Friday, May 28, 2010
Despite the fact that some of us are incapable of drinking it, milk is truly a delicious beverage. Water will always be the leader of the pack because we obviously can't live without it, but in this world of sugared sports drinks—milk is certainly a healthy choice. It has the ability to supply us with a number of essential nutrients like Vitamin D and Calcium. Those two heavy hitters keep bones strong, and strong bones facilitate even stronger bodies. But did you know that milk has the power to strengthen our muscles, too? It contains all of the essential amino acids that form protein. And we all know how important protein is—it builds and repairs tissue. And muscle is tissue.
The International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise compared milk and sports drinks as post-workout beverage choices. They were able to conclude that milk repaired muscles much more efficiently, probably because of the protein content. Not to mention the other nutrients (some of which are also electrolytes, and you can read more about electrolytes here) that sports drinks can only really dream of.
In fact, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition added to the importance of that research by confirming milk's ability to build muscle and burn body fat. They conducted a 12-week study in which they followed 56 healthy men. Some consumed milk after their workouts while others consumed either a sports drink or soy milk. In the end, the milk drinkers built up 46% more muscle than the soy milkers, and 60% more muscle than the sports drinkers. They also lost two pounds of fat, which is almost twice as much as what the soy milkers lost. Sadly, the sports drinkers didn't report any fat loss.
And so, when they tell us that milk does a body some good, they aren't lying. It's totally safe to believe them, unless you're lactose intolerant. But if the thought of downing a glass of cow juice after the gym sounds totally unappetizing, consider mixing it in a smoothie with some fresh fruit. Pour it over a bowl of low-fat granola, or mix it into some oatmeal. You could also splurge on a glass of low-fat chocolate milk. Surprisingly, it adequately combines carbohydrates and protein. Both of which are two very important post-workout snack ingredients. Just be careful—the calorie and sugar counts in chocolate milk add up very quickly.
Posted by TARA