Dairy Makes Sense Blog
Competition on the world’s stage starts soon, and as a dietitian and an athlete, I have nothing but red, white and moo on my mind. Why? Because dairy and the natural milk protein it delivers plays a central theme in fueling elite athletes. Here are a few ways dairy helps athletes go for the gold:
- Dairy protein gets a high score for quality. Cow’s milk protein contains all the essential amino acids. In more simple terms, this means it contains all the building blocks of protein which the body can’t make on its own and therefore must obtain through the diet. Additionally, the protein in cow’s milk is one that’s easily and fully digested. This is good news for muscles, which rely on protein for healthy growth and maintenance. This is also what sets cow’s milk apart from milk alternatives such as soy, almond or rice “milk,” which typically provide a lower amount of amino acids and a protein that isn’t as easily digested.
- Chocolate milk is the champion of sports drinks. World Champion and women’s gymnast, Aly Raisman, relies on chocolate milk for recovery. Additionally, the USA Swimming Team named chocolate milk its official recovery drink. Not only is chocolate milk easy to find and affordable, but it’s proven to be more effective than competing sports beverages in replenishing energy stores and repairing muscle. This is because of its ideal ratio of carbohydrates to protein. As a distance runner, I follow the science and these elite athletes’ lead by reaching for chocolate milk after a long run or race. There’s nothing that tastes better or is more refreshing!
- Greek yogurt is a win-win for athletes. Look in the dairy aisle and it’s hard to miss the vast array of Greek yogurts lining the shelves. This popular, not to mention delicious, dairy food often delivers twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt and half the amount of lactose, a naturally occurring milk sugar. It’s no wonder the Greek yogurt brand Chobani is the official yogurt sponsor of the USOC through 2020. I don’t know about you, but I love to think about which flavors the athletes pick when they are dining at the Village in Rio. My favorites? Vanilla or banana. Yum.
Join me in raising a glass of – yep, you guessed it – chocolate milk to cheer on America’s elite athletes in Rio! For a twist, try a chocolate milk- and yogurt-based smoothie or shake. Also, please share your favorite ways to go for gold with dairy.
You Might Also Like