By Danielle Sovinski of Winners Drink Milk
Whether your New Year’s resolution is maintaining a regular exercise schedule or starting a new workout routine, protein can benefit your active lifestyle:
• Build more learn muscle. A higher protein diet along with resistance exercise can help build healthy muscles and support weight management.
• Reduce muscle loss during aging. Protein can help preserve muscle as you age.
• Enhance muscle recovery after resistance exercise or weight training.
- If you’re a regular exerciser, consuming high-quality dairy protein may help nourish your muscles after a tough workout.
- If you’re a serious athlete, consuming carbohydrates and high-quality dairy protein together, after intense exercise, may enhance the replacement of muscle energy stores. The result is a faster recovery in preparation for your next workout.
• Consume protein immediately before exercise or within one hour after exercise for best results. As little as 10 grams of protein has been shown to stimulate muscle growth following exercise.
Consuming approximately 20-30 grams of high-quality protein at each meal can help you build and maintain muscle. Each example below will provide 20 grams of protein or more:
• Eating two, 6-ounce containers of Greek-style yogurt
• Adding 2 ounces of your favorite cheese and a chopped egg to a salad
• Combining approximately 2 ounces of cheese and ½ cup beans to a veggie burrito
• Choosing 3 to 4 ounces of lean beef, pork or poultry
Did you know? Low-fat chocolate milk is a great way to fuel up after a hard workout. A good source of high-quality protein, chocolate milk is packed with nine essential nutrients and can help replenish what the body has lost through sweat. It also has the right carb-to-protein ratio that many athletes look for post-workout. In addition to protein, dairy foods (milk, cheese and yogurt) are important sources of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, D and B12 and riboflavin in the U.S. diet.