Got Milk?

do you drink as much water in the winter as you do in the summer? probably not. it’s sometimes hard to remember to hydrate when you’re not sweating and when it’s so cold outside. this is a problem, though, because your body still needs to be hydrated.

it’s important to go into each and every run with a properly hydrated body. i’m pretty good about getting enough water in throughout the day. i usually always have a water bottle with me and i try not to drink anything else until i have had a few glasses, at the least. this is great but water is not going to cut it after our tough runs- speed, tempo and long.

so, what do i drink after a long or tough workout? chocolate milk! i pretty much hate milk but i like all things chocolate so i’ve grown pretty accustomed to this. i read a story years ago that milk was great for replenishing muscles so i decided to give it a shot. i thought it would be especially hard to do after a hot run on the treadmill, but it’s not. it’s actually pretty refreshing. sometimes the thought of more water just makes me want to jump in the river and so many sports drinks are just so laden with sugar so this is now my go-to.

a review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that drinking milk after exercise has positive effects on recovery, muscle building, and hydration. the author of the study stated that drinking milk after exercise has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than commercially available sports drinks as a rehydration beverage.

accredited Sports Dietitian and Dairy Australia spokesperson Glenys Kerrins says, “When we sweat we lose essential electrolytes such as sodium, calcium and potassium. milk is a natural source of electrolytes, containing more of each of these minerals than many sports drinks.” a 250ml serving of skim milk contains approximately 110mg of sodium, 397mg of potassium, 307mg of calcium and 30mg of magnesium. the same serving of most sports drinks contains about 83mg of sodium, 38mg of potassium, 17mg of calcium and 5mg of magnesium.

they also stated that if you don’t like white milk it’s ok because chocolate milk is also beneficial. recent studies suggest drinking chocolate milk following vigorous activity helps to speed up recovery and recharge the body for its next workout. i always stress the importance of eating within an hour or so after a tough workout but sometimes it takes that long to get my stomach to settle down so i’ll have my trusty glass of chocolate milk in the meantime. it works like a charm. give it a try.

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