There is quite an industry based on recovery drinks. What is a recovery drink? Basically it is a something that you take after a workout to replace water, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates you lost during your exercise. You probably can think of several brands you can buy. Such as, Gatorade, Powerade, All Sport, etc.
You may just say “why not just drink water? It is natural.” Water is of course necessary to replace what is lost while sweating. The only problem is that is basically all it does. You sweat out electrolytes and minerals, and burn carbohydrates. All of which your muscles need to be replenished.
One drink chances you may overlook as a recovery drink after a session of exercise is lowfat chocolate milk. Surprised? I was until I thought about it. Milk contains many different nutrients among them are calcium, riboflavin, phosphorous, Vitamins A,D, and B12, and Pantothenic acid. It is also a source of complete proteins that contain amino acids proteins from plants lack. It contains a type of carbohydrate called Lactose. However, if you lack the enzyme lactase it will be difficult for you to break down milk. This may cause gas, bloating, pain, and diarrhea.
Water does not provide anything for the body to use except to rehydrate. The sports drinks typically do not provide muscle building protein. Milk will provide it all.
A study done on nine cyclists found chocolate milk worked just as well or better than other drinks. The cyclists biked until they were exhausted. During a four hour rest each had low-fat chocolate milk, or one of the sports drinks. The conclusion was that the high carb and protein content in milk made it an excellent recovery drink.
In another study listed on www.Medicalnewstoday.com “13 male college soccer players participated in "normal" training for one week, then were given lowfat chocolate milk or a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage daily after intense training for four days. After a two week break, the athletes went through a second round of "normal" training, followed by four-day intensified training to compare their recovery experiences following each beverage (with the same amount of calories). Prior to the intense training, at day two and at the completion of this double-blind study, the researchers conducted specific tests to evaluate "markers" of muscle recovery.”
“All of the athletes increased their daily training times during the intensified training, regardless of post-exercise beverage yet after two and four days of intensified training, chocolate milk drinkers had significantly lower levels of creatine kinase - an indicator of muscle damage - compared to when they drank the carbohydrate beverage. There were no differences between the two beverages in effects on, soccer-specific performance tests, subjective ratings of muscle soreness, mental and physical fatigue and other measures of muscle strength. The results indicate that lowfat chocolate milk is effective in the recovery and repair of muscles after intense training for these competitive soccer players.”
So after a session of exercise reach for a glass of low fat chocolate milk instead of the sports drinks.