Monday, April 6, 2009

Milk: the new sports drink? A Review

Roy, B. Milk: the new sports drink? A Review.
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:15

There has been growing interest in the potential use of bovine milk as an exercise beverage, especially during recovery from resistance training and endurance sports. Based on the limited research, milk appears to be an effective post-resistance exercise beverage that results in favourable acute alterations in protein metabolism. Milk consumption acutely increases muscle protein synthesis, leading to an improved net muscle protein balance. Furthermore, when post-exercise milk consumption is combined with resistance training (12 weeks minimum), greater increases in muscle hypertrophy and lean mass have been observed. Although research with milk is limited, there is some evidence to suggest that milk may be an effective post-exercise beverage for endurance activities. Low-fat milk has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than commercially available sports drinks as a rehydration beverage. Milk represents a more nutrient dense beverage choice for individuals who partake in strength and endurance activities, compared to traditional sports drinks. Bovine low-fat fluid milk is a safe and effective post exercise beverage for most individuals, except for those who are lactose intolerant. Further research is warranted to better delineate the possible applications and efficacy of bovine milk in the field of sports nutrition.

I've often snickered at all the advertised sports drinks that are available in all the different flavors and claims that they are the superior recovery drink. Consumers often pay close to $2-3 dollars for a 20 oz sport drink and then gawk at when prices for dairy products shoot through the roof. The most often justification I hear for buying the pricey sports drinks is that they are designed to enhance recovery so the consumer needs to drink it in order to get better at their sport. In high school, our coach always told us to drink a glass of chocolate milk after the workout and a lot of us players didn't believe too much in what he said but knowing what I know now I wish I had taken his words into consideration because in the long run I could've saved a lot of money up till now.

Elliot et al. investigated the influence of consuming differing
milk beverages on the protein metabolic response following
an acute bout of resistance exercise this study did
not determine what contributed to the change in net balance
(change in synthesis, change in breakdown, or both),
however, the evidence did show that protein metabolism
was enhanced with a single bolus intake of milk after the
resistance exercise. (Roy)

Given the amount of studies that have been recently conducted on the effectiveness of increased muscle protein synthesis it should have been obvious for years that milk would most likely be one of the best recovery shakes especially when mixed with a sweetener such as chocolate, and who doesn't enjoy a tall glass of chocolate milk? (Don't answer if you don't) I was told once that the estimated breakdown of whey protein is about 4 hours and casein 8 hours therefore if you were to take a cup of chocolate milk (or just regular milk) it would help prevent your body from going into catabolism as quickly as it would and then if you take some more after the work out and get a meal in you with in an hour then you basically have set yourself up to stop catabolism in its tracks. Of course this is all theoretical, and has not been proven with out a doubt at least this up to this point.

Overall it seems as though mom has been right all these years after all. Maybe we should stop being led by the hand to believe that all these magical drinks and supplements are going to lead us to vicotry when in fact some of the best nutrients have been in our fridge for all our lives.

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