consumed post exercise.  With the added benefit of providing essential nutrients and vitamins that are not present in many sports nutrition beverages, milk is gaining evidence to support the use as an excellent choice as a post-exercise sports nutrition drink to promote recovery and improve body composition.

This is Day 17 of 31 Days of Fitness.

Over and out until tomorrow.  ~Scott

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