Tag Archives: post-workout carb-protein ratio

Try a Better Chocolate Milk

19 May

About a year ago, a colleague introduced me to Fairlife 2% chocolate milk.  I’m a big fan (maybe too big) of chocolate, and I love chocolate milk.  I even mix my chocolate whey protein powder with chocolate milk.

An 8 ounce serving of Fairlife 2% chocolate milk contains 13 grams of high-quality, whey protein – 50% more than ordinary chocolate milk.

Compared to ordinary chocolate milk, Fairlife 2% chocolate milk also boasts 30% more calcium; half the sugars – only 12 grams per 8 ounce serving; 9 essential nutrients, including vitamins A & D; and it’s lactose free.

There’s lots of research to support chocolate milk as, perhaps, the ideal post-workout recovery drink, because it contains the right mix of carbs and protein scientifically shown to help refuel muscles.

The purpose of post-workout recovery is to replenish glycogen (sugar) stores in the muscle and start the process of protein synthesis (muscle rebuilding) so that your body is ready for the next workout.


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Chocolate Milk + Protein Powder = Awesome

12 Aug

Chocolate-Milk[1]Here’s an idea for all you athletes, CrossFitters, exercisers, and fitness enthusiasts who — like me — are also chocolate lovers.

The next time you prepare a post-workout drink, instead of mixing your protein powder with plain old milk or water, try this combination:

In a shaker bottle, mix about 12 ounces of lowfat chocolate milk with 1 scoop of your favorite chocolate whey protein powder.

The result will be a delicious protein shake with about 35 grams of protein and an ideal carb to protein ratio.

Drink up!


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Post-Workout Recovery — The Right Way

1 Dec

TruMoo-Choc_Protein-Plus-350[1]Whether you’ve just finished strength training, speed training, or a rigorous sport practice, recovering smart should be part of your plan.

Since high-intensity training tends to break down muscle, the recovery process is important to ensure that you come back stronger next time.  Here are some tips for a productive post-workout recovery:


Avoid junk food and opt instead for whole foods and drinks.  We like low-fat chocolate milk.  It boasts high-quality protein, several important nutrients, and an ideal 3:1 carb to protein ratio.


Give your body — and your mind — some time off to rest before your next bout of exercise.  Keep in mind rest phase = growth phase.


Don’t jump into a high-intensity workout right away.  An appropriate and effective warm-up can improve your odds of staying injury-free.  Build your volume and intensity, gradually.


When you’re training, listen to the feedback your body gives you.  If you feel like you’re getting sick, run down, or injured, reduce your training load or take the day off.


Don’t just train to train.  Give yourself something to train for.  Develop a plan that is aligned with your goal and stay on track.


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Get Your Protein DURING Your Workout

5 Jul

chocolate-milk[1]There is plenty of evidence-based research supporting the importance of consuming whey protein (and carbohydrates) following a workout.  I have written and shared information about the ideal post-workout carb to protein ratio — about 3:1 — and that chocolate milk is a comparable substitute for ready-to-drink protein shakes, powders, and bars.

Several months ago, I read an article that suggested sipping your carb/protein replacement drink during your workout, so my daughter (a high school varsity basketball player) and I decided to try it.  We each begin our workout with an 18-20 oz. glass of chocolate milk (aim for 20-30 grams of protein, and 60-90 grams of carbs).  Every 10 minutes (or so), we drink some of the chocolate milk, saving the last few ounces for the end of our workout.  In effect, we’re putting the carbohydrates and protein to work — replenishing glycogen stores and repairing/rebuilding muscles — as we workout instead of waiting until the end of the session.

Although I realize eating and/or drinking during exercise isn’t for everyone, neither my daughter nor I have had any issues with tolerability.  Give it a try.


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The Importance of Post-Workout Carbohydrates

14 Dec

spaghetti[1]Most athletes know that post-workout protein is essential to the muscle recovery and repair process. As a strength and conditioning professional who works with hundreds of athletes, I can tell you that the importance of post-workout carbohydrate consumption is not necessarily as widely known or understood.

Post-workout carbs are also essential to your muscles’ recovery process. Ideally, you want to aim for 30-90 grams of carbs — depending on the intensity and duration of your workout — within about 30 minutes of training. This is when your muscles are most “receptive” to glycogen (see next paragraph). Within a few hours, your muscles are no longer able to recapture glycogen. Consuming carbohydrates after a workout not only “feeds” your muscles; it also prepares them for the next day’s workout, practice, or game.

Here’s how the process works: You already know that your body breaks carbs down into glucose, your primary energy source. Glycogen is the form of glucose that’s stored in your muscle tissue (some glucose is stored as fat). When you workout, you deplete muscle glycogen stores but you also effectively increase your muscle demand for glucose, meaning you need more (pre-workout) and have the ability to store more (post-workout). That’s why replenishing your muscles’ glycogen stores — via carbohydrate consumption — is an important part of your recovery process.

For best results, your post-workout carbs should be combined with protein. Research indicates the optimal carb-protein ratio to be 3:1 or 4:1, or approximately 20 to 25g protein per 80g carbs. Studies also show that carb-protein consumption, after a workout, increased glycogen reloading by 38 percent over carbs-only (Journal of Applied Physiology). Lowfat chocolate milk has this “magic” formula: a 3:1 carb-protein ratio and quality whey protein.

If you want to get your carbs from whole foods, what should you eat? Well, quality is important but any carb is better than no carb at all, given the importance of carbs to the post-workout recovery process. Fruits, including dried fruits, are good choices (think apples, oranges, bananas, raisins, and craisins). Whole grains — including bread, bagels, cereals, pasta, and rice — are nutritious and beneficial.


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