You made it your mission to get fit, and you are finally going to keep it up. You have the time, energy and know-how to train, but there is only one problem: you spend a fortune on protein powder.
Supplements such as protein powder are often marketed as needed for any kind of fitness gain, whether you want to lift heavier weights or walk a longer distance. But the reality is that not all of them are needed for the majority of people. Instead, after your workout, you can enjoy a tasty, tasty drink that offers you the same benefits: chocolate milk. Yup, you heard me well. The treat from your childhood can now be the key to athletic success.
Why is protein needed?
Protein is great to eat immediately after every workout, because the amino acids help your muscles repair themselves. All exercises, from marathon running to weightlifting, create small microtears in your muscles. After you stop exercising, your body sends blood and nutrients to heal the place – muscles become stronger. It is also the reason why fuel is vital after exercise. However, the role of proteins in this process can be somewhat overestimated. Many researchers say that we consume twice as much protein as we should – the average adult woman only needs about 55 grams a day and men need 65 grams. A portion of protein powder contains around 20 to 25 grams of protein, which is a bit exaggerated for most people, since you are probably also extracting proteins from your meals.
What else should be in a drink after training?
What is often overlooked in our post-workout recovery comparison are carbohydrates. Training also depletes your body's glycogen, which is essentially stored energy. Eating carbohydrates supplements glycogen and also helps cell maintenance and repair.
So an optimal recovery drink after training would have a good mix of both carbohydrates and proteins, with some electrolytes thrown in. Electrolytes are minerals such as calcium, sodium and potassium that keep you hydrated and help balance your body's pH.
Is chocolate milk or a protein shake a better drink after training?
The answer to this question depends in part on your personal preferences. If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, a vegetable protein powder may be better for you. Likewise, if you want to reduce sugar, you might want to skip the chocolate milk – but beware, many protein powders and premade shakes also contain sugar.
Chocolate milk has been proven to contain an almost perfect ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and electrolytes to help your body replenish its fuel reserves after a hard workout. With 9 grams of protein in a cup, it is suitable for drinking after both weightlifting and endurance training. It also contains potassium and sodium, so it will help you rehydrate after a difficult workout.
Even if you are a weightlifter, it has been shown that chocolate milk helps people grow stronger as a drink after training. Multiple studies showed that drinking milk led to a greater increase in muscle hypertrophy and muscle mass than drinking a standard sports rehydration drink.
Plus, the cost of high-quality protein powder is right. A typical portion of protein powder costs anywhere from 75 cents to $ 1.31, while a portion of chocolate milk is usually around 25 cents. It may seem like a small difference, but the savings will become visible over time.
So, the next time you're in the store looking for something to refuel after your workout, consider skipping the expensive protein powder and moving straight to the chocolate milk instead.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.