Why does HPR milk contain sugar for recovery?

Sugar is a pretty decent post-workout nutritional addition and, in this case, can be considered your friend…

Stop the bus! Wait; what?

Why on earth would a sports nutritionist and a scientifically researched post-workout drink such as HPR suggest that sugar is good for post-workout? Isn’t sugar the enemy?

Before we can jump into this seeming conundrum, we need to understand our body’s metabolic processes.

Firstly, whenever we consume any type of food, be it a steak or a large sum of kale, our bodies enter into the metabolic process of breaking that food down into energy. The type of food and combination of foods we eat will determine the rate at which that process happens. Our activity will then determine whether that energy is used up, how much is used and how much is stored for later.

Let’s say we’re chugging down a big ol’ bowl of chicken and broccoli pasta. Once we consume that meal, our bodies primary goal is survival. When food is abundant, and we are eating a balanced diet, our body functions optimally: we have more energy, feel fuller for longer, and we’re hormonally balanced. Our metabolisms increase, and our bodies are “happy” in a sense because they aren’t in a constant ‘fight or flight’ mode often associated with extreme calorie-restrictive diets. Our brains know there will be more nourishment at some point and communicate to our gut that it’s ‘safe to do their job without fear of starvation’.

Disclaimer: This is in no way a stab at calorie deficit plans, these too serve their purpose and are necessary for weight loss should this be your goal, it’s merely an FYI on how your gut thinks.

Our bodies convert the foods we eat into energy at different rates based on their GI. For those unfamiliar, the glycemic index (GI) is a simple indication of the rate at which your body will convert foods to release glucose into your bloodstream. So high GI food equals a quicker release into the system, whereas a lower GI food will give you a more sustained fullness but not that same ‘burst’ of its high GI friends. (Hence the medical measurement of blood glucose levels.)

Then our old dear friend insulin is released. This hormone is responsible for moving glucose from your bloodstream into your cells for storage and energy. Insulin is an anabolic hormone and stimulates protein synthesis (the process in which cells make proteins) which is needed for muscle repair and growth. It literally aids in building your body.

Insulin has a bad rep, though, and we know we need to keep this little guy stable since he’s a temperamental little hormone.

So why would the sugars (lactose and sucralose) in HPR be so valuable?

#1: When we train, we are tearing muscle fibres to create new fibres as we break down muscle mass for energy. If we do not replenish these muscles correctly post-training, our bodies stay in a catabolic state and muscle proteins continue to break down. Our bodies will grab it’s ‘survival’ energy from the very source you’re trying to build. To shift to an anabolic state, we need to refuel our body correctly. We need to consume something that’s absorbed quickly into our systems. In short, our training session would be more detrimental than beneficial if post-training recovery is not taken seriously.

#2: While training our immunity, insulin and blood glucose levels drop as the liver converts energy for the workout. This makes pre-workout fuel just as important. If you over-train or push too hard in a session, you’ll notice your concentration dips, may start making mistakes on later sets and begin to feel lethargic. All this opens up the door for injuries that can actually be avoided.

#3: The HPR sugar content will allow our insulin to rise just enough to move your body into that desired anabolic state. This aids in muscle growth, repair and replenishment of essential vitamins and minerals we lost through training. Yes, insulin will rise, and our blood glucose will go up for a short period, but in no way will it spike as with higher-sugar sports drinks. While our bodies metabolically process the need to replace energy stores, your muscles are satisfied, and you won’t be left feeling ‘dead’ after your workout. Win-win.

Don’t be afraid of the right sugars for the right reasons.

Anything is bad for you in excess, even that kale. Become a mindful eater, know what you’re eating and why. Do your research about the food groups and see what food works for your body. You don’t need a science degree to know this: failing to plan is planning to fail. 

High-Protein Recovery milk is a valuable addition to any plan.

If you have any questions and more in-depth understanding of this article, please contact our sports nutritionist the fitness hybrid at Tfh@thefitnesshybrid.com




HPR is loaded with everything that’s good for you to push through your own limits again and again. Often the difference between good performance and average performance has to do with how you fuel your body and help your body recover. HPR helps you to Push Past Possible.



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