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Cereal and Milk: A Classic Muscle Builder

Steven Wilke / flickr

Just like the ad says, slurping down a heaping bowl of Wheaties with milk can help turn you into a champion.

When researchers at the University of Texas had athletes eat a bowl of the cereal after a workout, they found that the breakfast classic was just as good at replenishing muscle with glycogen, its fuel source, when compared to a sports drink. What’s more, Wheaties and milk was superior to the beverage at helping a fatigued muscle restock its protein levels, further fueling recovery.

But let's put this news in perspective: It's not surprising that a mix of whole grains and protein from milk is better for your muscles after a training session than a sports drink not loaded with protein and carbs. What's more, the study didn't compare either milk and cereal or a sports drink to a protein-packed post-workout shake.

So what can you take from this research? Another option. Just getting in the habit of eating before and after your workout is an important first step that many people skip. Your post-workout meal may the be the most important meal of the day, says Amanda Carlson-Phillips.

So stick with water or a sports drink while you train, but schedule a post-workout meal immediately afterwards. If you're training in the morning and have trouble stomaching shakes, you may be able to stomach a bowl of cereal better. But if you're on the run after your workout like most of us are, a ready-to-drink (RTD) recovery shake is still probably the most convenient and most effective option for building muscle, aiding recovery and maximizing your workout.

About The Author

David Schipper – David began writing for CorePerformance.com in 2008, after spending six years at Men's Health magazine digging up the newest scientific research in health, weight loss, nutrition, muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

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Tags: Food, Breakfast, Regeneration, Build Muscle