Depends on the workout. If you're trying to build muscle, protein is better for post workout, but some fruits are very high in antioxidants that help to control the lactic acid and other oxidative byproducts of exercise. Apples are supposed to be good for this, for example. Berries are great sources of antioxidants. But again, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish, and I'd say it's better after aerobic exercise than resistance not because it's bad for resistance training but doesn't accomplish the recovery that results in stronger muscles. I'd say if you're doing well with it, stick with it.
You need to re-hydrate to replace lost fluids and electrolytes from sweat, and carbohydrates to restore muscle glycogen and essential amino acids from high-quality proteins to help repair muscle tissue and stimulate muscle growth. Generally you should try to get 15-25 g of quality protein, with .5-.7 g of carbohydrate per pound of body weight immediately post-exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes of stopping exercise to optimize the update of glucose into muscles. Since whole foods provide hundreds of bioactive compounds, such as antioxidants that may provide additional benefits for enhancing your recovery, focus on whole foods first and supplements second.
Getting fluids back into your body is number 1. You should weigh yourself before and after you workout.Drink 16-24 ounces of fluids for every pound lost during exercise. What you drink isn’t as important as how much you drink so drink what you enjoy. Water, sports drinks, coconut water, smoothies or shakes.
There are published research studies with athletes showing that low-fat chocolate milk enhances recovery, improves endurance performance and may help improve lean body mass. Chocolate milk has good stuff. It hydrates, provides electrolytes, leucine, casein and whey protein and an optimal carb-to-protein ratio of 4:1. It tastes good and doesn't cost as much as commercial products. Try 16 ounces of chocolate milk post-exercise. A 16-oz serving of low-fat (2%) chocolate milk has 64 g carbs, 16 g protein and 360 calories. If you’re a vegan, flavored pea protein, brown rice protein, or soy protein can be a substitution for chocolate milk. I don't recommend soy. But Paxiled will say don't listen to me about soy! LOL.
Link for the chocolate milk: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23075563
Smoothies are great, they have everything you need, fluids, protein and carbohydrates. Using dairy you will get both whey and casein proteins that's a good thing. You get both fast acting and slow acting amino acids, which are considered optimal to build and repair muscle tissue. Fruit gives you antioxidants that could speed up recovery and help to prevent muscle soreness. A small study in New Zealand found that drinking a blueberry smoothie before and after exercise enabled athletes to regain peak muscle strength sooner, compared to those who drank a placebo beverage. TRY THIS: In a blender, combine 1 cup of skim or regular milk, 8 oz low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup fresh or frozen berries and 1 tablespoon honey. Blend. Add ice cubes. I like wild blueberries. I buy them frozen at Costco.
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant activity of any fruit. Wild Blueberries contain more of the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin and demonstrate greater antioxidant capacity per serving than cultivated blueberries. They have a more intense, sweet and tangy taste than cultivated blueberries. A ½ cup serving of wild blueberries has more antioxidant power. Researchers demonstrated that anthocyanin-rich wild blueberries are highly beneficial in maintaining memory function. The study, conducted by a team led by Dr Robert Krikorian at the University of Cincinnati, confirmed that Wild Blueberry supplemented diets improved memory function and mood in older adults with early memory decline.
You can do the research on wild blueberries. I also suggest check my journal on smoothies.
Chocolate milk isn't good for anyone. At any time. This is a fad promoted by the dairy industry, still at it after all these years. Most people have a hard time with dairy, and it's pro-inflammatory, so it's not a good thing to have anywhere near working out. It has too much calcium and no magnesium, so it leaches the magnesium out of the body; magnesium is responsible for relaxing the muscles, so again, not good at any time let alone anywhere near working out. It has lots of sugar, again, pro-inflammatory, both natural and added, which might be good before doing a long aerobic workout but not after. There are so many better sources of protein and nutrition; stay away from fads promoted by the dairy industry (let's see, how many can I recall that proved harmful? Drink formula, don't breast feed; drink warm milk before going to bed (leads to reflux disease and you shouldn't actually eat anything near going to bed); it prevents osteoporosis (for the magnesium reasons stated above, it actually increases it) -- well, the list is just too long to believe people are still buying into this stuff).
Physiologist Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University. His latest study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, names this kids' favorite an optimal post-exercise recovery aid.
Take a look at chocolate milk's ingredient list. For a high-endurance athlete, Stager's team sees it as a catch-all workout recovery drink. Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, it has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy.
Drinking plain water after exercise replaces sweat losses and that's it. "Chocolate milk provides carbohydrate replenishment to your muscles something they can metabolize," said Jason Karp, MS, another researcher for this study. "There's nothing to metabolize in water."
Stager's assessment of chocolate milk is even simpler. "It's water plus a whole lot more," he said.
Downing a post-workout beverage chock-full of carbohydrates isn't just for the weekend tennis player, said Stager and that's key. A drink like chocolate milk is most useful to a cyclist, swimmer, or long-distance runner. These sports stress high endurance levels and constant, sustained movement. Competing athletes need high levels of calories, carbs, and protein to sustain that level of performance.
Stager tested out chocolate milk's performance as a workout recovery drink on nine cyclists. In his lab, each athlete biked until exhaustion, and then rested for four hours. During this break, each consumed low-fat chocolate milk, Gatorade, or the high-carbohydrate sports drink Endurox R4. Afterward, they cycled to exhaustion again.
The results were positive. His research team concluded that the athletes who consumed chocolate milk performed just as well or better as those who drank the other beverages. The high carb and protein content in milk make it an incredibly effective recovery drink, Stager said even though it's never been marketed as one.
Choosing the right post-workout drink is just step one of the recovery process, says Karp. Besides what you use to re-fuel, when you do it is just as important. Recent research points to the importance of a post-exercise "meal" within 30 to 60 minutes of working out, at the point when muscle glycogen (energy) stores are at their lowest. "I generally recommend eating or drinking something in the first 20 minutes after a workout," said Mike Huff, coordinator of the Duke University Sports Performance Program. "At that point, your muscle fibers have been depleted and they're ready to suck something up."
And not taking steps to replenish your muscles right away can hurt your next performance big time, Karp says. "Elite athletes may only have six to seven hours between workouts. It's much more important for them to make a full recovery, and strategies like these can maximize that."
Flavored drinks stimulate your appetite and allow you to drink more, replacing water lost as sweat from the workout. You consume more if you actually like what you're drinking, Stager found. His athletes clamored for chocolate milk and shunned other high-carb options like Endurox R4, energy bars, or gels.
After-workout food options don't have to end at the supermarket shelf either. A trainer, basketball player, and avid weight lifter, Huff loves creating his own blend. His homemade high-carb, high-protein beverage is a mixture of bananas, peanut butter, Carnation Instant Breakfast (a high calcium, protein, and carb powder), and you guessed it milk.
Eating liquid or solid carbohydrates are equally good your body doesn't care, as long as it gets what it needs, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, RD, author of The Cyclist's Food Guide (Sports Nutrition Publishers, 2005) and the monthly syndicated column "The Athlete's Kitchen." "You just have to learn which sports snacks settle best for your body gels, gummy bears, dried figs, animal crackers, defizzed cola, whatever," she said.
But as for milk, Stager continues to recommend it to his athletes, and Karp, a runner and coach, has permanently switched from Gatorade to chocolate milk to recover from his daily runs. "Gatorade was expensive, but milk's something I already have in my refrigerator," Karp said. "It's easy, it's cheap, and it's got everything that I need after my workout."
I don't doubt what you're saying; what I'm saying is there are much better alternatives that are healthier and won't product the long-term ill effects of drinking milk mixed with sugar. We already know that dairy is the most problematic food out there, and that it's pro-inflammatory and a bad choice for calcium because it leaches out magnesium. This is proven in the most current osteoporosis studies. Just like Gator-Ade will do the same thing, but again, it's just sugar water mixed with some electrolyte supplements. Just eating an apple or eating berries along with some nuts will do the same thing without the bad results. (Nuts mix well with them because they are also fruits). So yes, in the short term it might feel good like a glass of warm milk before going to bed, but it will end up coming back to haunt so many people that it doesn't make sense. And again, keep in mind most of this research has been paid for by the dairy industry. Anyway, we've both made our case, let the people decide!