TITLE: Another Reason To Run Long Distances AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 28, 2008 11:06 AM DESC: ----- BODY: From running coach and research physiologist Jason Karp, Ph.D.:
... my research published in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2006 showed that chocolate milk is just as good or better than other recovery drinks after exhausting exercise.
According to Karp, other research suggests that I could consume nearly four 8-oz. glasses of chocolate milk within 30 minutes after ending a hard run in order to take in the 0.7g of simple carbs per pound of body weight needed to maximize the rate of glycogen synthesis and thus to speed replenishment of my muscles stores. The mix of carbs and protein in the drink is almost ideal for the human body under the conditions of hard work. I heart chocolate milk. Any activity that makes it not only possible but recommended that I consume plentiful amounts of it is okay by me. Unfortunately, I don't usually drink my chocolate milk as a post-run recovery drink. I tend to drink mine in the evening as a treat. I rationalize that it is good to fuel up before my early morning runs, which I do as soon as I wake up and before eating or drinking anything. But there is also research to support that not fueling up immediately after a hard run can be a good thing, if done appropriately. Running marathons requires the largest store of glycogen possible, a system that uses newly-ingested glucose as efficiently as possible, and a system that uses fat for fuel as efficiently as possible. "Starving" the muscles immediately after a workout that depletes glycogen stores trains the body to use fat more efficiently and to use newly-ingested glucose more efficiently. Karp calls this a "creating a threat to the muscles' survival", to which the body responds effectively. When you finally rebuild glycogen stores later with carbo loading, the muscles will store more than their previous capacity allowed. The human body is an amazing and wonderful machine. Quick update: I ran 7 miles on Friday in under 56 minutes -- nothing spectacular, but much faster than I have run in over four months. This morning I ran 11 miles, on one of my hilliest routes. The results of these runs are my first 30-mile week in over four months, legs that feel abused, and a small headache from my lingering symptoms. Thirty miles ain't much, but right now it feels okay. I may well drink a tall glass of chocolate milk this evening. -----