Interesting research is emerging on the specific benefits of milk in sport, with potential roles in the areas of recovery nutrition being explored. Milk naturally contains nutrients that can help address the 3 ‘R’s of post-exercise recovery:
1) REFUEL: Milk contains lactose which can help to start the refuelling of carbohydrate stores. Flavoured milks – which contain higher carbohydrate amounts in the form of added sugar – may be useful after a very intense session, or when quick recovery is needed.
2) REPAIR: Milk provides the high-quality proteins, whey and casein. Protein plays a valuable role in the normal growth and maintenance of muscles.
3) REHYDRATE: Milk is a fluid (naturally composed of about 87 % water) and naturally contains electrolytes such as potassium.
As well as being an affordable, natural, versatile and widely available choice after exercise, milk provides a range of vitamins and minerals which have roles in health that are particularly useful for those who are active. For example, milk provides calcium, protein and phosphorus to support bone health; vitamin B2 to assist with energy release; iodine to contribute to normal cognitive (brain) function; and vitamin B12 to support normal functioning of the immune system.
Did you know?
The Department of Health’s Food Pyramid recommends 3 servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group; with 5 servings recommended for those aged 8-18 years. Serving examples include: 200 ml of milk; 125 ml of yogurt; or 25 g of cheddar cheese.