Refueling Post-Workout: An Unexpected Protein Boost to Enjoy!

05.09.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

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This week we take a look at the 3rd dietary principle of a strong Off Season Strength and Conditioning Program; Post Workout Recovery (see past health and wellness posts for the first two principles!). I am pleased to introduce you to a University of Maryland dietetic students who knows a few things about the importance of recovering after a workout: Sooyoung Uhm is not only an up-and-coming dietitian but is a certified group fitness instructor as well and is our guest nutrition blogger this week.

Stay Healthy!
- Jane Jakubczak MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN; Redskins Team Dietitian

                              Refuel Post-Workout

By Sooyoung Uhm, University of Maryland Dietetic Student

During physical activity your body utilizes mostly carbohydrates for fuel. Once you finish your workout, you need to refuel your lost energy stores (glycogen), fluids AND repair muscles (protein).

Refueling within 30 min of a workout promotes recovery and decreases fatigue. Immediately post-workout, your muscles are like sponges, ready to soak up the resources your body needs for recovery. Carbohydrates refuel glycogen stores. Eating protein with your carbohydrate can also increase your recovery. Proteins are the building blocks the body uses for muscles repair.

So, what's the best way to refuel your body with all that it needs?

Recent research shows that low fat chocolate milk meets both carbohydrate and protein needs: a perfect combination to maximize recovery post-exercise! Studies show that athletes who drank low-fat chocolate milk after a workout beat carbohydrate-only sports drinks in helping the body rebuild and refuel the muscles (research study summaries are below).

Fat-free chocolate milk is not only healthy and a good source of calcium and Vitamin D but the combination of fluid, protein and carbohydrates makes it ideal for rebuilding those tired muscles and also increasing stores of glycogen, the fuel for future physical activity.

And everyone is jumping on these findings. Remember those “Got Milk” campaigns? Well, the company Milk Processor Education Program is rolling out with its new tagline for its adult audience “My After” check out an article about it on USA Today here.

Thanks Sooyoung for offering an alternative to expensive recovery shakes - It sounds like Milk truly does a body good!

Next week we will discuss the fourth dietary principle of the Redskins Player's Off Season Strength & Conditioning Program; Eating a Clean Diet. Stay tuned!

Some more resources for extra reading:

The effects of low fat chocolate milk on post-exercise recovery in collegiate athletes.  
Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid.  

Have your own fitness tips or way to recover post-exercise? Share your thoughts below!

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