Milk is an excellent recovery drink and is overlooked by many people. Milk has been found to be an effective recovery drink after resistance training, and studies have found that consuming milk straight after training can aid greater protein synthesis (making). A study looking at young women found that drinking fat-free milk (skimmed) straight after resistance exercise resulted in increases in muscle mass, greater strength gains and reduced body fat levels. Milk contains protein and carbohydrate which means it can help towards replenishing your energy too. It contains whey protein (20%) which is a ‘fast’ protein (absorbed faster) which will help with muscle repair. It also contains casein (80%) which is a ‘slow’ digesting protein which keeps you fuller for longer and aids with fat loss. Milk contains all the essential amino acids so it is therefore a great source of protein. Milk also contains calcium and other beneficial nutrients such as b vitamins, vitamin D and K. And of course the other positive aspect is that milk is a lot cheaper than protein powders!
Hartman et al (2007) Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters.
Josse et al (2010) Body composition and strength changes in women with milk and resistance exercise.
Lunn et al (2012) Chocolate milk and endurance exercise recovery: protein balance, glycogen, and performance