You’re tired of your body looking like a potato. Or an asparagus. You’re tired of feeling unconfident. And so you furrow your eyebrows, tie a ‘fighting!” headband around your head and hit up the gym.
“I’m done making excuses for myself,” you rasp. “I’m gonna achieve a body like Zac Efron’s, by hook or by crook.”
You proceed to do bench presses like a beast. Do squats like a sex-deprived Charlie Sheen. Deadlift like Buttercup on crack. And slowly but surely, the gains are coming in.
“I want moar. Moar,” you roar.
Hunger unsatiated, you look up the Internet. And it’s there that you see the gym fanatic’s answer to a rare candy.
“Protein shakes…” you whisper. “What are these?”
Interest piqued, you buy an entire tub of protein powder, and begin taking it in earnest.
“Itadakimasu!” you cheer as you drink from your protein shake.
Your eyes widen; your tongue fumbles.
“Geezus it tastes like shit!” you cry. “What’s this unnatural tasting thing?”
Hurt, you throw the protein shake to the floor.
“I want it to be natty! This protein shake is… not natty!”
Pained beyond belief, you cower in a corner of your sofa. “Does this mean that I’ll never achieve Zac Efron’s body?”
You start crying. “No…”
“Worry not, my friend.”
You look up; Zac Efron’s there.
“Z-Zac Efron?” you snivel.
“Yes, my friend. And worry not if you do not wish to get the almighty protein shake, that’s totally natural by the way, because there’s actually a good alternative to it.”
“T-There is…?” you splutter.
“Yes, my friend. I’m talking, of course, about…”
Chocolate Milk Might Be A Good Post Gym Protein Shake Substitute
You might count it off as broscience, but the fact remains that experts have been recommending the following approach for ages:
Eating immediately and up to two hours after exercising.
“A post-workout meal comprising high-quality protein sources, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids, has been shown to stimulate robust increases in muscle protein synthesis,” said Dr Verena Tan, senior development specialist with FrieslandCampina, a Dutch multinational dairy cooperative.
But hey, don’t flock to your vast stores of protein shakes just yet. Or your endless farms of chickens. Because unbeknownst to the majority of people, there’s actually a very apt solution, that’s also delicious af:
Low-fat chocolate milk.
“It consists of a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate and protein – similar to many commercial recovery beverages – and provides fluids and sodium to aid in post-workout recovery,” said Dr Tan.
“One study showed that consuming chocolate milk immediately after exercise and again at two hours post-exercise appears to be optimal for exercise recovery and may lower the extent of muscle damage.”
Essentially, any food with carbohydrates, protein, fluid and electrolytes will serve to help promote recovery after exercise. For example, a fruit smoothie or a protein-rich sandwich would do just fine in the post-workout recovery department.
On the other hand, traditional sports drinks shouldn’t be your number-one go-to after a workout, no matter what advertisements preach.
“Traditional sports drinks have the carbohydrates and electrolytes, but usually no protein.”
So do yourself, and your muscles, a favour…
And drink some chocolate milk. 😉
But of course, if you’re lactose intolerant like me, you’ll have to go down the chewier route.
Chicken breast/protein shakes, here we come.