What beverages help an athlete recover best after training? Exercise scientists, sports dietitians, physicians, and health professionals provided some answers at the 2010 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Baltimore:
- Athletes in a new study preferred a standard sports drink over coconut water based on taste. While coconut water replenishes body fluids lost through sweat as well as a sports drink, it lacks taste appeal.
- Fat-free chocolate milk may be an worthwhile post-exercise recovery drink for endurance athletes, stimulating the building of muscle and reducing muscle breakdown. Chocolate milk was also found to replace glycogen muscle stores in muscles (a source of fuel during endurance exercise) faster than a carb-based drink containing no protein. [Note: some new recovery sports drinks also contain protein.]
- When compared to a placebo, antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice improves recovery and decreases muscle soreness after muscle-damaging exercise in trained men. The same holds true for other colorful, antioxidant-rich juices such as grape, blueberry or cherry.
Created July 10, 2010
Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD,is MomsTeam's sports nutrition expert, a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and best-selling author. She counsels active people in her practice at Healthworks, a fitness centerin Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Her new book, Food Guide for Soccer:Tips & Recipes from the Pros and other books, including her SportsNutritionGuidebook and food guides for new runners, marathoners, and cyclists are available at www.nancyclarkrd.com and www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com.