You’ve just put in the miles on the treadmill or reps at the squat rack. After huffing through a killer session, your post-workout fuel matters. You’re probably apt to grab a sports drink, but what if we said milk is the superior post-workout drink?
“Gatorade inhibits fat oxidation because it contains a type of carbohydrate that blocks the metabolic pathways involved in fat breakdown in the muscle,” says Philip Chilibeck, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. “Meanwhile, the calcium and protein contents of milk stimulate these metabolic pathways to break down fats.”
In Chilibeck’s new study, published in Nutrition Research, he found athletes who drank skim milk after a tough evening workout burned more fat the following morning.
So if Gatorade inhibits fat breakdown in muscle, whereas the calcium and protein in milk stimulates it, then skim milk seems like the obvious choice post-workout, right? What’s more, Gatorade’s higher sugar content spikes glucose levels, bad for high blood pressure and diabetes; the higher protein in milk offsets this effect.
Still, sports drinks have their time and place: If you’re not a dairy lover, you’re lactose intolerant, or you’re leaving your gym bag in the hot car while you hit the trails (spoiled milk, no thanks), Gatorade will help you replace lost fluids and electrolytes just as well as skim milk.
Try adding it to your morning smoothies or protein shakes.