Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Score One for Chocolate Milk

Lately I've been looking into some of the best foods to eat after a high-intensity workout like the kinds I do. Nutrition experts talk about a "metabolic window," a period lasting up to 45 minutes after you complete your workout where it's important to refuel---particularly on sugar---to reap the metabolic benefit of repairing your muscle tissue and rebuilding your glucose stores. And I want to take full advantage of what I like to think of as a free pass. Woo hoo!

Or perhaps I should be saying "Yoo Hoo." A common recommendation I came across in my research is chocolate milk as the ideal post-workout food (skim, of course). Benefits of drinking chocolate milk include the fairly ideal ratio of carbs to protein a serving supplies and, you know, the deliciousness.

I usually like to make a peanut butter/banana/skim milk smoothie after a workout (also recommended and yummy). But it's good to mix things up from time to time. For those of you who may not be able to make these things yourself, remember that the portion sizes of convenience-mart chocolate milk and juice-bar smoothies are often at least double what you need, so if you intend your post-workout meal to be only a snack, you might want to stick it in the fridge for later.

Other suggestions for you non-dairy aficionados (or is it non-aficionados?):

-Handful of trail mix (I like to make my own with dried cranberries, almonds, and dark chocolate chips and stick individually sized portions in the freezer.)
-Turkey sandwich with veggies and mustard
-Clif, Luna, or Power Bars

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