Looking for a New Recovery Drink? Try Milk.
Mom was was onto something when she encouraged you to finish your milk. According to Maria Cheng, AP's medical writer, "researchers are giving scientific support to [the fact that] milk may be just as good or even better than sports drinks for serious athletes recovering from exercise. The health benefits of milk – which has carbohydrates, electrolytes, calcium and vitamin D – have long been established. But for athletes, milk also contains the two proteins best for rebuilding muscles: casein and whey."
Cheng adds, "Muscles get damaged after an intense bout of aerobic exercise like running, playing football, or cycling. The casein and whey proteins in milk are precisely what the body needs to regenerate muscles fast."
Sport drinks not marked as "recovery drinks" are good for replenishing carbs and electrolytes but don't do much for muscles that need to repair after a strenuous workout. Drinking milk immediately after a tough workout means that muscles will reap the benefits when they need them, before they start breaking down.
If you don't like the taste of milk, try mixing in some chocolate or strawberry protein powder for flavor.
Cheng's original story can be read here.