As an athlete, nutrition plays a vital role in how we maximize our ability on the court. An unhealthy diet along with improper recovery timing can leave us left feeling worse than we should. Hydration is a major key to being a successful athlete, but water doesn’t account for everything.
- Do: consistently drink water all day leading up to your workout- no one likes a cramp in the middle of a workout. Eat a small meal up to two hours before your workout so that you maximize nutrients.
- Don’t: chug a bunch of water right before you workout. Why? “When excess fluids build up in the body the concentration of sodium can drop precipitously and the kidney become overloaded and are unable to excrete the water load. Cells begin to absorb the water. This can lead to swelling all over the body — most seriously in the brain — which can lead to seizures, coma or even death.”1
- Do: continue to drink water throughout your workout to replenish the water you sweat out.
- Don’t: eat or drink anything that requires your body to digest during your workout. More energy will be spent digesting than allowing you to perform your best.
- Feeling dehydrated? Pickle juice is a great way to stay hydrated. Sodium is key for your body to use water instead of just getting rid of it. If you can’t stomach the pickle juice, continue to drink H20.
- Eating post workout is key for muscle replenishment. 30-45 minutes post workout allows your body to digest and recharge. If you don’t have time for a small meal, drink Chocolate Milk!
Why Chocolate Milk
The recommended post workout carbohydrates to protein ratio is 4:1. A glass of chocolate milk allows you to reach the optimum muscle building recovery. While chocolate milk may contain some added sweeteners, milk contains nine essential nutrients. 3
Besides the recovery benefit from chocolate milk, you’re adding another serving of vitamins and calcium to your daily intake. “Low-fat chocolate milk is calorie-dense, has a good amount of protein, and is super convenient—all of which can be great immediately after a hard bout of exercise if someone is looking to refuel and optimize recovery for the next day,” says Allen Lim, Ph.D.2
Next time you go to the grocery store, think twice about purchasing those expensive protein bars, or overpriced protein drinks. Chocolate milk is a cheaper alternative for those looking for a quick and easy post workout drink.
1 Source: Washington Post Article
2 Source: Sports Drink Infographic
3 Source: Milk Infographic