“Milk. It does a body good!” I remember that advertising tag line from when I was younger. More recently it’s been, “Got Milk?”.
I don’t know which ad agency (or agencies) created these two slogans, but they couldn’t be more right.
Of all the “manufactured” post-workout “recovery” drinks on the market today, the best for gaining lean muscle and burning fat seems to be MILK!
In a study published by the Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, researchers had women consume either fat-free white milk or a sugar sweetened energy drink after their weight training session. The results showed that those who drank the milk had an increase in lean body mass (muscle) and a decrease in body fat. While those in the energy drink group also gained muscle, they failed to lose as much fat as the milk group. And thus, actually gaining weight.
A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that men who drank fat-free milk immediately after weight lifting and an hour later, gained more lean body mass and lost more fat than those who drank soy milk or a drink high in carbohydrates.
While it’s obvious that the milk’s protein content is surely responsible for the muscle gain in the test subjects, researchers can only speculate that it’s calcium content (suppressing the hormones involved in fat synthesis) is what make it an effective fat burner.
Wait! There’s more. Drinking milk has also proved to be a great “supplement” to aerobic exercise as well. But, what’s really interesting, is that it’s the chocolate variety that has “soured” the claims of the more traditional recovery sports drinks. Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, and his team, found that chocolate milk’s high water content replenishes fluids lost during exercise and it’s small amount of sodium and sugar levels are perfect for helping athletes retain water and regain energy. They go on to conclude that, over white milk, non-fat chocolate milk provides double the protein and carbohydrates making it even a more superior choice than one would think.
Some other benefits to chocolate milk over the slew of other sports drinks: It is inexpensive, easy to make at home and, because it tastes great, it doubles as a refreshing treat.
So my friends, if you workout, you can have your chocolate and drink it too! Just make sure it’s fat free!