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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Low fat chocolate milk: is it an effective recovery drink for football players?

Current recommendations to improve rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise suggest consuming either 1.2 gr carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight (kg BW) per hour (h) for 2-4 hours after exhaustive exercise or 0.8 gr carbohydrate/ Kg BW/h in combination with amino acids or protein. Although solid and liquid supplements are suggested, liquids are more easily consumed by athletes due to exercise-induced appetite suppression in the hour(s) following training.

Recent research shows that low fat chocolate milk may be as effective as a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage at speeding recovery after hard training. However, most research so far has been conducted on the cycle ergometer and this might limit the practical applications. To my knowledge, very limited research exists on football palyers. One interesting study was published few days ago in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by Spaccarotella and Andzel from Kean University, USA.

What was their protocol?
13 young 19-20 years old football players completed their regular pre-season training in the morning and afternoon. Performance was assessed with the 20-m shuttle run test in the afternoon session. After the morning session, the players received either low fat chocolate milk or an equivalent volume of carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage.


Table. Composition of the beverages used (in 100ml).

Nutrient
Low fat chocolate milk
Carbohydrate-electrolyte
Energy (kcal)
67
20.8
Protein (g)
3.3
0
Fat (g)
1.3
0
Carbohydrate (g)
11.3
5.8
 Modified from Spaccarotella and Andzel (2011)


Main finding
Time to fatigue in the 20-m shuttle run test did not differ between conditions.

Practical applications
  • Low fat chocolate milk might be as effective as a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution at speeding recovery after a training session.
  • The benefits of low fat chocolate milk as a recovery drink are:
    • It contains large amounts of sodium
    • It is cheap
    • It can be easily found


Points to consider
Although this is an interesting area of research with obvious practical applications, readers should keep in mind that training load was not controlled in the morning session in the above mentioned study. Besides this, I think that the findings of Spaccarotella and Andzel’s study add to current knowledge. Future research should examine the effect of this recovery drink under more controlled conditions.


Related posts in this blog

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS SUPPLEMENTATION TO FACILITATE RECOVERY AND ANABOLISM? http://georgenassis.blogspot.com/2011/07/omega-3-fatty-acids-supplementation-to.html



CAN WE DEFEND HYPERTHERMIA AND DEHYDRATION IN FOOTBALL?



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