Is Chocolate Milk A 'Natural' For Post-Exercise Recovery?

There should be an image here!One of the best post-exercise recovery drinks could already be in your refrigerator, according to new research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference this week. In a series of four studies, researchers found that chocolate milk offered a recovery advantage to help repair and rebuild muscles, compared to specially designed carbohydrate sports drinks.

Experts agree that the two-hour window after exercise is an important, yet often neglected, part of a fitness routine. After strenuous exercise, this post-workout recovery period is critical for active people at all fitness levels — to help make the most of a workout and stay in top shape for the next workout.

The new research suggests that drinking fat free chocolate milk after exercise can help the body retain, replenish and rebuild muscle to help your body recover. Drinking lowfat chocolate milk after a strenuous workout could even help prep muscles to perform better in a subsequent bout of exercise. Specifically, the researchers found a chocolate milk advantage for:

  • Building Muscle — Post-exercise muscle biopsies in eight moderately trained male runners showed that after drinking 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk, the runners had enhanced skeletal muscle protein synthesis — a sign that muscles were better able to repair and rebuild — compared to when they drank a carbohydrate only sports beverage with the same amount of calories. The researchers suggest that “athletes can consider fat-free chocolate milk as an economic nutritional alternative to other sports nutrition beverages to support post-endurance exercise skeletal muscle repair.”
  • Replenishing Muscle “Fuel” — Replacing muscle fuel (glycogen) after exercise is essential to an athlete’s future performance and muscle recovery. Researchers found that drinking 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk with its mix of carbohydrates and protein (compared to a carbohydrate-only sports drink with the same amount of calories) led to greater concentration of glycogen in muscles at 30 and 60 minutes post exercise.
  • Maintaining Lean Muscle — Athletes risk muscle breakdown following exercise when the body’s demands are at their peak. Researchers found that drinking fat free chocolate milk after exercise helped decrease markers of muscle breakdown compared to drinking a carbohydrate sports drink.
  • Subsequent Exercise Performance — Ten trained men and women cyclists rode for an hour and a half, followed by 10 minutes of intervals. They rested for four hours and were provided with one of three drinks immediately and two hours into recovery: lowfat chocolate milk, a carbohydrate drink with the same amount of calories or a control drink. When the cyclists then performed a subsequent 40 kilometer ride, their trial time was significantly shorter after drinking the chocolate milk compared to the carbohydrate drink and the control drink.

Why Chocolate Milk?

Chocolate milk’s combination of carbohydrates and high-quality protein first made researchers take notice of a potential exercise benefit. The combination of carbs and protein already in chocolate milk matched the ratio found to be most beneficial for recovery. In fact, studies suggest that chocolate milk has the right mix of carbs and protein to help refuel exhausted muscles, and the protein in milk helps build lean muscle. This new research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting milk can be just as effective as some commercial sports drinks in helping athletes refuel and recover.

Milk also provides fluids for rehydration and electrolytes, including potassium, calcium and magnesium lost in sweat, that both recreational exercisers and elite athletes need to replace after strenuous activity. Plus, chocolate milk is naturally nutrient-rich with the advantage of additional nutrients not found in most traditional sports drinks. Penny-for-penny, no other post-exercise drink contains the full range of vitamins and minerals found in chocolate milk.

Gloria Delgadillo @ Weber Shandwick Worldwide

[Photo above by Roadsidepictures / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:organic chocolate Milk]

Tidy House, Fitter Body?

There should be an image here!An Indiana University study that examined the relationship between physical activity and a range of variables involving urban residents’ homes and neighborhoods found that the inside of study subjects’ homes had more to do with higher physical activity levels than the sidewalks, lighting and other elements considered.

“At the end of the day, the interior condition of their house seemed to be the only thing affecting their physical activity,” said NiCole Keith, associate professor in the Department of Physical Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “It was not at all what we expected.”

The study involved 998 African Americans ages 49-65 who lived in St. Louis and participated in the African American Health longitudinal study, which began in 2000. African Americans, notes Keith, are disproportionally affected by risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Physical activity can reduce the likelihood that people will develop risk factors for cardiovascular disease and also reduce the effect of the risk factors when they exist. African Americans, however, have relatively low rates of physical activity.

Keith said efforts to increase physical activity rates in city-dwellers might need to be taken inside. Much attention has been given to improving sidewalks and other aspects of the built environment outside, which Keith said is worthwhile, but if people already are not active in their homes, researchers should look at ways to increase this.

“If you spend your day dusting, cleaning, doing laundry, you’re active,” she said. “This will inform interventions. They won’t take 30 minutes to go for a walk, but they’ll take 30 minutes to clean.”

More about the study:

  • The study used a combination of self-assessments and objective assessments to gauge study participants’ perceptions of their neighborhood and residences. Researchers based in St. Louis rated the interior and exterior of the dwellings and immediate vicinity, including such things as cleanliness, furnishings, noise, air quality and conditions of the dwelling and those of nearby buildings.
  • The seasonally adjusted Yale Physical Activity Scale was used to assess physical activity. The YPAS was adjusted to take into consideration the self-assessments and object assessments along with demographic, socioeconomic, health conditions and physical measures involving subjects.

Keith said the findings were unexpected and raise more questions. They suggest that something about the condition of someone’s residence drives physical activity, she said, or that people are being physically active while they keep their homes tidy.

“Are the types of people who take care of their bodies the same types of people who take care of their homes?” she asked.

NiCole Keith @ Indiana University

[Photo above by IG8 / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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I never used to be worried about my weight, but of course, that was before I started gaining more weight. For the majority of my life, I’ve been pretty thin, but I’ve been gaining weight a lot quicker over the past few years. In a way that’s not much of a problem because I needed the extra pounds, but there comes a point when you’re satisfied and you’re ready for the weight gain to stop. That’s about where I am right now. If this sounds familiar to you and you’re ready to start focusing on fitness, then DailyBurn is ready to help.

Not only does DailyBurn assist you by enabling you to track what you eat and your workouts, but it also gives you new ideas and encouragement. You can search through the food database to find new foods and recipes, and video exercise instructions help you to develop a program that works for you. The other members of DailyBurn are a great asset because they can offer you the motivation that you need, even if it involves a competition of some sort. It’s time to finally shed those pounds and get fit.


After years and even decades of ignoring their weight and health, many people are finally starting to pay attention to what they need to do to be healthy. It isn’t always easy, but being fit is becoming more popular and people are willing to try whatever they can to get in shape, which is good news. If you’ve been bitten by the fitness bug, it’s important to set expectations and track your progress, and an online tool called Shrinking will help you to visually see the progress that you’re making.

By setting milestones and tracking your daily weight, Shrinking will provide you with simple graphs to help you truly understand where you’re headed. The site also interacts with some social networks to enable you to share your progress with your friends and followers. The basic features are free, but if you’re willing to spend a few bucks per month, you’ll get access to an online notebook to record your thoughts and a BMI analyzer. Now that you know how to track your progress, all you have to do is figure out how you’re going to lose the weight, which just so happens to be the hardest part of the process to stick to.

A Negative Phys Ed Teacher Can Cause A Lifetime Of Inactivity

There should be an image here!Humiliation in physical education class as a child can turn people off fitness for good, according to a University of Alberta researcher.

Billy Strean, a professor in the U of A’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says a negative lifelong attitude towards physical activity can be determined by either a good or a bad experience, based on the personal characteristics of the coach or instructor. For example, negative experiences may come from a teacher who has low energy, is unfair and/or someone who embarrasses students.

During his research, Strean heard from individuals who opened up about negative experiences with coaches and instructors, some from many years ago.

One study participant wrote, “I am a 51-year-old woman whose childhood experiences with sports, particularly as handled in school, were so negative that even as I write this my hands are sweating and I feel on the verge of tears. I have never experienced the humiliation nor felt the antipathy toward any other aspect of life as I do toward sports.”

Strean hopes to raise awareness of such experiences so those who instruct children in sport will realize they have the ability to create either a fun and playful experience or an experience of humiliation.

Strean has tips for coaches and teachers, including putting attention on fun, connecting with friends and learning, and, until kids enter their teens, minimizing attention on outcomes.

Strean also found study participants had better experiences from minimally organized games such as street hockey, compared to the more organized activities. He suggests adults try not to over-organize sports and allow the children to explore sporting activities on their own, with minimal rules and no scorekeeping.

Carmen Leibel @ University of Alberta

[Photo above by Charlie Dave / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Are You An Inactive IT Person?

I recently read an article about IT people being one of the most inactive employee groups. What do many IT people do all day? Sit in front of a computer screen. Being in the IT industry myself, I can certainly relate because this is exactly what I do for most of my days (and into the evenings).

What does this mean for us IT folks? With a New Year right around the corner, maybe it’s time for some self-reflection on our current lifestyles to come up with a few 2010 resolutions. With busy day schedules and family commitments in the evenings, it is difficult to find time for dedicated workout time. But there are some simple things that we can all do to increase our level of activity throughout the day. For example, instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Go for a brisk walk during your lunch hour. Instead of driving to work, ride your bike. To keep motivated and make it more fun, get a few other co-workers to join you.

If you think you have no time during the day for such types of activities, remember when you’re making your New Year resolution that being physically active can improve your performance by as much as 12%.

Top 5 Tips For Geeks To Stay In Shape

Gnomie Tim Verhoeven from the Netherlands writes:

Hi Chris,

I don’t know if you do any top 5 lists any more, but if you do, I have one for you!

Many geeks are sitting behind the desk a lot and don’t have much time to work on their bodies to stay fit. I have a top 5 list that can help you to stay in shape and look fresh.

  1. When you’re eating while you watch a movie or just browsing around the Web, you don’t pay much attention to how much you eat. If you eat healthy snacks, like fruit and nuts, you can easily stay healthy.
  2. Don’t take the elevator if you’re near stairs. This will increase your stamina, and your legs will get stronger.
  3. If you go on a short trip, use the bicycle instead of a car. You will be there in about the same amount of time, because you can take shortcuts, and don’t have to stop if there’s traffic.
  4. Do pushups and crunches every day. These will strengthen your shoulders, chest, and triceps and tighten your abdominals.
  5. Staring at a screen all day long can make your skin look pale. Open up some curtains and let the sunlight in! It will make your skin much healthier, your hair shinier, and your eyes will withstand less strain.


Sears Get It Done Tool Sale: Friday 10/3 – Saturday 10/4

There should be an image here!Tools!
It’s the last two days of the Get It Done Tool Sale where thousands of tools will be on sale!

Save 15% off all Kenmore appliances and floorcare/vacuums! Plus get 0% for 12 months or free delivery on appliances over $399.

Stay in shape through the winter! All fitness equipment is on sale up to $1300 off!

Lawn & Garden!
All Craftsman Lawn & Garden is on sale as well as all Outdoor Storage. Find great savings on snow throwers, wood chippers, lawn tractors and chain saws – all top-selling products!

Sears 2-Day Sale: November 2-3

Lawn & Garden





[tags]sears, tools, appliances, fitness, apparel, sale[/tags]


Sitting in front of a computer all day everyday certainly isn’t great for your health. If your daily exercise primarily involves walking from your office to the kitchen in order to get some food, then you’re going to be out of shape in no time at all. Health? What health? I may be skinny, but I certainly need exercise just as much (if not more) as other people. It’s true – sitting on your butt and working on a computer can prevent you from getting some much needed exercise, so while you’re sitting on your butt, you might as well surf on over to Gimme20 in order to get some information on how to become fit.
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