Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal, was right about one thing - cereal can be "Gr-r-reat!
" for your health. However, you'll want to make sure that the cereal you choose is whole grain if you are looking for an effective exercise recovery meal. That was the form of the cereal tested in Lynne Kammer's study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, on May 14, 2009 (www.jissn.com/content/6/1/11).
Kammer, an exercise physiologist from The University of Texas at Austin, set out to compare the physiological effects of everyday foods, such as whole grain cereal and nonfat milk, with those of carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks. In the study 8 male and 4 female trained cyclists/triathletes served as their own controls and performed a typical cycling session for 2 hours at moderate-intensity on two separate occasions that were at least 4, but no more than 12, days apart. The test sessions were randomized so that during the initial trial six subjects ingested 2, 20-ounce bottles of a sports drink (6% carbohydrate) while the remaining six subjects consumed a typical sized bowl of whole grain cereal and nonfat milk (73 grams of Wheaties, General Mills, Inc. and 350 ml of nonfat milk). Blood samples were taken before and after exercise and at 15 minute intervals after ingesting the trial meal/beverage. Muscle biopsies were performed after exercise and 60 minutes after supplementation.
Results of the study indicate that the supplement of whole grain cereal and nonfat milk was just as effective at replacing glycogen stores after exercise as was the 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte drink. Furthermore, some factors of protein synthesis (muscle repair) were better after consuming the cereal and milk than they were after drinking the sports beverage.
Kammer et al. concluded that a post-exercise meal of whole grain cereal and nonfat milk proves to be an acceptable, and cheaper, option to the consumption of sports drinks. The researchers further note that the easily digested high-quality protein found in milk can aid in protein synthesis, unlike the 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink.
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, May 14, 2009, "Cereal and Nonfat Milk Support Muscle Recovery Following Exercise," Kammer, L. et al.
Labels: 100% whole grain cereal, General Mills, glycogen, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, muscle repair, nonfat milk, post-exercise meal, protein synthesis, recovery meal, sports drinks, Tony the Tiger, Wheaties