Each time I speak at the local Running Room, we always talk about chocolate milk. Is it or isn't it? Should you or shouldn't you?
Back in 2008, the ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) made a research-based statement that the optimal ratio of carbohydrate to protein will help stimulate glycogen synthesis as well as muscle protein synthesis. That ratio is 3-4:1.
The chocolate milk people then gasped and shouted this imaginary quote, "Hey, that's us!" And the rest is marketing history. Yes, the ratio is correct with its 192 calories per 250ml yielding 27 grams of carbohydrate and 9 grams of protein. But what about the quality?
There are few nutritional components more pro-inflammatory than good ol' sugar. Guess what's used to sweeten up milk to result in that chocolately goodness? Now, milk does have naturally occurring sugars which those of us lactose-intolerant people know all too well. Lactose is milk sugar. There are also a lot of other added ingredients in chocolate milk extending far beyond its ideal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio and these are mostly stabilizers and thickeners, but also artificial flavour and sometimes even 'modified milk ingredients'. The CBC wrote an article about it a few years ago and broke it down wonderfully (milking meaning from the ingredients label).
Since many people that I see in my clinic don't do well with milk on the digestive front, this is clearly not a very good option. For everyone else, leave this as a treat. There are better options out there for regular use.
Alternative Delicious Chocolate Recovery Drink - natural style.
Two options exist here: A chocolate-banana one, or my personal go-to: a PB-chocolate one which is like drinking a peanut butter cup. Mmm....
For 1 serving (~320 calories)
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp raw honey (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp all-natural (nothing added...check the ingredients label) peanut butter OR 1 tbsp hemp hearts
Blend, drink, recover.
This mix will give you:
~10 grams of protein
~40 grams of carbohydrate
~13 grams of fat
Electrolytes: 180 mg sodium, 450 mg potassium, 40 mg magnesium.
[The exact numbers will vary depending on if you're using PB or hemp, banana size, brand of almond milk, etc, but you'll land in the same ballpark.]
And won't give you: crazy inflammation, antibiotics, gas, bloating, or excess mucous. In other words, a winning combination.
Kerksick, C et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Nutrient timing. JISSN 2008, 5:18.
Nutritiondata.com for nutritional information on ingredients.
What a great week! There's been so much sharing and naturopathic love this past week. It's been great educating everyone on what we do, how we do it, and how we can help you. In case you're not quite sure if naturopathic medicine might be right for you, here's some reasons why an ND might be a good addition to your healthcare team:
1. We have lots of time. Bring your list(s). Go over each one. You're not limited to 6-8 minutes in a visit which means what's important to you is important to us. We listen, and listen intently, to get a full picture of you, not just the organ(s) you're complaining about.
2. Naturopathic medicine is effective for many conditions that may have left you "learning to live with it". Chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, chronic pain, IBS, migraines, or painful periods are all conditions that are treated or managed so effectively when you add an ND to the works.
3. If you want research, we'll give you research. I print out studies all the time for my patients and their family docs. Yes there's lots out there, and yes it's all real.
4. If you're facing long-term meds that might only bandaid an issue (i.e. migraines, cholesterol, hypertension, painful periods, etc), let's strike a compromise with your doc, set out a reasonable time frame to give alternative options a shot, and go from there.
5. What have you got to lose? Most health insurance plans provide coverage for naturopathic medicine. Most NDs will meet with you free of charge to see if you're a good fit. If their approach isn't what you're looking for or you don't jive, try another.
I hope many of you got to take advantage of all the information flying around this week! As always, any questions, just let me know.
Spring has sprung! So happy! For many, this means stocking up on kleenex and anti-histamines. Not so happy...
With allergies, the trick is getting started before symptoms begin. Allergies are simply the immune system over-reacting to something that isn’t actually harmful to us. We can train our immune systems to tolerate things like pollen and prevent it from over-reacting in the first place. Here’s my survival guide for this year’s so-called Pollen Vortex:
There are many additional herbs and supplements out there such as quercetin, bromelain, astragalus, eyebright, butterbur, reishi, and more, but these aren’t right for some people. If your allergies are severe or if you’re on any medications, it’s best to ask your friendly ND if these are a good idea. I’m confident there’s a combination that’s just perfect for you!
Asha'ari ZA, Ahmad MZ, Jihan WS, Che CM, Leman I.Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med. 2013 Sep-Oct;33(5):469-75.
Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Feb 19;158(4):225-34.
Fidan V, et al. Variance of melatonin and cortisol rhythm in patients with allergic rhinitis. Am J Otolaryngol. 2013 Sep-Oct;34(5):416-9.
Kompauer I, Heinrich J, Wolfram G, Linseisen J. Association of carotenoids, tocopherols and vitamin C in plasma with allergic rhinitis and allergic sensitisation in adults. Public Health Nutr. 2006 Jun;9(4):472-9.
Reinhold T, et al. Cost-effectiveness for acupuncture in seasonal allergic rhinitis: economic results of the ACUSAR trial. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 Jul;111(1):56-63.
Saarinen K, Jantunen J, Haahtela T. Birch pollen honey for birch pollen allergy--a randomized controlled pilot study. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2011;155(2):160-6.
Thornhill SM, Kelly AM. Natural treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Oct;5(5):448-54.
Photo credit: from Shutterstock but can't find the author! It's not mine...