The sport of triathlon is most widely known for its’ IronMan distance races and its’ crown jewel: the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. This race is our sport’s super bowl and Oscars fused in one; where the pros focus their effort and we mere mortals watch in amazement.
“Kona” was this past Saturday and delivered on the speed and drama department. Also racing it was Hines Ward, a former receiver for the Pittsburg Steelers. Got Chocolate Milk helped him and three other athletes get to Kona while filming their progress for all of us to see in these videos. This team called Become One, is part of Got Chocolate Milk Team REFUEL. The name comes from chocolate milk being a great recovery drink. And guess who is now a part of Team REFUEL? Yep ME!
As a kid I had chocolate milk for breakfast every single morning; that changed to coffee as I grew up but chocolate milk never lost its’ place as a staple of my diet. My boys love it too! We cannot go to the supermarket without them asking for a “lechita con chocolate” (chocolate milk in Spanish.) I understand there are many people who do not drink dairy, but just to give you an idea my household goes through a gallon of milk a day. So it took me less than three seconds to accept the invitation by Got Chocolate Milk to be part of Team REFUEL.
Because what had been a snack my whole life had become my source of recovery when training for IronMan Florida.
Along with swim, bike and run, the sport of triathlon has a fourth discipline: nutrition. In order for your body to perform it needs fuel, and it is quite a science to get your nutrition right. For example, my first half marathon was terrible. I drank coffee beforehand, didn’t know what I was doing with the gels and spent the last three miles praying to reach the port-a-potty in time. And when training for this upcoming IronMan, I had issues with nutrition as you can read here. With experience, I honed down what I need to do for fuel during a race or workout, but what about after?
Recovery nutrition is equally important. Your body needs to restore its’ glycogen levels and you need to feed them with both carbs and protein.
This is important regardless of your workout, but it has become especially important for me due to the demands of IronMan training.
You can see from my TriChat series, I spend on average 16 hours a week swimming, biking or running. This translates into training on tired muscles as I don’t have time to recover between sessions. If rest isn’t part of the recovery equation, then food has to be. What I consume within forty minutes of finishing a workout is essential to how my body recovers.
But after a long race, or a tough workout, my stomach is mad. I fill it with gels, carbs, sugar, electrolytes, salt, water and it has a hard time taking in much of anything. Instead of heading to the food tent after a race, I run away from it. Just the thought of eating cookies, pizza, bagels, or peanut butter is enough to make me want to throw up. But it was after my second half marathon that I discovered Chocolate Milk.
I made my way out of the food tent and saw a volunteer handing out chocolate milk. I thought it was weird but I did not have a gag reflex looking at it so I walked over. I had a little box of chocolate milk and then another. I was amazed it didn’t upset my stomach. And then I came to learn that it also was a great recovery drink.
As Jim Carpentier of Stack.com says:
When it comes to refueling after a long game or tough workout, low-fat chocolate milk has an ideal amount of nutrients: 26 grams of carbohydrates and eight grams of protein. The carb-to-protein ratio of 3.25:1 is perfect for replenishing energy (glycogen) and providing muscles with the amino acids they need to rebuild and grow.
Ha! In Spanish there is a saying “la unión de lo útil con lo agradable” – the union of what is useful to what is pleasant. And that is what chocolate milk has become to me. I may not make it Kona, or meet Hines, but I know I am refueling like a pro.
How about you? How do you refuel after a race or workout?