A new study completed at the University of Texas at Austin shows that a good old fashioned bowl of whole grain cereal and milk is as effective for recovering from workouts as expensive sports drinks. In many cases the milk and cereal combo was actually more effective. The results of the study were reported at a meeting at the American College of Sports Medicine in New Orleans.
The test consisted of 12 athletes that included 8 men and 4 women. They fasted for 12 hours to deplete their systems so an accurate baseline could be established. The test subjects would then ride a stationary bike for a period of 2 hours. Immediately after each ride they would consume either a bowl of cereal with skim milk or a sports drink.
Both the sports drink and the cereal raised the blood sugar levels, but the milk and cereal far outperformed the sports drink in terms of protein synthesis, lactate reduction, and glycogen storage. Even though sports drinks are more convenient, they can take a huge hit to your wallet. Instead, whip up a serving of whole wheat cereal and skim milk.
The combination of good carbs and protein in the milk is the key to the effectiveness of the milk/cereal combination. Sports drinks don’t have any protein, only carbohydrates, which are typically pure sugar.
So now that you know milk and cereal is an effective post workout recovery meal, you still have to use some discretion. Make sure the cereal is a whole wheat cereal and not the sugary unhealthy kind. To keep the calories down use skim milk instead of higher fat choices. The serving size is also important as the calories in any type of cereal can really add up if you’re not careful. Eating too much cereal at one sitting can totally nullify the results of your workout and leave you feeling bloated.
So now that you know that cereal isn’t just for little kids and teenagers you can start incorporating it into your post workout diet plan. There are also great tasting high protein cereal choices to choose from that can give you even better results. So after your trip to the gym hit the store and stock up on your favorite whole grain cereal and skim milk.