When it's time to choose a liquid chug after a long, tough workout, there's a slew of options out there. Water? Gatorade, POWERade, or All Sport? Endurox R4? Physiologist Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, has even one more potential workout recovery drink to add to the list: chocolate milk. His latest study, published in this month's International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, names this kids' favorite an optimal post-exercise recovery aid.
Before your stomach recoils, take a look at chocolate milk's ingredient list. For a high-endurance athlete, Stager's team sees it as a catch-all workout recovery drink. Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, it has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar — additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy.
Drinking plain water after exercise replaces sweat losses — and that's it. "Chocolate milk provides carbohydrate replenishment to your muscles — something they can metabolize," said Jason Karp, MS, another researcher for this study. "There's nothing to metabolize in water."
Stager's assessment of chocolate milk is even simpler. "It's water plus a whole lot more," he said.
Ready to sweat? Not so fast! Here, the best foods to eat before and after a workout, so you can fuel up the right way. Munch on these for your best sweat session yet.
Whether you’re a serious athlete or a recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, or more serious symptoms.
A simple way to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated is to check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for some, but for those who manage to squeeze some gym time into their routine, pre- and post-workout foods can be just as huge. While everyone’s nutritional requirements are different depending on their goals and activities, these snacks can offer the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to satisfy hunger, fuel workouts, and aid in recovery. Read on for Greatist’s 50 favorite pre- and post-workout snacks, including some go-to recipes from our trusted health and fitness pros.
photo courtesy of USA Hockey
Another hockey season has arrived. It’s time to see who spent the summer improving their skills and who spent it sitting on the couch playing Super Mario Brothers.
If you fall into the latter category, there’s still hope. USA Hockey Magazine asked the fitness experts from the National Strength & Conditioning Association for advice that will help every hockey player improve all aspects of his or her game in four weeks time.
Not that you’ll be the player you want to be after four short weeks, but if you follow this advice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better player.