Rounds and Quarters

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Milky Conversation

Good news for milk lovers! Milk could help athletes more than sports drinks or energy drinks. Researchers are giving scientific support that milk may be just as good or even better than sports drinks for serious athletes recovering from exercise. The health benefits of milk — which has carbohydrates, electrolytes, calcium and vitamin D have long been established. But for athletes in sportswear uniforms and even for those ordinary men and women who just wear workwear uniforms, milk also contains the two proteins best for rebuilding muscles: casein and whey.

The Benefits of Milk on Athletes:
1. Endurance- In a study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in June, researchers found people who drank milk after training were able to exercise longer in their next session than people who had sports drinks or water.

2. Regeneration-Muscles get damaged after an intense bout of aerobic exercise like running, playing football, or cycling. The casein and whey proteins in milk are precisely what the body needs to regenerate muscles fast. Glenys Jones, a nutritionist at Britain's Medical Research Council, said milk's protein content makes it an ideal post-exercise drink. "Milk provides the building blocks for what you need to build new muscles," he further said.

3. Recovery- Drinking milk also may help athletes recover quicker if they are performing multiple times in a day. For people who can't stomach the idea of plain milk, experts recommend adding some chocolate or other artificial flavor. At the Beijing Olympics, six-time gold medallist Michael Phelps regularly downed a flavored milk drink in between races.

4. Rehydration- Scientists at Loughborough University have found low-fat milk is better than sports drinks for replacing fluids lost during exercise. Scientists suspect there may be two reasons for that. Not only does milk have a lot of electrolytes, but it is emptied from the stomach more slowly than sports drinks, keeping the body hydrated for longer.

5. Lose of Fat- Milk also may help athletes shed fat and build muscle. In a small Canadian study, experts found women who drank milk after lifting weights gained about 4.4 pounds (2 kilos) of muscle and lost about the same amount of body fat. Women who drank sports drinks put on about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilos) of muscle but didn't lose any body fat.

Now let's take a look on the disadvantages of milk:
1. Not for Everyone- Catherine Collins, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association and a dietician at London's St. George's Trust, said while milk may be beneficial for elite athletes who burn thousands of calories a day during their intensive training, occasional gym-goers may be better off drinking sports drinks or plain water."If you're just a gym bunny trying to lose a bit of weight, water is probably sufficient after exercise," she said, warning that chocolate milk in particular could add unwanted calories.

2. Hard to Digest- Even those who promote milk as a recovery drink say it cannot entirely replace sports drinks. Because it is harder to digest, people should only drink milk after they are finished exercising, not during. In comparison, sports drinks like Gatorade have easily digestible sugars so athletes can chug it during events to get an instant boost.

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Anonymous said...

Nice blog! I’m not used in drinking milk when I was a child, but my mom always insisted to me to drink. Now I know that this drink can be good and at the same time bad if I would not drink it in proper way. Thanks to you. :)

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