Hi! I’m Emily,I’m the newest member of the nutrition works team and I’ll be writing the blog this week. I have been working as a dietitian for over three years. My experience is mainly in the areas of diabetes (type 1, type 2 & gestational), weight loss, heart health, irritable bowel syndrome and sports nutrition. I love working one-on-one with people as well as doing group sessions, presentations and hands-on cooking sessions. I hope you enjoy reading my blog.
The Ultimate Recovery Drink – Chocolate Milk.
Low fat flavoured milk ticks all the boxes for a good recovery drink. Firstly though, what are those boxes?
After a training session we need to refuel or replenish our muscle glycogen (fuel) stores to optimise our recovery and allow us to train well the next day. Glycogen is our storage form of glucose, our body’s primary fuel source. This is why we need carbohydrates which provide the glucose to then be stored. Carbohydrates post-training are also really important for maintaining our immune system, as well as providing the fuel for muscle repair. A 300 ml choc milk provides us with around 30 g of carbohydrates, which is an adequate amount for most women after 60 – 90 minutes of training. 600 ml is more suitable for athletes with higher energy requirements.
The second box to tick is protein. Protein is needed for muscle repair. The choc milk provides 10 g of protein which is an ideal amount.
The third box is low fat. The lower fat content helps to speed up the digestion and absorption process of the fluid, as a high fat content slows down this process. In addition, we want to be mindful of our total kilojoule intake with regards to achieving or maintaining a healthy weight. The low fat choc milk is 1.2-2.7 % fat, and provides around 550-800 kJ (or 130-200 calories), this can vary between brands.
Then there is a bonus box. Many people look at a flavoured milk and think “that’s not healthy, it’s just full of sugar”.A high-nutrient recovery choice will provide more than just carbs. A killer python is a low nutrient choice and provides pure carbohydrates (or sugar), nothing else. The choc milk provides not only the carbohydrates and protein, but is also an excellent source of calcium providing a third of your daily calcium requirements. At nutrition works we class foods that provide an appropriate amount of carbohydrate together with “bonus nutrients”, a high nutrient or everyday food. Other examples of bonus nutrients to look for would be fibre, iron, B vitamins etc.
The final box to tick is practicality and convenience. If the recovery choice takes too much time to prepare, is expensive or is not enjoyable to drink or eat then it isn’t very practical. A low fat choc milk is both practical and convenient for most people. And yes, low fat iced coffee is just as good!
To really get the most benefit, aim to have your choc milk or other recovery drink/snack within half an hour of finishing training. This is the ‘window of opportunity’ when your body is primed to use the nutrients received most effectively. Happy fuelling!