Most of us have been brought up to consume at least one glass of milk/ some dairy product once a day. But who would have thought, that this plain white glass of milk may have a few un-parallel benefits. For as long as I remember we knew milk is good, only because of its calcium and protein content. But swimmers, here are benefits of milk that you didn’t think existed!
Calcium & Protein content:
One 250ml glass of milk contains ~300mg of calcium, almost equivalent to adult calcium requirement. Child athletes may need anywhere between 500-1000mg calcium per day. Calcium is essential not just for strong bones but also for muscle contraction.
The protein requirements for many are varied at 0.8-2g/Kg Body weight/day. Milk as one of the protein sources helps meet this requirement. A 200ml glass of milk contains a straight 7g of protein.
Beyond calcium and protein, milk contains many other nutrients especially vitamin A and Zinc that are immune boosting in nature. Rigorous training can increase oxidative stress and may compromise already present anti-oxidant defense. Milk can play a potential role along with other foods to build up this defense.
Milk is considered to be as best a recovery drink as any of the whey protein supplements. Milk provides a good ratio of carbohydrates and protein (1-1.5: 1) ideal for post-training ensuring adequate refuel of lost muscle glycogen and repair of protein tissue.
Milk is an ideal drink for bed-time. It contains an amino acid tryptophan in slightly larger quantities and along with a good blend of carbohydrates and other protein, milk helps in the synthesis of a neurotransmitter called serotonin inside the brain. This serotonin is essential for deep sleep and ample recovery!
Many swimmers beyond their, during training quota, fail to drink enough fluids throughout the day which is why many times they start their practice slightly dehydrated. For many who drink at least 2 glasses of milk a day, milk can be an excellent hydrating strategy. Apart from having water content, it has good quantities of sodium. In comparison to many sports drinks, milk is also less acidic and less damaging to the teeth!
Swimmers, add some sugar or some chocolate mix, but make sure you grab your dose of milk a day!
Author: Mihira A R Khopkar
B.Sc. Dietetics, M.Sc. Sports Nutrition
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SwimIndia does not guarantee results of any sort, before making any changes to your diet plans, please consult an expert.