Milk: a smart recovery choice for athletes


Milk is a complete beverage that provides many nutrients and minerals. It represents a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, and electrolytes; all critical nutrients to facilitate recovery from sports activities. Recently, there has been an increasing amount of research conducted on the benefits of milk as a sports beverage, especially following both strength and endurance sports. This research suggests that milk is an effective recovery beverage after exercise that results in favourable short-term changes in protein metabolism with possible long-term benefits. Milk consumption acutely increases muscle protein synthesis, leading to an improved net muscle protein balance. Milk intake following resistance training (12 weeks minimum) can lead to greater increases in muscle size and lean mass in both young men and women. Research on milk intake after endurance exercise is limited, but suggests milk as an effective post-exercise beverage for endurance activities in regards to carbohydrate and fluid recovery. Milk intake after exercise also attenuates muscle damage.


Brian D. Roy
B.P.E., M.Sc., Ph.D. Centre for Bone and Muscle Health, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.