Cornflakes good for muscle rebuilding post-workout
Eating a bowl of cereal beats drinking an expensive sports drink after a workout, say scientists.
A study of athletes found the breakfast snack was at least as good, if not better, at revitalising muscles.
As part of the research, eight men and four women fasted for 12 hours and cycled for two hours, then immediately refuelled with a sports drink.
Five days later they repeated the fasting and exercise, then ate a wholewheat flake cereal with a splash of skimmed milk instead.
Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer said: ‘We found cereal and milk was good for protein synthesis, or muscle rebuilding, after exercise. Because of the protein in the milk you would expect to see this.
‘But what was most surprising was the lactate in the blood, which causes muscles to stiffen, was greatly reduced after consuming the cereal and milk as compared to the sports drink.’
The researchers said this was because the cereal raised levels of insulin, which converts sugar to energy, and blunted the production of lactate. The scientists, from Texas University, found both the snack and energy drink replenished depleted glycogen – a fuel the body uses during exercise. But the cereal encouraged greater glycogen storage.
Miss Kammer, whose findings are published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, said: ‘Cereal and milk is a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high-quality protein, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home.’