One my favorite drinks as a kid was chocolate milk. One of my favorite drinks in high school was chocolate milk. One of my favorite drinks now? Yep, you guessed it leche chocolate!
When I found out it was one of the best things you can drink post workout I WAS IN HEAVEN!! Imagine busting your glutes working out and then being able to not only recover, but enjoy something that has brough me tremendous happiness along the way.
And then it wasn't. Then it was. Then it wasn't. Then it was. The point? There's so much information about fitness and the best ways to fuel it that its harder than trying to choke down cold instant decaf to find the best sources.
This is where this here blog comes in. I know people that know a hell of a lot more than me. One of them is Precision Nutrition Level II Coach and super awesome fitness human, Tiffany Heath from TRH Fitness.
Whenever I need nutrition know-how awesome, she's the source I turn to. So, with that being said, this week I'm turning you over to her so she can finally help you figure out:
Chocolate Milk to Recover: Fact or Fiction!
Fact! What you eat after exercise helps with recovery and can improve future performance. The ideal post-workout fuel ideally contains a ratio of carbohydrates to 1 gram of protein. Carbohydrates are needed to help replenish those muscle glycogen stores that get depleted and protein helps repair and rebuild muscles.
Chocolate milk is an easy, economical, and great tasting way to meet that ratio! Plus, liquids are easily digested and absorbed, and an added bonus? Chocolate milk helps with hydration, and contains electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium that need to be replenished after all that sweating, so you don’t get dehydrated.
Hydration can help prevent muscle cramps, headaches, and fatigue. Water is great for short bouts of exercise, but the more you sweat, the more you deplete your electrolytes, and water isn’t going to replenish those by itself. Sports drinks contain electrolytes and maybe some carbohydrates, but no protein, so chocolate milk for the win!
There are other alternative options of course, especially if you are lactose intolerant, or simply prefer something other than chocolate milk. Smoothies are always a great option, protein shakes, fruits like bananas or oranges, or even vegetable juices. Just make sure you pair that fruit or vegetable juice with a favorite protein source, to get that protein in. That combination of protein and carbohydrates is what helps your body replenish, repair, and refuel efficiently.
Here's a quick post recovery tropical smoothie option you can try:
8 -12 oz coconut milk (more or less depending on the consistency you prefer)
1-2 scoops of your favorite vanilla protein powder
1-2 handfuls of dark leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, or kale (If you prefer not to taste the greens, go with the spinach. It’s virtually undetectable!)
1 cup frozen, cubed mango
2 Tbsp macadamia nuts (or other nuts of your choice like almonds, cashews, or even flax, hemp, or chia seeds)
Blend well, and top with some unsweetened coconut flakes.
If you'd like more nutrition information from Coach Heath, click here to contact her!