Yoghurt and post-workout recovery

Immediately after your workout, your body is like a sponge for soaking up nutrients, so there is a window of anabolic opportunity. Therefore, as soon as you put the weights down you have to take some fast acting carbohydrates and easy to digest (fast acting) protein in order to speed up muscle recovery. This is the perfect moment for a yoghurt to enter the scene. Yoghurt and post-workout recovery are like pot and lid! This article will convince you that this widespread and accessible food item is near-perfect post-workout recovery drink.

In general, if you are getting enough protein and carbs from food, there’s probably little point in taking supplements. Supplements are indeed convenient way of getting your proteins and carbs after the training, but not necessarily any better than the real food. Whey supplements are generally more expensive than real food (such as yoghurt or milk). Furthermore, whey supplements won’t necessarily produce faster or greater muscle gains than real food sources of whey, such as yoghurt, milk, chocolate milk and cheese. Yoghurt or chocolate milk will be for sure your best options after a training session if you don’t have protein powder anymore.

In this article you’ll discover some of the many impressive health benefits from consuming yoghurt, as well as why exactly yoghurt and post-workout recovery go hand in hand.

eating yoghurt after the workout

What are the benefits of eating yoghurt?

It’s very nutritious, and eating it regularly may boost several aspects of your health. Also, yoghurt’s nutrient content provides essential carbohydrates and proteins that the body can assimilate for muscle repair. It is, therefore, a good post-workout snack.

  • This food item is low in fat and a rich source of protein, calcium and B-vitamins. It has a high satiety index.
  • Fruit yoghurt contains a near-perfect combination of carbohydrate (lactose, or milk sugar, and sucrose) and protein for post-workout recovery. University of Texas researchers found that a ratio of 3:1 accelerates glycogen storage post-workout. One pot of yoghurt provides almost one-third of the daily requirement of calcium (200 mg) as well as a healthy dose of B-vitamins (which help release the energy from carbohydrates).
  • Foods high in calcium can trick the body into working overtime and shedding weight, according to a study at the University of Tennessee, USA. Obese people who ate two cartons of low-fat yoghurt a day but who made no other changes to their eating habits over a year lost nearly 5 kg (11 lb.) more than those who were not eating this dairy product. They also had a six-fold greater decrease in waist measurement. It is thought that getting enough calcium stimulates the body to burn fat and also reduces the new fat the body lays down. Keeping up your calcium intake will also help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Opt for live bio-yoghurt (or probiotic) yoghurt because it contains lactobacillus and bifida bacteria, which, if consumed regularly enough, can boost levels of “friendly” probiotic bacteria in your bowel or colon. These promote efficient digestion and absorption of food, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria (such as salmonella and E-coli, which can cause food poisoning) and help to combat the negative effects of stress, alcohol, highly processed foods and the imbalance that can be caused in the body by drugs such as antibiotics.

Greek yoghurt vs. traditional vs. fruit yoghurt

Greek yoghurt

What’s so special about this one? Greek yoghurt does have a significant advantage when compared to traditional plain yoghurt. It not only contains much more protein than regular yogurt, it also has a much creamier texture and less sugar. Greek yoghurt goes through an extra straining process that removes the excess sugars and liquids found in traditional yoghurt, leaving the yoghurt much thicker. It’s also much lower in carbohydrates and lactose. This is desirable for those who are lactose-intolerant — they may find it easier to digest Greek yoghurt compared to regular yoghurt. A typical 6-ounce cup of plain Greek yoghurt contains roughly 15-20 grams of protein, which is the equivalent of 3 eggs, 2-3 ounces of chicken breast, or 12 ounces of regular yogurt.

greek yoghurt bodybuilding

Fruit yoghurt

Traditional plain yoghurt (just like Greek yoghurt) has a much lower energy content, more protein, less fat and sugar than fruit yoghurt. The supermarket customer might be tempted to buy the yogurt marked “fruit youghurt” in large letters on the front of the container, making the assumption that it contains significant amounts of fruit. The container might even have large colored images of fruits. But a closer inspection of the nutrition facts label reveals that this yoghurt has no more vitamin C and barely any more fiber than the plain yoghurt. But it surely has much more “free sugars” – any sugars added to the yogurt that are not coming from the milk used to make the yoghurt (lactose) or from the fruit or fruit puree that has been used to make the product.

Best solution

Therefore, stick to plain Greek yoghurt, which has only 7 grams of sugar (all from natural lactose) and top it with fresh fruit, which adds natural sweetness. Although we really do need some extra sugars after the intense workout to replenish glycogen stores, we are not forced to choose the worst option available. When compared to refined sugar, fruit is a much better option for regular consumption.

It’s important to watch your sugar intake – regardless of which type of sugar you’re consuming. Keep in mind that any fast acting (high GI) carbohydrate intake is okey only for the immediate post-weight training meal. After that, all other meals throughout the day must have slow-absorbed carbohydrates to re-fill the glycogen. The fructose (and/or dextrose) serves merely to jump-start glycogen storage but after that only slow-absorbed carbohydrates can give a steady sustained glucose supply to continue the glycogen storage for 24 hours of the day.

Closing thoughts: Yoghurt and post-workout recovery 

Protein is a vital part of every cell in your body. It is necessary for building and maintaining muscles, forming tissues and cells, and strengthening bones, skin, and blood.

You can either choose plain yoghurt (or even better, Greek yoghurt) and then add some fresh fruit in it (in general, bananas, strawberries, pears, mango and pineapple give the best results) or you can buy fruit yoghurt. Fruit yoghurt has added sugar containing ideal 3 to 1 carbohydrate to protein ratio for speedy glycogen refuelling. This added sugar will stimulate the release of insu­lin, which will help shuttle glucose into your hungry cells for com­plete recovery.

In conclusion, this food item is a near-perfect recovery drink, in terms both of glycogen and muscle replenishment and of rehydration. Yoghurt and post-workout recovery really do go hand in hand!

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