Milk and Cereal Better than Sports Drinks After Modest Exercise
Researchers recently compared cereal and milk to sports drinks after moderate exercise. The study, led by Lynne Kammer, from The University of Texas at Austin, shows that, whole grain cereal and non-fat milk are physiologically better than sports drinks for recovering from the effects of modest exercise.
"We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual. We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel was just as good after whole grain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better". Even better, whole grain cereal and non-fat milk are cheaper than sports drinks.
Milk is a good source of easily digestible, high quality protein, says Kammer. He points out that milk and cereal may be” an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home", following moderate exercise.
The research team studied twelve trained cyclists. Rather than testing the cyclists to the point of exhaustion, the cyclists warmed up and then cycled at a moderate, comfortable pace for two hours. Included were 8 males and 4 females. Kammer explains, “We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual”, finding that milk and cereal were better than sports drinks after moderate exercise.
Muscle biopsies, and blood samples were taken before and after the cyclists exercised, including lactic acid and blood glucose measurements. Muscle biopsies were also performed sixty minutes after the cyclists consumed either a sports drink, or milk and cereal to measure proteins involved in glycogen and protein synthesis, and regulated by insulin.
Six cyclists consumed two, 20-ounce bottles of a six percent carbohydrate sports drink and six cyclists consumed 73g of whole grain cereal during the first trial. The volume of sports drink matched the amount of carbohydrate in the cereal and milk.
Investing in sports drinks can be costly. The study shows that whole grain cereal and non-fat milk promotes protein synthesis better than sports drinks. Refueling after moderate exercise with whole grain cereal and non-fat milk may be a smarter option for individuals who just want to stay in shape and are moderately active, compared to investing in expensive sports drinks. Milk promoted protein synthesis better than sports drinks following modest exercise.