Learn About Recovery Drinks and How to Help Prevent Broken Bones with Nutrition
It’s that time of year when fall sports season is in full swing. Between school teams, playoffs, tryouts, club teams, travel teams and year-round sports, our kids are more active now than ever.
I’ve been picking up my niece, Amanda, from high school lately and bringing her to soccer practices and games. One thing we keep in stock is plenty of milk for meals and snacks. She has been asking for her favorite chocolate milk for both pre and post games and practices.
The fact is, compared to adults, kids and teens are growing rapidly and have increased needs for high-quality nutrients that will serve their bodies well as they go through their teens, 20’s and beyond.
Why the Calcium in Dairy is so Important
Studies show that fewer kids are getting the recommended amounts of nutrients, especially those found in dairy. While it’s recommended that teens get 2-3 servings of calcium-rich dairy every day, less than half manage to get 1 to 2 glasses of milk per week.
This is when bodies are building the foundation for peak bone mass which will help us stand up straight and tall and avoid all types of bone breaks during our lifetime.
Achieving 90% of Peak Bone Mass
- Girls reach 90% by age 18
- Boys reach 90% by age 20
What about Broken Bones?
Most parents are surprised to learn that approximately 1/3 of all kids will have a bone fracture at some time before age 18. Most of these breaks occur from activity and falls, however the stronger our bones are, the more likely they are to resist breaking, even if there is a fall. While there are genetic factors that play a role, in general the more bone mass that’s present, the less likely a person is to have a break or fracture.
9 Essential Nutrients in 1 Glass
Calcium, Vitamin D and protein are all essential nutrients for building bone mass and muscle strength. With protein for power, calcium for strong bones, plus 7 other essential nutrients, dairy provides a perfect nutrient-dense package for all the athletes in your family.
Milk as a Sports Recovery Drink?
Really! This is well-known advice from trainers, sports nutritionists and coaches. Drink milk before and after exercise. Here’s why:
- Milk has water for rehydration
- Milk has both protein and carbohydrates, which are rapidly absorbed for immediate energy needs and also provides sustained energy release over several hours
- Milk has protein to help replenish and restore muscle growth
- The vitamins and minerals in milk are essential for muscle and nerve functioning
- Milk replenishes nutrients used in exercise
What about Flavored Milks?
Many parents might be concerned about flavored milks, and I was too until I realized that kids of all ages, like Amanda, may prefer the taste of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milk. Flavored milk also helps them get the protein, calcium and nutrients they need with only 25 extra calories per cup. Is that all?
Ok, this is reassuring. That’s just as much calories found in one slice of an apple.
Flavored Milk Offers:
- All the nutritional benefits and 9 essential nutrients found in plain milk
- Readily absorbed additional carbohydrates from the sugars in chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milk for added energy needs
Disclosure: I’m working with the California Milk Advisory Board to help educate parents and health care providers about the benefits of real dairy.