The summer months are more or less upon us and everybody is hitting the gym. Whether you’re just starting out with a regular exercise routine or you’re a seasoned fitness buff, everyone needs the proper fuel and recovery for their workouts. I’m here to tell you that I consider a2 Milk® to be the best fuel for before your workout as well as recovery for after your workout.
Many people neglect preparation for their upcoming exercise routine, often describing their experience with a workout as ‘tiring’ and feeling “exhausted. It is very common for clients to go in for their workouts on an empty stomach causing them to “bonk” (run out of energy, get dizzy and nauseous) part way through the workout. Typically, clients claim that their strength lessens and more importantly they begin to lose focus and drive. This all comes down to proper fueling before your workout which is just as, if not more, important as stretching and warming up.
If a person is looking to fuel up before a workout, they should consume about 30 grams of carbohydrates and 15-25 grams of protein. The best options for this are quick digesting carbs with low fat and low fiber as both can slow the absorption down and possibly impair performance. Cow’s milk has these appropriate macronutrients to give you the fuel you need for both before and after your exercise.
Milk is one of the best options as a liquid to help with both pre-and post-exercise fueling. Not only does milk have protein and carbohydrates, both needed for proper fueling, it also contains branched chain amino acids. Branched chain amino acids, or BCAA, refers to valine, isoleucine and leucine, amino acids that are essential for post exercise recovery. These amino acids help with reduced lactic acid build up, reduce muscle mass loss, shortens recovery time and can help stimulate new muscle growth. Leucine in particular is a vital amino acid for the muscles as studies have shown that it’s the most effective at building lean muscle as well as repairing the muscle after exercise. Finally, it is a liquid so it absorbs faster than solid food sources of protein, thus is taken up by your muscles more efficiently.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m lactose intolerant, so maybe I should opt for almond or soy milk instead. Think again! Almond milk, despite being made from nuts, actually has less than 1 gram of protein per cup and nearly no carbohydrates if you are choosing unsweetened (as you should, as beverages with added sugars are not recommended). Therefore, almond milk is not a good source for pre or post workout food. As far as soy milk, it fares much better in terms of protein and carb content which is very similar to the macronutrient profile of cow’s milk. However, it has only contains half of the leucine and isoleucine content of cow’s milk as the best sources of these muscle-friendly amino acids come from animal sources.
So then what to drink? If you suspect you are lactose intolerant, I recommend using a2 Milk® as it is the only cow’s milk in the United States that does not have A1 beta casein protein, a protein that has been linked to the gastrointestinal discomfort similar to lactose intolerance. As you can see, a2 Milk® is the perfect drink to fuel and recover your workouts for nearly everyone. Just 16 ounces before and/or after your workout is all you need to give your body what it needs to be its strongest and most energetic self!