Posts Tagged ‘protein supplement’

Do  you have a favorite post workout drink? Or maybe something you always grab after a game to chug back?

Hopefully you answered ‘yes’ and hopefully it’s something healthy.

Because here’s the problem.

Many players will finish a game, practice or training session and that’s it. There is no post-workout shake or drink. They simply hit the showers and then grab a meal once they get home or the restaurant when on the road.

That’s too bad.

By not having a post-workout shake they are delaying the recovery process. Plus it helps control the level of muscle damage as evidenced by reduced levels of creatine kinase. And so they won’t be as well rested and ready to go in the next game if they had a drink right after.

And right after is the key. As soon as you leave the ice. Or right after the last rep in the weight room.

I remember a few years ago visiting a colleague who was the strength coach for the Colorado Avalanche. We were watching the game together until about half way through the third period when he excused himself to go make the post-game shakes for the players. Sakic and company would then have a drink ready for them right after the final buzzer.

So what should this post-workout drink look like? Honestly it doesn’t have to be anything too fancy. What we’re looking for is a carb to protein ratio around 4:1. And if you’re on the road and don’t have access to a kitchen, sink, blender etc there’s something else that works just fine. Chocolate milk.

Really? Yes and a recent study look at how effective chocolate milk was at enhancing recovery.

What they did was use two different drink samples. One was chocolate milk and the other was a carb and protein mixture. Both drinks had the same amount of calories as well as the same of carbs and protein.

The researchers had a group of cyclists perform high intensity sprints after which they were given chocolate milk or the carb plus protein drinks. These drinks were consumed immediately after finishing the sprints as well as two hours later.

15 to 18 hours later they had the cyclists do another physical test. For hockey players imagine playing in a tournament and finishing a game Sat at 6 pm and then playing again Sun at 9 am  or 12 noon. A week later the cyclists repeated the test only this time they drank the opposite drink from the first week. If they had chocolate milk the first time now they had the carb plus protein drink. And vice versa.

What did they find?

There was no significant difference in time to exhaustion of the cyclists nor was there a significant difference of the levels of creatine kinase in their blood.

In other words chocolate milk was as effective as a commercially available protein recovery supplement in terms of recovery and minimizing muscle damage.

Here’s the citation for this study:

Pritchett, K, Bishop, P, Pritchett, R, Green, M, and Katica, C. Acute effects of chocolate milk and a commercial recovery beverage on postexercise recovery indices and endurance cycling performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 34:1017 – 1022. 2009.

And here’s the nutritional info for 1 cup of chocolate milk:

energy 192 cal

protein 9 g

carb 27 g

fat 6 g

So when you’re stuck for what to have after training or a game grab a chocolate milk. It has good dose of protein, a decent carb to protein and it doesn’t hurt that it tastes great as well.