Dairy & muscle recovery/repair

Dairy & muscle recovery/repair

by Glenys Zucco, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Accredited Sports Dietician

Nature’s recovery drink

The nutrition goals of recovery are to rehydrate, refuel glycogen (carbohydrate stores), and repair muscle tissue. Milk is a wholesome, nutrient-rich drink that contains the nutrients your body needs to rehydrate, refuel and repair.


When you train hard, you sweat hard. Milk helps you rehydrate fast by replacing fluid and electrolytes in the right balance. There is no more natural way to give your body what it most needs after exercise than with milk.


During your workout, your muscles use carbohydrate stores (called glycogen) for energy. As glycogen becomes depleted, so does your ability to perform at your peak. Drinking flavoured milk immediately after working out replenishes your muscles’ energy stores and sets you up to perform better at your next exercise session.

In fact, research has shown that people who drink milk straight after training are able to exercise longer in their next session than those who drink sports drinks or plain water. And the better you can train, the quicker you achieve your goals.


High-intensity or long workouts result in the breakdown of muscle tissue. Intake of 15-25g of high quality protein (about 2 glasses of milk), in the first hour after exercise can promote faster muscle rebuilding. Milk contains high quality proteins that can help repair damaged muscle tissue and promote lean muscle growth.

Chocolate milk wins
battle of the sports drinks

UK researchers compared the effects of three beverages on performance in a cycling endurance test1. The three beverages were chocolate milk, a commercially available sports drink, and a commercially available fluid replacement drink.

On three occasions, nine trained male cyclists completed a glycogen depletion workout, drank one of the three test beverages during a four-hour recovery period, and then cycled in an endurance capacity trial.

When the cyclists were given chocolate milk, they were able to cycle 51 percent longer in the endurance test before exhaustion than they did when they were given the sports drink and 43 percent longer than when they were given the fluid replacement drink.

For more information visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au/sport

1. Thomas KP et al. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2009; 34(1):78-82


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