Ditch the Protein Bar and the Power Shake and Grab a Banana and Chocolate Milk Instead

Ditch the Protein Bar and the Power Shake and Grab a Banana and Chocolate Milk Instead

Photo Courtesy by tru-nutbutter.com

Athletes reaching for sports and protein drinks to replenish carbohydrates and protein may benefit more by switching to chocolate milk and bananas, according to MNN.com.

Studies show that bananas are better to consume after a long period of exercise and chocolate milk is better for adding protein.

Researchers from Appalachian State University offers proof that bananas may be a better choice than sports drinks after exercise. They analyzed the blood of 20 competitive cyclists after they were given either water and bananas, water only, or a 6 percent sugar beverage (which is similar to a sports drink) every 15 minutes during a 47-mile (75-kilometer) bike ride, according to MNN.com.

The study showed that a banana might reasonably replace sports drinks for those who rely on carbohydrates to fuel exercise and speed recovery, stated nytimes.com.

The study found that a banana, with its all-natural package provides comparable or greater anti-inflammatory and other benefits for athletes than sports drinks. However, there may be a downside, and it involves bloating, explained nytimes.com.

“Consuming bananas with water during exercise has several advantages for athletes and fitness enthusiasts above those linked to regular sports drinks, including stronger anti-inflammatory effect, better nutrition and improved metabolic recovery,” study author Dr. David Nieman, director of the Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Laboratory, as reported by MNN.com.

Sports drinks are still an option, but Nieman and his team believe bananas offer more to athletes.

Athletes have been taught to refuel with protein immediately after a workout. Most of these athletes immediately look to refuel with an easy, portable protein shake. However, just drinking protein won’t replenish glycogen stores. After an intense workout, it is recommended to drink low-fat chocolate milk. One cup of low-fat chocolate milk takes over 30% of your daily recommended calcium, 25% of your daily recommended vitamin D, and phosphorus.

Chocolate milk helps with muscle gains. Research shows that a mix of slow and fast digesting protein is superior for lean body mass gains. Milk is 80% casein, 20% whey. Chocolate milk also increases fat loss as it decreases hunger and thus helps you to lose fat, according to stronglifts.com.

A third benefit of drinking chocolate milk after working out is the recovery it grants. Chocolate milk is a fluid and has electrolytes. Research shows milk is superior to water and sports drinks for rehydration post workout, according to stronglifts.com.

An additional benefit of switching to chocolate milk and bananas to replenish carbohydrates and protein is the cost savings. A pack of chocolate milk can cost around $5 and bananas are $0.56 per pound as opposed to a pack of protein bars which can be as cheap as around $6 and protein shakes which can be $10 or more.