Friday, August 3, 2012

Drinks that Taste Good, Hydrate, and Recover

Whether you are hitting the gym, out for a jog, or doing zumba on a dvd in your basement, your body can benefit from a post work out drink.  So what is a great beverage that also tastes good? Chocolate milk of coarse!  I didn't believe it either at first.  How could something be so wonderful and be healthy for you?

After exercise, your muscles are very responsive to insulin. Insulin is in charge of moving glucose to your liver and muscles so it can be stored as glycogen. Your exercise performance is determined by the amount of glycogen your muscles can use. 
Sports nutritionist Nancy Clark recommends that athletes aim to take in food with a 3- or 4-to-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio for their post-workout recovery; low-fat chocolate milk has approximately a 4-to-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio, making it ideal for consumption during the first two hours after exercise. The carbohydrates in chocolate milk provide you with immediate blood glucose and stimulate glycogen synthesis. The protein expedites the uptake of sugar into your muscles by stimulating the rise of insulin in your blood. (source)

 In addition to protein, athletes need to increase their carbohydrate intake following exercise. Exercise uses up glycogen stores, which are responsible for supplying energy to muscles. Carbohydrates are easily digestible and can refuel these glycogen supplies, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Further, if glycogen is not refueled through food, the body uses protein stores for nutrition, negating some of the benefits of the exercise. (source)
Dr. Henry C. Lukaski reports. In addition to proteins and carbohydrates, low-fat chocolate milk contains levels of sodium and sugar that help your body to stabilize and retain water, which is essential for recovering your energy. (source)
I like organic milk, as it doesn't have the higher levels of hormones and chemicals added from the cows.  Horizon seems like a good choice and has a small travel size that would be great for the gym, or while out and about.

As far as chocolate syrup goes try to find one that you can read all the ingredients on the label, like Trader Joe's Organic Midnight Moo.

If you are like me and workouts are your achilles heal, but you still need some extra hydration from time to time, try Coconut Water.  With 5 kinds of electrolytes and nothing artificial it is a healthy choice over Gatorade, which is full of artificial food coloring and flavors.

CoconutsCoconut water is extremely low in calories and packs a nutritional punch. It is chock full of 
calcium and minerals, has more electrolytes than packaged sports drinks and has more potassium than a banana. And these reasons are in addition to the list of the 9 reasons why coconut water is good for you.

9 Reasons Why Coconut Water is Good For You
    The Beach
  1. It has absolutely no cholesterol – this is in addition to being a low-calorie drink.
  2. Coconut water is identical to blood plasma. In World War II and even today in very rare cases in countries, coconut water has saved lives by being used as an intravenous hydration fluid instead of the standard IV fluid.
  3. Despite being naturally sweet, it is extremely low in sugars.
  4. It is low in sodium compared to energy drinks and high in chloride compared to sports drinks.
  5. Regulates and controls the body’s temperature and boosts the immune system.
  6. It boosts your metabolism, which is an important step in a person’s weight loss process.
  7. It is a natural isotonic beverage i.e. is the perfect drink to rehydrate your body and replenish lost electrolytes.
  8. It cleanses and settles the digestive tract by actively killing intestinal worms that makes for easier digestion and less chances of digetsive illnesses.
  9. Coconut water controls vomiting making it extremely important for those suffering from ailments that cause vomiting like typhoid, malaria or fevers. (source)

Look for coconut milk that is from young coconuts and doesn't have anything else added to it, like Zico coconut water.

There you have it... two delicious drinks that are good for you and taste good!  By the way coconut water also comes in chocolate.  :)


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