News Stories

Athletes Need to be a Little Strange

"Monk" with a baseball bat? The image of the obsessive-compulsive TV detective swinging away may seem ludicrous, but it's not so far-fetched after all, because it turns out that the best athletes are all "OC." And You know you shouldn't take vitamins after you exercise. We've also told you that chocolate milk and coffee work better than sports drinks. The latest recommendation for your recovery after playing sports? Cereal and milk!

In New Scientist, Peter Aldhous reports on what we've all noticed when the TV camera gives us close-ups of the dugout: athletes are superstitious. They have certain rituals, such as twirling their bats or wearing their caps a certain way, that they repeat with every game because they think this will help them to win.

And what about AFTER the game? It turns out that a bowl of whole grain cereal is as good as a sports drink for recovery after exercise. Researchers have discovered that the readily available and relatively inexpensive breakfast food is as effective as popular, carbohydrate based "sports drinks."Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer says, "Our goal was to compare whole grain cereal plus milk, which are ordinary foods, and sports drinks, after moderate exercise. We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual. We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel, was just as good after whole grain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better.

"Cereal and non fat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home."

You never know what's going to happen next. Will we soon see baseball players spooning up cornflakes in the dugout? Stay tuned!

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