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Carbs, Protein And Antioxidants Boost Recovery From Exercise

The typical post exercise recovery drink recommended to athletes has been a carbohydrate-based beverage. An emerging new line of research has developed showing the potential benefits of adding protein to the beverage to enhance recovery. Further, there is some evidence to suggest that certain antioxidants could optimize the recovery from strenuous exercise. Researchers examined precisely these compounds in a recent study to shed light on the benefits of adding protein and antioxidants to a carbohydrate based beverage. Healthy men performed a strenuous bout of exercise on two occasions. During one condition, they consumed a beverage containing only carbohydrate during and after exercise. During the other condition, they consumed a beverage with the same amount of calories that contained both carbohydrate and protein as well as vitamin C and vitamin E. Post exercise muscle soreness and blood samples were taken to determine the extent of muscle damage after exercise. The carbohydrate-protein-antioxidant formula reduced the level of two different markers of muscle damage in the blood. Subjects also reported having less muscle soreness with the formula compared to the carbohydrate-only beverage. These findings provide additional support for including protein and antioxidants in recovery beverages.

Romano-Ely BC, Todd MK, Saunders MJ, Laurent TS. Effect of an isocaloric carbohydrate-protein-antioxidant drink on cycling performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Sep;38(9):1608-16.