Tips to Optimize Your Post Workout Recovery 

How you refuel for your recovery can make the difference in the way you feel and perform during your next workout. More than 20 studies support the benefits of recovering with the high-quality protein and nutrients in chocolate milk after a tough workout. 

Registered Dietitian Nancy Clark, MS, CSSD, and Team CHOCOLATE MILK expert shares trustworthy tips that are backed by science for recovery after your next workout. 

 1. After exercise, your body wants an adequate supply of : 
  • Protein to reduce muscle breakdown and stimulate growth 
  • Carbohydrates to refuel depleted muscle glycogen  
  • Fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate the body to replenish what’s lost in sweat 
2. Plan ahead so you can eat well by having the right foods readily available at the right times. You cannot out-train a poor sports diet!

3. If your training session will exceed 60 to 90 minutes, make sure to consume some fuel during the exercise to help maintain your energy! Popular mid-workout snacks include dried pineapple, (or other dried fruit) gels and electrolyte drinks, and sports performance gummy candy. Experiment during training to learn what works best with your body. 

4. What you eat after you work out is just as important as what you eat beforehand! Having a post-exercise recovery routine can enhance your performance at your next workout session, help reduce the risk of injury and boost your overall well-being as an athlete. Lowfat chocolate milk is a popular and effective recovery food and tastes yummy! 

5. As you know, your muscles get damaged during strenuous training sessions. Drinking lowfat chocolate milk after hard workouts gives your body high-quality protein with all the essential amino acids that have been scientifically shown to help build and repair lean muscle. 

To learn more about the BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK program, the science behind the recovery benefits of chocolate milk or access exclusive training tips and videos, log on to Follow us on Instagram (@gotchocolatemilk), like us on Facebook/gotchocolatemilk or join the conversation by using the hashtag #BuildIt on Twitter @gotchocomilk

Heart Rate Training 101 
Polar heart rate monitors provide motivation to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Get started today by reviewing the basics of heart rate monitoring below.

1) What is a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)?
A heart rate monitor consists of a wrist unit and a comfortable transmitter strap that you wear around your chest.

2) How does it work?
The transmitter picks up the signals of your heart and sends them wirelessly to the wrist unit. The heart rate monitor calculates your Target Zone, a heart rate  range that is based on a percentage of your
Maximum Heart Rate.

3) Why Workout with a HRM?
To reach your fitness goals, you need to exercise at the right intensity. Not too hard or too easy. A Polar heart rate monitor is the only accurate way to continuously measure your heart rate while training.
Read more

4) Is heart rate training only for endurance athletes?
No. Heart rate training helps people of all exercise levels.
Click here to see Polar testimonials.    

Be sure to stop the Polar booth at the upcoming Iron Girl expos to see our complete line of heart rate monitors, including the new female RCX3 GPS.

Hydration for Athletes
By Vishal Patel 

The fascinating topic of hydration and how it relates to exercise has been a topic of major concern, and complexity. Lot’s of research has been done to find the best recommendations for both endurance and team sport athletes. Though, each activity requires it’s own hydration protocol, the hydration guidelines for team and endurance sports aren’t very different. 

The most common question I get with athletes is: how much should I drink while exercising? The easy, short answer is… it depends. It varies significantly on: gender, age, body composition, environmental factor(s), hydration status, and electrolyte balance – just to name a few. Addressed below is a comparison of the two leading professional organizations and their hydration guidelines for exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA). 

First we’ll look at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The ACSM provides guidelines, and professional certifications within the sports nutrition field. They update the guidelines readily, based on published, scientific literature. The ACSM published a report in 2007 that provides a hydration protocol based on the latest findings. 

The ACSM suggests that exercises lasting less than 60 minutes require 3-8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes (1). And for exercises lasting greater than 60 minutes, they recommend an intake of 3-8 ounces of a carbohydrate-based sports drink, every 15-30 minutes (1). While doing this, they recommend to not exceeding 32 ounces of fluid(s) per hour (1). With the intake of fluids at a more consistent rate they hope to prevent dehydration. This however, often leads to overconsumption of water or your chosen sports drink, which may lead to complications in your over exercise performance. 

The second organization we looked at was the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA), who also provides hydration guidelines based on published scientific literature. The hydration guidelines set by the IMMDA have been soon adapted by the USA Track & Field. Tim Noakes -- a very well respected researcher in the field, wrote the guidelines. 

The IMMDA very simply recommends an intake of 400-800 ml (13.5- 27 ounces) per hour (2). The keys to IMMDA recommendations are that they suggest the athlete drinks at ad libitum, or at own discretion (2). Drinking at your own pace may eliminate the dangers of over-hydrating, and steers away from the old rule of drink as much as you can handle. These guidelines are more practical, and result in a much safer approach to hydrating. 

Both the ACSM and IMMDA have looked and conducted several studies to reach their respected conclusions. For some these guidelines will work, for others unfortunately, a different approach must be taken. The key factor to remember when figuring out your hydration plan is to realize that everybody has different ways they utilize fluids. 

The main advice I give to athletes is to one, drink at your own discretion. Thirst is the only practical sign of dehydration, if you feel thirsty – rinse your mouth out with a sports drink, or sip some water. Two, have a hydration plan. Stash bottles along the course if you are not carrying any, plan a route around water fountains or places with access to clean water. And another easy way to do everything in your part to avoid dehydration is to stay hydrated all throughout the day, carry water bottles and make sure you consume a glass of water with every meal. Consuming water with meals will help the nutrients absorb faster and more efficiently. Lastly, monitor hydrations status; be aware of signs of fatigue, headache, dry mouth, and cramps, as these are tall tail signs of dehydration. 

Additional Resources: 

1. Brochure on proper fluid intake by ACSM

2. Noakes, T. (2001) IMMDA advisory statement on guidelines for fluid replacement during marathon running. The IAAF Technical Quarterly. 17:1; 15-24, 2002

3. Institute of Medince: DRI’s for Electrolytes and Water