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Milk - the new energy drink?

Dairy cows

In celebration of World Milk Day we recently posted some interesting facts about milk. Some were less surprising—that milk is one of the most nutrient rich food sources available—and some more so, such as reports on studies which found cows prefer to be called by name.

The most unexpected finding, though, turns out to have been the centre of some media attention and research over the past few years. That finding?

The possibility that milk could make a better post-workout beverage than commercial energy drinks.

Collinson are involved in both the agricultural and sports sectors so, naturally, this caught our interest. We set out to investigate.

Woman works out in gym

Milk for muscles

Writing for the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2008, Professor Brian D. Roy of Brock University conducted a review of the role milk plays in resistance exercise and training [source: BioMed Central].

Milk contains a high level of electrolytes, known to help with fluid recovery after a high-intensity work out. It also has similar amounts of carbohydrates to many commercial sports drinks, providing energy for exercise.

Further still, milk consumption has been found to increase muscle protein synthesis after resistance training, an important process for building and increasing muscle tissue.

In fact, in one case study a 19-year-old male kayaker increased his body mass by 10kg with only a minimal change in body fat percentage—by drinking milk-based drinks pre and post-training [source: Reid, 2016: Human Kinetics Journals].

Although physiological mechanisms are not fully understood, Professor Roy cites a number of studies that support the theory of milk as a more effective energy drink than commercial sports drinks—though, it should be noted that much of the research focuses on low-fat or fat-free milk.

In the US, chocolate milk seems to be the preference [source: ageconsearch.umn.edu]. Personally, we prefer whole milk sourced from a local dairy.

Collinson’s dedicated divisions operate in both the sporting and agriculture sectors, building sports facilities and providing complete feeding systems to farmers of all sectors. If you’re commencing a sports development or are in need of agricultural feeding equipment, call 01995 606 451 to speak with us today.  

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