20 May 2009

Cereal and milk - better than sports drinks?

...according to a new study that finds that eating an unassuming bowl of any whole-grain cereal with milk is superior to chugging a designer sports drink after a workout to replenish muscle fuel and protein.

The study, published last week in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, demonstrates how sports drinks are largely unnecessary for recreational athletes..

Lynne Kammer of The University of Texas at Austin led a study comparing sports drinks and a milk-cereal combo for muscle recovery after moderate exercise among trained cyclists pedaling for two hours. Her team found that cereal and low-fat milk was just as good for replenishing the muscle with glycogen, its fuel source, and superior to a sports drink in helping fatigued muscle synthesize protein.

Not only is cereal with milk cheaper than a sports drink, Kammer said, the combo provides nutritional calories, not calories wasted in a drink...

There is, however, one rather large caveat -

Yes, this study was funded by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, the makers of fine breakfast cereals.


  1. Hello Stan,
    I wonder if it's really all that bad that this study was funded by General Mills. I'm not sure whether the project was originally conceived by the company itself but, if not, I could hardly hold it against them for funding the work of a couple of sports nutritionists if their study could provide useful advertising. Personally, if I were to stumble upon it, I would feel inclined to donate some cash to any scientist seeking to prove how awesome I am too; not that any proving is needed.

  2. I agree that the results "make sense." The problem with corporate sponsorship of "research" is that they can fund 10 studies and then publicize the one that comes out most favorably.

    I think the cereal/milk is probably equivalent - under the conditions and situations described in the study - but I always view something like this with just a grain of salt.

  3. Fair enough. Kudos on the excellent blog BTW.

  4. I don't know if I'm getting savvier or I just know how you think, but I figured out the last sentence by the first sentence and started discounting it right away.


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