Kammer, L., Ivy, J. L., Ding, Z., Wang, B., Hara, D., & Liao, H. (2007). Effects of cereal and nonfat milk vs. traditional sports drink on muscle recovery following exercise. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number 1773.

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This study evaluated the effects of ingesting cereal with nonfat milk and cereal (73.9 g carbohydrate, 17.6 g protein) versus a traditional sports drink (70g carbohydrate) immediately following prolonged aerobic exercise on blood glucose, insulin, lactate, muscle glycogen synthesis and the activity of enzymes controlling glycogen storage and protein translation: glycogen synthase, Akt, mTOR, ribosomal S6K, and EIF4E. Following a 12-hour fast, trained cyclists (M = 7; F = 3) performed two 2-hour rides at least five days apart on a cycle ergometer at 60-65% VO2max. Blood was drawn immediately before the ride, at the end of the ride, and at 15, 30, and 60 minutes in recovery. Muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were obtained immediately upon completion and one hour later.

Both treatments raised plasma glucose and insulin from initial values. During recovery, the nonfat milk + cereal supplement raised plasma insulin significantly higher and blunted the rise in blood lactate relative to carbohydrate drink condition. No statistical differences were found between treatments for glycogen or muscle enzymes, but significant differences existed only for nonfat milk + cereal condition in all enzymes except eIF4E.

Nonfat milk + cereal had significant effects on the enzymes evaluated during recovery, increased insulin levels that appeared to facilitate muscle glucose uptake and glycogen storage, and blunted lactate formation during recovery suggesting that more intracellular glucose was converted to glycogen. Glycogen synthase also appeared to remain more active after the nonfat milk + cereal condition despite higher glycogen levels compared to the carbohydrate drink.

Implication. Nonfat milk + cereal is a more effective recovery food than a traditional carbohydrate sports drink after extended physical activity.

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