Why milk is the perfect recovery drink for runners

Carb-rich and packed with protein, a post-run ice cold glass of milk gets our vote.

Why milk is the perfect recovery drink for runners

Protein-packed

Consuming protein soon after your workout is essential for muscle repair and an important part of the process in order to make them stronger. According to Dairy Nutrition, milk contains two types of high quality proteins, each broken down by your body at different speeds: whey, which is fast-digesting, and casein which is slow-digesting. Milk comes with the perfect combination of both, so drink up knowing your post-run body has ample protein to support your progress. 

Maintain strong bones

We all know calcium helps to keep our bones strong, and luckily for us milk is jam-packed with it! Consuming ample calcium at any age is essential for good bone health and should be a key part of everyone's diet, but it's particularly important for runners.

Up until our late twenties our bodies build up calcium stores as we consume it. As we age it's especially important to maintain these stores, as our body removes this essential mineral and replaces it as part of a bone remodelling process. The calcium found in dairy is easily absorbed, making milk the obvious choice.

Healthy carbohydrates

Consuming carbohydrates after your run is vital for recovery and future athletic performance. When we exercise we use carbohydrates as fuel, so it's important to restock our glycogen stores soon after exercising.

Packed with carbs, protein and electrolytes, this makes milk the perfect post-run drink. The carbohydrates found in milk are simple sugars which enter our system quicker, speeding up the repair process. If you opt for chocolate milk which often contains added sugars, this aspect of recovery can be sped up even further. 

Convenience

Making healthy diet choices during a post-run haze isn't always easy. Reaching for a glass of chocolate milk will conveniently replenish lost nutrients if you don't have the time to prepare a proper meal, not to mention rehydrate you.

Thanks to its perfect protein to carbohydrate ratio, drinking milk within the first half an hour of finishing your run will allow your muscles to get the quick fix they need. Simply drink the white stuff and bask in the glow of your runner's high. 

If you follow a dairy-free diet you can still get the required nutrients from non-dairy milks, including soy and almond milk. Many high street brands add in calcium and vitamin D, so drink up.

You can also add milk to your recovery meals! To get your fix, try one of these tasty recipes:

Fluffy blueberry pancakes

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Berry healthy maple porridge

Chocolate and avocado mousse

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