The need for fluids after a hard workout is well known, but what’s the best approach?

Dr. Vonda Wright, a marathoner and ortho­pedic sur­geon at the Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh Med­ical Center’s Center for Sports Med­i­cine, says marathoners are so depleted after a race, she advises they reach for luke­warm fluids instead of icy ones for faster absorption.

What your body does imme­di­ately is to try to make every­thing in it 98.6 degrees,” she said.

For rehy­drating after work­outs lasting under an hour, water is the pref­er­ence of most specialists.

But after a hard ses­sion — defined by most spe­cial­ists as weight-​​resistance or endurance work­outs of longer than one hour — ath­letes typ­i­cally are also depleted of essen­tial amino acids, the building blocks of pro­tein that cannot be made by the body. Amino acids help the body repair itself.

Gre­gory Cloutier, project man­ager for the Human Per­for­mance and Exer­cise Sci­ence lab at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, sug­gests ath­letes have two cups of low-​​fat or fat-​​free milk post exer­cise because milk is rich in essen­tial amino acids and sugar.

Sugar helps the body absorb that pro­tein for recovery and repair,” he said.

For ath­letes who can’t stomach milk, Cloutier rec­om­mends whip­ping up a smoothie, for instance using soy milk (which does not con­tain the essen­tial amino acids) com­bined with a whole grain such as brown rice. The com­bi­na­tion would pro­duce the essen­tial amino acids, he said.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →