Sunday, August 9, 2009

A few interesting findings

I found a few articles siting scientific studies that I thought were interesting.

Good news for Sarah; British researchers found that milk does a better job than water or sports drinks at rehydrating the body after exercise. This is because milk has more electrolytes and potassium. If you add chocolate, it gives the milk a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for speedy muscle recovery.

If you are having muscle soreness after a work out (and who isn't) you might want to drink some coffee. University of Georgia scientists revealed that consuming caffeine (equal to two cups of coffee) after exercise reduces muscle soreness more than pain relievers can. Caffeine blocks a chemical that activates pain receptors.

For all of you in the endurance class (myself included) might be interested to know that drinking cold water before and during exercise can help improve your endurance. The consumption of cold water may be the most direct way to reduce core body temperature, so it takes you longer to heat up and slow down. In a British study, cyclists who drank about 30 ounces of a chilled drink in the half hour before riding in a hot, humid environment, and smaller amounts as they rode, were able to bike 23 percent longer than riders who downed lukewarm liquids.

Although they might not be viewed as favorable carbs by the Zone people, these are two fruits that you will want to eat. Papaya and pineapple are loaded with bromelain and papain. These enzymes not only help break down proteins for digestion but also have anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.

Then finallly a study from Mandy's favorite place; Australian researchers found that cyclists who took fish oil for 8 weeks had lower heart rates and consumed less oxygen during intense bicycling than a control group did. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption. So, either take fish oil pills each day, or try to eat fish rich in fatty acids multiple times a week to see similar results.

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