It's a typical Wednesday morning, I've just done a hard workout (the first race of the MSC series is just a few weeks away!). I know I don't have much time to help get the kids ready for school, shower, get myself ready to get to work/school and get in some healthy food. I know that for a workout longer than an hour it is important to follow it with a snack within 30 minutes and a big meal within 2-4 hours. This will maximize my body's ability to recover and get stronger from a workout.
When you train hard, you break down muscle and you actually get weaker. However, that training is a stimulus to rebuild yourself stronger than before. You can only do that if you have the right building blocks: carbs, protein, vitamins, water, etc. But there's rarely the time to make a big meal post-workout sometimes. But how long does it take to drink a nice tall cold glass of MILK? Likely, less than one minute! And within that tasty drink are a ton of nutrients that can help you recover from a workout. Let's have a look at the nutrition label for 250 mL (1 cup) of chocolate milk:
As you can see it has:
1) Protein - This breaks down into amino acids, the building blocks of muscle.
2) Carbohydrates - This breaks down into sugar, which the body uses to build muscle and to make glycogen, the fuel for subsequent workouts.
3) Fats - Fats are actually stored in muscle to fuel you for longer rides. The more fat you can store in muscle the better for endurance. Fats have many other important functions in your body.
4) Vitamins - Vitamin D and Calcium are essential for bone health. And the other vitamins are important for the biochemical reactions in your body - like building muscle!
In addition to this, it tastes good and is so refreshing! So, for a super quick nutrient boost post-workout, MILK is my choice!!!
(Miranda Tomenson, MSc. is a profession triathlete, triathlon coach at WattsUp Cycling and has a degree in biochemistry and physiology.)