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Milk & Recovery

Firstly, let’s take a quick look at recovery. After a workout, It is likely your body will be dehydrated, your blood insulin levels will be low, cortisol and other ‘breakdown’ hormones will be high, your glycogen (fuel stores) will be low or depleted, and your muscles will be in a state of breakdown. So, in simple terms, your recovery strategy should reverse all those things and restore your body to a hydrated, fuelled, recovered, and muscle building state.

◽ In 2007, a study compared milk or soy protein, or carbohydrate on muscle mass gains after resistance training (5xpw for 12 weeks). Researchers determined type 2 muscle fibre increased the most in the milk group, along with MUSCLE MASS gains being significantly higher when compared with both the soy and control groups. ◽ Milk have also been shown to aid recovery from ENDURANCE exercise. In another study, endurance-trained cyclists performed one workout followed by 4hrs of recovery and then another endurance trial to exhaustion. Subjects consumed either chocolate milk or carb + electrolytes in between bouts. Time to exhaustion and total work were significantly greater for the chocolate milk compared to the carb electrolyte group. ◽ Another study looked at the effects of chocolate milk, a fluid replacement drink and a carb replacement drink on RECOVERY between two exhaustive bouts of cycling. Chocolate milk proved to be the most effective recovery option, allowing riders to cycle for a longer period of time on their second ride than the carb/fluid replacement options alone. ◽ Examples of milk-based recovery drinks include: skim milk with chocolate or golden syrup, ready-to-drink non-fat Nestle’s Nesquik etc. Note, the more intense exercise, the greater the carb demands to replenish fuel.

SO, when used in conjunction with resistance training, milk produces gains in muscle mass, aids in hydration and speeds recovery. This is because milk is first and foremost a liquid, contains easily digested carbohydrate and a mixture of whey/casein protein. The carb:protein ratio can also be easily manipulated to meet your needs by adding syrup, a chocolate mix-in or a piece of fruit.

This doesn’t mean recovery supplements are useless, but it allows young athletes and those on a tight budget to effectively recover and gain muscle mass without breaking the bank.

Reference: Hamilton, A., et al. (2007). Recovery: the magic ingredient of any training program. Peak Performance. P2P Publishing Ltd. Nutrition and recovery, 23-34.

If you have any questions, we are always ready to help : reach out to one of our Infinite Health Team physiotherapist at our Chatswood or North Sydney clinic!

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