Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chocolate Milk for Post-Workout Nutrition

So here's what I knew about the research of chocolate milk about 2 years ago as a recovery drink: It has an ideal 4:1 ratio and is better than gatorade ect. in aiding the recovery of muscles after a stressful workout. I am at home right now but once I get back to campus I will surely look through the databases for newer research. For now, if you don't know anything about it, here's some information.

According to a randomized trial published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2006, chololate milk (with skim milk...folks forgot to mention) is an excellent recovery drink with a very good 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein that athletes such as cyclists, long-distace runners and swimmers need. I'll leave a lot of the crazy research and methods jargon, but the population size was 9 male cyclists (N=9). The were subjected to an interval workout, then 4 hours of recovery and then an endurance trial to 70% of their VO2 max. The study was essentially single-blinded and randomized, so men were randomly selected to recover with fluid replacement (ie Gatorade), chocolate milk, or a carbohydrate replacement drink. Variables included time to exhaustion, average heart rate, rating of perceived exhaustion, and total work for the endurance exercise. The conclusion was that time to exhaustion were significantly greater than for fluid replacement and carbohydrate replacement drink.

Run smart!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Medication, healthy lifestyles and exercise

I recently finished a stint in family medicine in Holyoke, MA with a wonderful doctor. His patients adore him and he is extremely passionate about making them live healtier and longer lives. The problem is, most people just don't understand the importance of these concepts.

I find myself to be a very understanding individual. My worry, though, is that I will never be able to understand why most people have no desire to get outside and do something. Exercise, nutrition are the true medications. It is true that there are disease states where this does not apply. Hyperlipidemia is heavily hereditary and no amount of exercise or nutrition can help that. I met a man, probably in his 50's, several weeks ago in the office, who was visibly fit and admittly ate well. The problem was that his total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL were very elevated. I tried explaining to him the reasons and I told him that I understood why he was upset, being a very avid runner as well. The truth is, there are some things in medicine that we just can't control. No amount of discipline can lower those lipids. Since the negative effects of smoking outway the benefits in this matter (smoking can lower LDL), we don't recommend it. However, keep on doing what you can in the gym and the roads because at least you can knock out one component (exercise raises HDL/a.k.a. "good cholesterol").

If you study the major hitters: hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes, you'll realize that simply getting outside and doing something can save you a lifetime of trips to the doctor ($$$$$) and a lifetime of excessive medications ($$$$$).

My last piece of advice...believe it or not, but your grandmother's recipes are out of date. If you really want to cut the weight and get fitter, pick up a new recipe book. Look for one that give you the nutrition information. Sodium and fat adds up in our diets, so be cautious. Lastly, set your exercise goals high, because even if you never reach them, you will probably push yourself harder than you ever have in your entire life.