Exercise Recovery Drink Thoughts

Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
edited January 2016 in General Discussion

I realize that I stand to potentially take a lot of crap from the more prurient among us for this post, but the spirit of inquiry will not be denied.

During the last several years I have seen a number of articles claiming that chocolate milk is an excellent post-exercise recovery drink. It may be so, but it also assumes that you like chocolate milk, and I don't. That made me wonder if there was something else that was just as good. (OK, get ready, here it comes....) How about human breast milk? If you can grow an infant with the stuff, it's got to be an awesome source of everything you could possibly need for recovery.

Of course, there are all sorts of reasons why this isn't really doable, but then it made me wonder if commercial infant formula would be a good recovery drink. Since I don't have kids, I never have had to worry about infant formula ingredients. However, after reading about the composition of breast milk and comparing it to infant formulas from several companies, it seems that infant formula might well be a good recovery drink. Infant formula is nowhere near as complex as breast milk (women are chemical factories that would put the most advanced pharmaceutical companies to shame), but for something like exercise recovery, it is reasonably close on a macro scale. That said, has anyone ever tried infant formula for recovery purposes?

One more thing about breast milk - It turns out that it is high in erithropoetin (EPO). EPO and variants are the chemicals used by endurance athletes to (illegally) increase their red blood cells and oxygen carrying capacity. One article mentioned that when the mother has a diet high in iron, the combination of that with the EPO is a potent red blood cell building combination. Interesting....

-LBJ

DanSimonelli

“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

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Comments

  • JenAJenA Charter Member

    This is "a thing". I recently saw a news feature that discussed it, and a quick search on CraigsList brings up results. ($3/ounce, for the curious)

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    It's gotta be better than the stupid, sugar laden chocolate milk idea! ~X(

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  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    I love chocolate milk as a recovery drink...or as just a drink.

    My wife breastfed our 4 kids for a total of 10 years (woo-hoo! boobies all day...and, seriously, her chance of contracting breast cancer drops to less than 1%, which makes me very happy), yet, despite that, I never tasted it.

    Now, those of you w/o kids, there is this thing that _some _fathers try to get other fathers to do. I can't tell you how many times I had one of my co-workers ask me "You tried it yet? It's like ambrosia! You don't know what you're missing!"

    Nope, sorry, not gonna do it.

    Contrarily, my wife tried it and described what it tasted like. Apparently, many breast-feeding moms do this. (I'm not talking guzzling down cups of it, but dipping a finger in it and trying it.)

    OK, way off topic (or not). Sorry LBJ, we never used formula so cannot tell you about that. But if it has good stuff in it, try it and report back. Plus, seeing you buying it in your neighborhood store is sure to confuse your neighbors!

    DanSimonellidpm50
  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USMember

    @Leonard_Jansen I think it would be easier, as good and certainly cheaper to find a certified source of unhomogenized and unpasteurized (ie raw) goat’s or cow’s milk rather than human milk. The usual processing of milk destroys or denatures enzymes, probiotics, and other trace constituents of milk (basically the stuff you’re interested in). Same is true for infant formula.

    Disclaimer: Raw milk consumption is controversial. And please, I don’t need a lecture about its risks. I know what they are. And you should too if you decide to try it as a recovery drink.

    DanSimonelliIronMike

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    IronMike said: My wife breastfed our 4 kids for a total of 10 years yet, despite that, I never tasted it.

    My wife breastfed our kids for about 6 months each. Curiosity go the best of me, I tasted it when no one was looking (no, not straight from the nozzle). I concluded from the experience that the only reason babies drink it is because they're starving and don't know any better... It was awful. Tastes like baby burp.

    DanSimonellisuziedodsIronMikeLynne

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved Tides that I tried to swim against Have brought be down upon my knees Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    Choc milk or coke full strength.. oh and honest.. Ensure..

    tortuga

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • JayJay Outside Boston, MAMember

    I love chocolate milk, but for post-workout I prefer chilled coconut water with a Cliff Bar.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    Aside from the rather disturbing suggestion of women's bodies as a nutritional source to support adult leisure activities, the nutritional needs of babies are not the same as those of adults - the 'it makes babies grow so it must help me recover post-exercise' argument doesn't make any sense.

    NoelFigartdavid_barrarosemarymint
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    KarenT said: Aside from the rather disturbing suggestion of women's bodies as a nutritional source to support adult leisure activities, the nutritional needs of babies are not the same as those of adults - the 'it makes babies grow so it must help me recover post-exercise' argument doesn't make any sense.

    If i have offended you, mea culpa. However, two things: 1) I did not advocate actually drinking breast milk. In fact, I stated that "Of course, there are all sorts of reasons why this isn't really doable, but then it made me wonder if commercial infant formula would be a good recovery drink." i,e, The focus is on commercial infant formula. Further, I did not ask if anyone had tried breast milk, I did ask if anyone had ever tried infant formula. 2) The chemical compositions of infant formula, breast milk and cow's milk have some striking commonalities (and differences). Protein is a critical recovery component as is caloric intake. Both human milk and commercial formula provide both, with similar protein components to cow's milk, however they are also more easily digested than cow's milk. So I will stick with my thought that this is a potentially fruitful line of inquiry, even if I did overstate the case.

    Again, if I have offended you, my apologies.

    -LBJ

    IronMike

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Other great things besides protein pass from mom to kid through breastmilk. If I recall (it's been about 8 years since my wife finished with kid #4), immunities or other sciency-things pass from mom to kid, both in-utero as well as thru feeding. Breast-feeding is great for both moms and kids!

    Spacemanspiff said:

    I concluded from the experience that the only reason babies drink it is because they're starving and don't know any better... It was awful. Tastes like baby burp.

    So glad I didn't try it then. I can say I love the smell of new baby, but burp and those breast-feed-empowered poops really test the love. Phew!

    But back to LBJ's question: I say try it and see how you feel. And report back to us. I wonder if it is cheaper. For instance, with this formula, you'd get 10 x 8oz "bottles" (haha) for $16. Compare that with Hammer Recoverite, 32 servings (unsure of volume) for $59 (or you're better off with @evmo's home-made recipe).

    DanSimonelli
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Be assured we will not have a wet nurse service available to 8 bridges participants.

    DanSimonellipavlicovSpacemanspiffChrisgreenedpm50rosemaryminttortuga

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    @Leonard_Jansen No apologies necessary. You were clear in your initial topic post.

    @IronMike Thanks for the link to @evmo's "diy recipe" post. Always enjoy Evan's breakdown on things!

    However...

    Why and from where did the chocolate milk idea arise?!? :-??

    Chocolate milk has more sugar than a can of coke. But, I suppose if you believe that ingesting sugar after workouts is the best way to replenish glycogen stores in muscles, then I guess it would make sense. Except, that's not true...so, I'm thinking it's a good play by the Dairy industry to have us feel young again and enjoy that delicious chocolate milk of our youth!

    Note: I'm a sucker for dairy and all related goodness! And there's this brand of "old style" chocolate milk at Sprouts that I indulge in occasionally...whole milk, chocolate yum fest! :D

    But! I don't pretend to think that the gobs of sugar is somehow good for me! Well, ok, maybe if I've just done a 10hr swim and I'm starving (though technically "starving" shouldn't be the case if my feeds went as planned) and any delicious sustenance will feel good and replenish my depleted body.

    But, for normal workout recovery I think the overwhelm of sugar is counterproductive (at least!) and not what our bodies need to recover. Some carbs (complex ; unrefined) yes, but primarily proteins and amino acids to feed the muscles' restorative/building process.

    I use: Biosteel

    And, yes, I like the chocolate flavor! ;)

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    @Leonard_Jansen No offence taken - we're just talking. As an aside, my recovery drink of choice after a long pool workout - a smoothie made from spinach, blueberries, frozen banana, desiccated coconut, almond milk and vegan protein powder. Yum. Or for the days when it has to be chocolate - Provamel Soya Chocolate milk - nowhere near as sickly as many of the dairy counterparts (and I think they do a vanilla one too).

    DanSimonelli
  • NoelFigartNoelFigart Lebanon, NHSenior Member

    I usually just try to schedule my workouts to be before meals, so my recovery nutrition is generally.. well, breakfast. Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts, or scrambled eggs, or if I'm feeling a sweet craving, a yogurt smoothie with strawberries and a scoop of vanilla protein powder if that's going to be my whole meal.

    I doubt I really need the "scientific nutrition" route at my athletic level, though. I'm still a newbie enough that whole food is plenty.

    DanSimonelli
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    NoelFigart said:

    I doubt I really need the "scientific nutrition" route at my athletic level, though. I'm still a newbie enough that whole food is plenty.

    I agree, generally, as I meant to add that eating good food will replenish glycogen well (There's not much storage capacity to replenish anyway).

    And, I think going the "scientific nutrition route" may indeed be more advantageous for either higher intensity workouts or aged ones (such as myself), and perhaps not as much so for lower intensity activity.

    I've definitely noticed a big difference in recovery cycles utilizing the "scientific" approach (i.e., product) as I've increased my distances and intensity over the last few years, and reaching 50yo last year.

    So, I think that is a factor to consider.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    While I do like various protein bars/drinks after intense workouts, t's mainly b/c such things are convenient if I'm not going to have a meal right off. I prefer the meal, but if time or circumstances don't allow, the various bars are okay. (The other kind of bars probably more so--Joe's Bar and Grill, ha!--but not realistic in lots of cases.) Chocolate milk doesn't appeal to me at all for some reason. I like chocolate--a lot. And I like milk on my cereal. But together, they don't make a winning combination. In fact, I'm not too crazy about so many nutrition bar makers feeling that everything has to be coated with chocolate. If I want chocolate, it's Ghiroudelli's or some other such delicious brand, not the pretend stuff they put in the bars for the most part. What I'd love are bars that taste like pizza or brie cheese and crackers... a person can hope! ;)

    NoelFigart
  • NoelFigartNoelFigart Lebanon, NHSenior Member

    DanSimonelli said:

    And, I think going the "scientific nutrition route" may indeed be more advantageous for either higher intensity workouts or aged ones (such as myself), and perhaps not as much so for lower intensity activity.

    I've definitely noticed a big difference in recovery cycles utilizing the "scientific" approach (i.e., product) as I've increased my distances and intensity over the last few years, and reaching 50yo last year.

    Yeah, that's going to suck to be all ancient and stuff when I get there in (checks calendar) three years. :)

    DanSimonelli
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    @NoelFigart,
    You're knocking on the door now! ;)

  • ChrisBChrisB Issaquah, WAMember

    I am not promoting this stuff but it does target swimmers and I tried the (Chocolate) mixed with water and it was yummy. In general the nutritional ratio's are good and the low cal appeals to me because the more I swim the more I want to eat and I can't afford to gain any more weight. That being said, too expensive for me.

    http://www.p2life.com/collections/all/products/nutriboost-shake

    If anybody else has tried it I'd be interested in their 2 cents, especially if they have done some unbiased research on ingredients.

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