Milk has become a popular post-exercise recovery drink. Yet the evidence for its use in this regard comes from a limited number of investigations utilising very specific exercise protocols, and mostly with male participants. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of post-exercise milk consumption on recovery from a sprinting and jumping protocol in female team-sport athletes. Eighteen females participated in an independent-groups design. Upon completion of the protocol participants consumed 500 mL of milk (MILK) or 500 mL of an energy-matched carbohydrate (CHO) drink. Muscle function (peak torque, rate of force development (RFD), countermovement jump (CMJ), reactive strength index (RSI), sprint performance), muscle soreness and tiredness, symptoms of stress, serum creatine kinase (CK) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were determined pre- and 24 h, 48 h and 72 h post-exercise. MILK had a very likely beneficial
effect in attenuating losses in peak torque (180○
/s) from baseline to 72 h (0.0 ± 10.0% vs. −8.7 ± 3.7%, MILK v CHO), and countermovement jump (−1.1 ± 5.2% vs. −10.4 ± 6.7%) and symptoms of stress (−13.5 ± 7.4% vs. −18.7 ± 11.0%) from baseline to 24 h. MILK had a likely beneficial effect
and a possibly beneficial
effect on other peak torque measures and 5 m sprint performance at other timepoints but had an unclear
effect on 10 and 20 m sprint performance, RSI, muscle soreness and tiredness, CK and hsCRP. In conclusion, consumption of 500 mL milk attenuated losses in muscle function following repeated sprinting and jumping and thus may be a valuable recovery intervention for female team-sport athletes following this type of exercise.
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