Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Best Food to Eat After Exercise

The best food to eat after working out is a bowl of healthy cereal with non-fat milk.

According to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin, milk and a 100-percent whole-grain cereal, which contain protein and carbohydrates, help rebuild damaged tissue at least as well as, if not better than, a specialized sports drink. And it's a lot cheaper!

"Sports drinks may have an advantage in convenience," study leader Lynne Kammer, who is a graduate student at UT, told Reuters Health, "But for the large population of people that exercise close to home, eating a bowl of cereal with milk is just as good as anything that is more exotic and expensive."

The study: Eight male and four female athletes fasted for 12 hours and then rode a stationary bicycle for two hours. They did not ride to exhaustion. Immediately following the ride, the participants ate either 100-percent whole-wheat flake cereal with nonfat milk or drank a typical carbohydrate-packed sports drink.

The results: Both the cereal with milk and the sports drink produced a healthy rise in blood sugar and insulin levels with one major difference. During the recovery period, the cereal raised insulin significantly more and dulled the spike in blood lactate compared with the sports drink. In addition, both helped the body replenish depleted glycogen, which is a fuel our bodies use during exercise, but the cereal and milk did it better.

"What we showed was that cereal and milk were good for protein synthesis, or muscle rebuilding, after exercise. Because of the protein in the milk you would expect to see this," Kammer told Reuters Health. "But what was most surprising was that the lactate in the blood was greatly reduced after consuming the cereal and milk as compared to the sports drink--and that's a good thing."

The takeaway: When you exercise close to home, save money and skip the sports drink. Eat a bowl of 100 percent whole-grain cereal and non-fat milk instead.

The research was presented at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in New Orleans.

--From the Editors at Netscape


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