This page is created for all Judoka’s, Parents and Members , and how to invest in yourself as a Judoka and or parent. This page is  created only for information and reading to assist and/or help our Judoka’s to invest in themselves, and make them better in what they take on in life, and to achieve there goals set by themselves.

More than the assets you own or the wealth you have, one of the biggest investments you could ever make is by investing in yourself.
But what does this mean?
As psychologist and life coach, Claire Newton loosely puts it, investing in yourself simply means putting your needs and wants at the top of the priority list, valuing yourself and making time for your psychological, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Success strategist, life coach and author of The Passion Belief Method, Megan Tull agrees, adding in the Huffington Post that investing in yourself is an incredibly powerful act that “tells the world that the value and potential you possess is important… you give yourself the energy, space and time to grow and create results you want”.



5 – Foam rolling techniques you should try

Professional athletes love it and physical therapists swear by it: foam rolling.

According to a Harvard Health report, using a foam roller to apply pressure to certain body parts helps to relieve pain associated with sore muscles and can be used as a self-myofascial release technique. A manipulative treatment that attempts to release tension in the connective tissues.

It can be done as part of a pre-or-post workout routine, employed as a corrective posture tool, or simply enjoyed as a quick break from sitting.

Researchers have also shown that combined with static stretching, foam rolling can lead to impressive flexibility improvements and has been found to “significantly increase range of motion,” according to a Human Kinetics study by Taiwan medical students published in the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation. 

More recently, published in the Journal of Cogent Medicine evidence has been reported to show that foam rolling may be an effective treatment for reducing cellulite!

But as with anything, you have to know how to use it. Also, should you have any injuries or medical conditions such as arthritis, be sure to consult your doctor first before trying any new techniques.

Adapted from the Physique Foam Roller Exercise Guide and based on the recommendations of Australian sports physiotherapist David Wilson – here are five basic exercises to get you rolling:


1. Calf roll 


Good for: Judo, Running, cycling, aerobic circuits and plyometric (jumping) exercises.

  • Sitting upright, place the foam roller between the ankle and calf muscle.
  • Roll the entire calf in an up and down motion, starting with long smooth rolls, followed by short repetitive rolls on the trigger points.
  • To increase the pressure, you can cross the other leg over the leg being treated.
  • Target each side for up to two minutes.

2. Hamstring release

Good for: Judo, Football, track events, powerlifting and gymnastics

  • Position the foam roller high up under the bottom of your thigh.
  • Lift your weight so that only your hands and supporting foot of the other leg are in contact with the floor, slowly gliding back and forth along the thigh, stopping just before the fold in the back of your knee.
  • To increase the pressure, cross the other leg over the leg being treated.
  • Target each side for up to two minutes.

3. ITB – Iliotibial Band (outer thigh) roll 

Good for: Judo, running and endurance events (can be used as a warm-up).

  • Lie on your right side and place a foam roller under your hip.
  • Using your hands or forearms for support, cross your left leg over your right and put your left foot flat on the floor.
  • Roll from your hip down to just above your knee for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.   

4. Glutes roll

 Good for: Judo, martial arts and weightlifting, powerlifting, plyometric exercises.

  • Sit on top of a foam roller with one leg out straight and hands of the floor behind
  • Bend your knees, and then cross one leg so that the ankle is over the knee.
  • Shift your weight to the side of the crossed leg, rolling over your glutes for 30 seconds to a minute, then repeat on the opposite side.
  • Good for: Deadlifts, rugby, golf

5. Mid-back roll

Good for: Judo, Deadlifts, rugby, golf

  • Carefully lie back on the foam roller positioned perpendicular to the body, knees bent, and interlaced hands supporting under the back of the head.
  • Brace the core and elevate your hips to form a horizontal with your shoulders.
  • Push with your legs to roll your back several times along the roller from your shoulder blades to your mid-back and up again. As with all exercises, start slowly and listen to your body. If it hurts, stop – and remember to breathe!


Best fuels when you exercise

We all know that eating well is important for our health, but when we are exercising regularly it becomes even more important. After all, food provides our body with the energy we need for physical activity.

So what are the best foods to eat when exercising?


Carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are a vital source of energy during any workout. One of the most important elements of nutrition and exercise is learning how to control your blood sugar to optimize energy levels. While the body has the ability to turn carbohydrate, protein and fat into energy, the easiest food to convert is carbohydrate

Some carbohydrates are converted into energy more easily and effectively than others. How can you tell whether your favorite sports drink will give you the best energy boost before your workout, and whether pasta is the best pre-race meal?

The Glycaemic Index (GI) provides a way to rank carbohydrate-rich foods according to the glucose levels in the blood after intake. Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day and we need to stabilize them to achieve optimal performance.

  • Fast-releasing energy, or high-GI, foods will cause the blood sugar to rise sharply, triggering the release of insulin, followed some time later by an energy lull.
  • Slow releasing energy, or low-GI, foods maintain a more consistent energy supply.

Generally speaking, low-GI foods contain more complex carbohydrates. This means that they will provide more energy for longer, making them ideal for preparing your body for physical activity and exercise. Some of the best sources of complex carbohydrates include:

  • Whole meal/multigrain bread, rice, pasta
  • Some cereals — oats, wheat -based biscuits
  • Potatoes, peas, sweet corn, parsnip, carrots
  • Legumes — lentils, baked beans, chickpeas
  • Fruit
  • Milk and yoghurt.


Your muscles, skin and bones are all made from protein, so you need to be sure to include plenty of proteins in your diet. This is especially important when you are exercising or leading an active lifestyle as protein is required to build and repair muscles. Protein also helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the blood and helps provide a source of energy while exercising. The best sources of protein for exercise include:

  • Meat, chicken, fish
  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt
  • Eggs


Foods rich in soluble fibre have the ability to regulate and slow down the absorption of sugar in your blood, giving your body a more steady release of sugar over a longer period of time. Foods rich in insoluble fibre should also be eaten, as they help keep the bowels regular, fill us up and provide protection from heart disease. Some good sources of soluble and insoluble fibre include:

  • Wholegrain cereals, rice, pasta
  • Legumes – baked beans, chick peas, kidney beans
  • Nuts and seeds

Insoluble fibre

  • Wheat bran
  • Corn bran
  • Skins of fruit and vegetables

Everybody will have their own individual food preferences and you will need to discover what works best for you.

But if you follow the principles above, you can be sure that you are providing your body with the best possible fuel for exercise.


Is Judo harder than MMA?

Current judo coach and two-time Olympic medalist Jimmy Pedro is able to sum up the difficulty of judo training pretty easily: “I have many athletes that used to compete in judo but are now competing in mixed martial arts,” he says. “And it’s funny to hear them say that judo training’s just too hard. ‘It’s harder than MMA. It’s just too physical for me.’”

Harder Than MMA?

It’s hard to believe someone might make the move to MMA to go easier on their bodies, but Pedro says being able to train in different techniques and disciplines make MMA “more forgiving on the body than judo.” When it comes to sparring for MMA during practice sessions, competitors rarely give 100% to prevent injury, while judo is designed to prevent injury regardless of how well or poorly a person is doing, forcing them to give their all every time they step on the mat. He also notes that the necessary skills involved in judo are integral to success in mixed martial arts, generally making the transition easier to handle for judo competitors.

The main goal of judo is for one athlete to gain leverage and toss his opponent onto his back through a dynamic throwing technique. A well-executed throw ends the match. If this can’t be done, matches can also end by pinning an opponent on his back or submitting them through a stranglehold or an arm lock. What makes it so tough is the fact that rounds require five minutes of constant contact between

competitors. Travis Stevens, an American judoka who will compete in the Olympics this summer, says this makes it more taxing than other combat sports we’ll see in London.

“In judo, you are required to engage with your opponent constantly using everything you have physically to score,” he says. “In Olympic-style wrestling it’s three two-minute periods with one-minute breaks between rounds… For boxing, you have to be in great shape but it doesn’t have that physical contact like wrestling and judo. In boxing, you can just stand in front of your opponent or just dance around.”

Japanese Import

Developed in Japan in the late 1800s, judo has been an Olympic event since 1964 (1968 being the only exception). As you might expect, the Japanese have generally dominated the sport in Olympic competition, collecting 35 gold medals (the French are second with 10) and 65 overall medals (France and South Korea are tied for second with 37 each) in all judo events. Pedro compares competing with the Japanese in judo to playing the U.S. in basketball or American football—it’s not only extremely popular there, but there’s the opportunity to go pro.

So Japan sets the bar pretty high in the sport, and that’s not to mention fierce competition from many other parts of the world. Stevens gave us some insight into how he’s able to stay at the elite level of his sport, boasting a training regimen that is truly a dedicated lifestyle in itself.

Travis Stevens’s Judo Workout:

7am-8:30am – Lifting
9am-10:30AM – Judo
11am-11:30am – Sprints
2pm-3pm – Cross training (boxing, jiu-jitsu, swimming)
6:30pm-8pm – Judo

7am-8:30am – Lifting
10am-11:30am – Judo
10pm-11pm – Running

7am-8:30am – Judo
10:30am-12pm – Lifting
5:15pm-6:15pm – Judo
6:15pm-8pm – Wrestling
10pm-11pm – Running11:30am-12pm – Sprints
2pm-3pm – Cross training (boxing, jiu jitsu, swimming)
6:30pm-8pm – Judo
10pm-11pm – Running

8am-9:30am – Judo
10:30am-12pm – Lifting
5:15pm-6:15pm – Judo
6:15pm-8pm – Wrestling
10pm-11pm – Running

6am-7:30 – Lifting
8am-9:30am – Judo
9:45am-10:15am – Sprints
2pm – Drive to New Jersey
7pm-10pm – Jiu-Jitsu

11am-1pm – No Gi (uniform) Grappling
2pm-5pm – Jiu-Jitsu

10am-12pm – Lifting/Running
4pm-7pm – Jiu-Jitsu
7:30pm – Drive back to Boston

Stevens’ Tips

If you weren’t counting, that’s 44 hours of training in a single week, not counting the roundtrip from Boston to New Jersey that’s taxing in its own way. To get through it, he eats several small meals right before and after different workouts to fuel up and recover, maintaining his energy supply while never filling up to a point where it might hinder performance. It’s not something a regular workingman can replicate, but Stevens broke down his top three necessary judo skills—grip strength, core strength and explosiveness. Grip strength is extremely important since you need to hold onto an opponent’s uniform (known as a gi)—“You can’t throw if you can’t hold on,” Stevens says. Significant core strength makes it tougher for opponents to throw you and you need to be explosive to score.

To train more like a judoka, Stevens suggests doing more single leg squats, off bench oblique holds and chin-ups. The leg squats are, of course, great for leg strength and explosiveness, oblique holds will do a number on your core, and chin ups are great for grip and upper body strength.

Stevens and Pedro both hope the Olympics will gain more popularity for judo, seeing as the American interest in MMA has increased so much in recent years. Pedro says the US is looking to “make Olympic history” this summer, saying that the judoka America is sending over has the potential to take a gold medal, which would be the first time that’s happened, or take home multiple medals, which would be the first time that’s happened since 1988. Stevens anticipates even more, hoping for three medals, two of them gold, for the US this summer.

Do Top Level Judo Players Do Regular Weight Training?

MONGOLIAN JUDO TEAM TRAINING                                                                                                        Teddy Riner


By Matt D’Aquino  |   Submitted On July 04, 2012

As an international Judo player I have spent a lot of time in Japan training and it always surprises me when people state that the Japanese do Judo every single day and that they don’t need to do any weights at all.

I always reply by saying, “Haven’t you seen the photos of Ishii and Nomura without their shirts on?? What about multiple world champions Ilias Iliadis and Teddy Riner?”

I don’t want to sound like a stalker but if you have seen photos of them with their shirts off you would have noticed that you don’t get muscles like that by just doing Judo.

Top level Judo players clearly do weights (and watch their diet) but you notice that they are built like Judo players – not body builders.

All of these Judo players understand that strength alone is not going to win them Judo matches, and either is technique alone.

With BOTH Judo technique, AND a Judo gym program you will be on track to becoming a stronger Judo player.

You need a strength training regime that fits you and your lifestyle. If you do Judo 3 nights a week then you should perform a strength training regime two to three times a week although if you do Judo only once a week you may want to a split program and be in the gym two to four days a week. It is important to find a strength training manual that includes a variety of gym programs including upper and lower body splits, full body programs and even 30 minute express strength programs as well that way you can pick and choose the routine that suits you and your schedule.

For example due to the fact that I have been doing a lot of university work I am currently doing Judo only 3 days a week. Therefore I have been following a basic full-body program which includes:

– Front Squats
– Deadlifts
– Weighted Chin ups & Dips
– Javelin Press

With this routine front squats are great for the core as well as building lower body strength and stability (great for Seoi nage players), while the Javelin press is a great core exercise that integrates upper body strength at the same time.

Weighted dips are great to really hit the upper body while deadlifts are one of the best exercises you can do to build back and grip strength simultaneously.

All of these physical aspects are important to Judo players of all ages and ability levels.

I simply perform this workout two to three times a week for six weeks before having one week rest. After my one week rest I will continue on another full body strength routine involving slightly different exercises that will benefit my Judo game.

Author: Matt D’Aquino

Matt is the founder of Beyond Grappling fitness and conditioning. He is a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian as well as nationally ranked freestyle wrestler and National Champion in Brazilian Jujitsu. Matt has a passion for teaching all aspects of grappling especially the fitness and conditioning aspect. Recently he has been traveling the world aiming to qualify for his second Olympic Games.

To learn more about Matt and his fitness and conditioning training visit


Example Exercise Templates for a Grappler:

3-Day Template

Day 1: Pull Focus/Push Speed/Leg Hypertrophy

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Horizontal Pull Variation 5RM 5 Note above, find 2-4 variations and rotate through them on a weekly basis.
Pullups 3 Max
Vertical Press (barbell or dumbbell) 3 5 Speed here.
Pushups 3 Max
Front Squats 4 8-12
Wheeled Rollouts 3 15  



Day 2: Leg Focus/Push Hypertrophy/Pull Speed

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Squat Variation 5RM 5 Use a two leg squat variation, preferably using a barbell.
Single Leg/Split Squat Variation 2 10
Hamstring Curl 3 10
Bench Variation 3 8-12
Dips 2 Max
Romanian Deadlifts 3 5 Speed
Band Rows 3 7 Speed
Hanging Leg Raises 3 15


Day 3: Push Focus/Leg Speed/Pull Hypertrophy

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Bench Variation 5RM 5
Bench Variation 3 10 Use a different variation from the 5RM exercise.
Dips 2 Max
Jump Squats 4 5 Pick a weight that lets athlete get 6-12 inches off the ground.
Reverse Extensions 3 15
Supported Row Variation/ Vertical Pull Variation 4 8-12 This can be either with one hand on a bench, chest against a pad, whatever. Try not to use a variation that places stress on the lower back.
Rotational Chops 4 15


4-Day Template

Day 1: Push Max/Hypertrophy, Pull Speed/Power

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Bench Variation 1 5RM 5
Bench Variation 2 3 8-12
Pushups 3 Max
Vertical Pull Variation 3 5 Speed
Row Variation 3 6 Speed
Lateral DB Raises 2 15
Roman Chair Situps 3 15-20


Day 2: Legs Max/Hypertrophy

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Squat Variation 5RM 5
Split Squat Variation 3 10
Hamstring Curl 3 10
Reverse Extension 3 12-15
Hanging Leg Raises 3 15


Day 3: Pull Max/Hypertrophy, Push Speed/Power

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Row Variation 1 5RM 5
Row Variation 2 3 8-12
Vertical Pull 2 Max
Vertical Press 4 5 Speed
Dips 3 Max
Band Rotations 3 15


Day 4: Legs Speed/Power, Other Assistance Training

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Romanian Deadlifts 5RM 5 Another glute-centered exercise can also be done.
Jump Squat Variation 5 5
Hamstring Curls 3 8-12
Bicep Curls 3 10
Crunches 3 15-25
Leg Raises 3 15-25


So, that’s about it as far as the programming.

I hope that you can use these programs above as either a template for your workouts, or that you use them as a springboard into the personalized, tailor-made workouts that are needed by your judo athletes to prepare themselves for competition.


HIIT: The “No Frills” Training Routine You Need to Try

30 July 2018

Author: Thato Tinte

You think a minute goes by fast? You’ve clearly never done a HIIT workout.

If you’re a fan of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you may have chuckled at the accuracy of this internet meme.

According to Muscle Therapy Australia, HIIT is a form of interval training that involves short intervals of maximum intensity cardio exercise followed by equal to longer intervals of low intensity exercise or rest.


The main perks of HIIT

When done right, this “no-frills” training concept is said to produce quick and explosive results. Besides fat burn, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) lists these health benefits:

  1. Improves cardiovascular health

HIIT challenges the body to perform at the upper end of the aerobic training zone.

Training at this intensity improves cardiorespiratory function during exercise and at rest.

A 2015 study by University of Ottawa Heart Institute suggests that HIIT can improve cardiovascular health and exercise capacity.


  1. Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)

HIIT increases caloric burn after an exercise session through a process known as EPOC. This is where the body increases the rate at which it burns calories to return to homeostasis (its pre-exercise state of balance).

A 2010 study by the University of New South Wales, published in the Journal of Obesity, further suggests that the body can remain in this elevated fat burning state for up to 20 hours after a HIIT workout.

Designing your own HIIT Workout

Fitness manager and personal trainer, Elisabeth Fouts, in Power Systems gives this step-by-step guide to designing your of HIIT workout:

Step 1: Determine total time for the workout

If you want to, for example, work out for 30 minutes, do a:

  • 5-minute warm up
  • 20-minute workout
  • 5-minute cool down

Step 2: Determine the work to recovery ratio

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a 1:1 work to recovery ratio.

So, do 30 seconds of work and then recover for 30 seconds.

For example, 20 exercises on a 1:1 work to recovery ratio would be 20 minutes of HIIT.

Step 3: Choose exercise types

Instead of doing 20 different exercises, simplify your workout with a lower number of exercises that you repeat.

For example, choose 5 exercises that you repeat four times.

For a total body workout, choose compound exercises that challenge multiple muscle groups.

Step 4: Select equipment

Many HIIT workouts are designed to feature body weight as the only resistance and don’t require equipment.

If you do want to add equipment, Fouts recommends choosing versatile items that can lend themselves easily to cardio and strength-based movements. This includes power bags, kettlebells, power training ropes and medicinal/slam balls.


Is it safe?

Howard Knuttgen, research associate in physical medicine and rehabilitation, in Harvard Health Publishing says, “In an otherwise healthy man [or woman], HIIT shouldn’t present major risks. If you’re a beginner, start slowly and gradually increase your intensity.

Reduce your risk of injury by warming-up to loosen your joints and get blood flowing. Remember to rest and recover well before your next workout.”

Consult an appropriate health professional for individual advice if you’re new to physical activity, returning from a long period of inactivity, engaging in interval training for the first time, or have pre-existing medical conditions that can increase your risk of injury.






Milk outperforms sports drinks for exercise recovery

In a study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in June 2011,researchers found people who drank milk after training were able to exercise longer in their next session than people who had sports drinks or water.

We have known about the health benefits of milk for a long time. It has carbohydrates, calcium and vitamin D. But it also contains to proteins beneficial for athletes — casein and whey.

During intense exercise, muscles get damaged. This damage leads to the protein structures in the muscle breaking down between 24 and 48 hours later. The casein and whey proteins in milk assist in quick regeneration of muscles. But athletes need to drink the milk immediately after working out so by the time it is digested, the nutrients are ready to be absorbed by the muscles which need repairing.

While sports drinks are also beneficial (they replace lost carbohydrates and electrolytes), they don’t have the necessary nutrients to help muscles regenerate and repair.

Another study at Loughborough University found that low-fat milk is better than sports drinks when it comes to replacing fluids lost during exercise. This is probably because milk has a lot of electrolytes, but it is emptied from the stomach more slowly than sports drinks, keeping the body hydrated for longer.

What does this mean for you?

While research indicates that drinking milk may assist in muscle recovery, it may not be the best option for the average gym-goer or person who does not exercise at an elite level.

If you are exercising at a moderate level then water is probably enough after exercise — particularly if you are trying to lose weight. Remember, milk and sports drinks do contain kilojoules, so unless you are really losing a lot of fluid or really punishing your muscles, then water is the best option.

If you have done a long session of exercise, or if it is a hot day, then a sports drink may be required. Similarly, if you have done an intense weights workout at the gym, then a glass of milk, or even a fruit smoothie may help in your muscle recovery.

It is important to note that milk is harder to digest so if you are going to include it as part of your regime, drink it only after you have completed your workout, not during it. In comparison, sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) have easily digestible sugars so they are beneficial during long stints or high intensity bouts of exercise.

Whatever you choose as part of your exercise recovery plan, ensure that you replace fluids lost and that you don’t take in unnecessary extra kilojoules which may outweigh the benefits of exercise.

Why is chocolate milk good for muscle recovery?

“It helps replenish the muscle tissue and actually gives you a shorter recovery time.” … But flavored milk — be it chocolate, strawberry or vanilla — has a more beneficial ratio of carbohydrates to protein for muscle recovery and rebuilding, Scritchfield says.


By   Gabriella Boston

February 3, 2015

No gluten, no meat, no dairy: You know the story. The don’t-eat-any-foods-from-your-childhood diet has been in vogue for a while now, but one “bad guy” seems to be making a comeback, at least among athletes: milk.

“I think it’s great. Chocolate milk has a lot of benefits for muscle recovery,” says Ingrid Nelson, a personal trainer in the District. “It helps replenish the muscle tissue and actually gives you a shorter recovery time.”

So, chocolate milk over regular milk? Both are good choices unless they cause digestive issues, says Rebecca Scritchfield, a D.C. nutritionist.

But flavored milk — be it chocolate, strawberry or vanilla — has a more beneficial ratio of carbohydrates to protein for muscle recovery and rebuilding, Scritchfield says.

In other words, there is nothing magical about the cacao itself in chocolate milk; it’s the extra carbs — the sugars — that create the perfect potion.

Try chocolate milk after a workout.

“Milk alone may not be enough carbs or calories, but it can be enhanced to be adequate,” Scritchfield says.

The ratio to aim for is 4 grams of carbohydrates to 1 gram of protein, according to Joel Stager, professor of kinesiology at Indiana University and the author of several research papers on milk as a recovery drink for sports performance.

Nelson says that immediately on entering the body, milk creates spikes in insulin (in this case, these are good for you) that help transport sugar into the muscle, where it becomes glycogen. It also stimulates muscle protein repair and growth.

The amount of carb-infused milk recommended can range anywhere from 8 to 16 ounces depending on the intensity, frequency and duration of the exercise as well as the person’s gender, size and age.

So, let’s do the math on milk vs. flavored milk to reach the right 4:1 ratio.

An eight-ounce glass of 2 percent milk has 12 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein. Nowhere near the recommended 4:1 ratio.

That means — should you choose to make your own post-exercise milk drink — you would need to add about 20 grams of carbohydrates. For example, a small banana has about 20 grams of carbs. Voila! There is your flavored post-exercise sports drink.

Speaking of which, why not just buy Muscle Milk or one of the other sports drinks?

“Why not go with the real thing instead of the designer product?” responds Stager, adding that milk offers a host of other nutrients. These include electrolytes — important for hydration — as well as calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, D and B.

Not only that: When you start looking at the labels, you’ll notice that many of the designer sports drinks don’t have the the 4:1 ratio. A 14-ounce container of Muscle Milk, for example, has 25 grams of protein and only 11 grams of carbohydrates.

And then there is the price.

Let’s say you made your own carb-infused milk sports drink: about 25 cents for the eight ounces of milk (probably non-organic at that price) and another 25 cents for the banana. That would be total of 50 cents. (Another way to infuse milk with carbs would be to add 1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup.)

A commercial sports drink would run you up to 10 times that amount.

At the other end of the 4:1 ratio spectrum are the non-dairy milks such as rice milk and almond milk. They are great on certain nutrients but low — 1 or 2 grams — on protein.

Dairy might not work for you digestively. Many Americans suffer from lactose intolerance, and others feel icky and bloated when they consume dairy. Others are vegan.

For these people, Scritchfield suggests timing the workout so they can have a well-balanced meal afterward and skip that post-exercise recovery drink.

Just remember that milk — along with the carbs and the protein — is also a great way to hydrate because of its sodium and potassium levels. So add hydration to the post-exercise meal or snack.

Which brings us to the all-important timing for the best muscle recovery.

“Quickly after the exercise. First 30 to 45 minutes is the window of opportunity,” Stager says.

Nelson calls it “the power hour” — the window when the muscles are most receptive to sugar and protein in order to rebuild, Nelson says.

Milk protein consists of whey and casein, both of which help muscle rebuilding but in different ways. The whey is fast-acting, and the casein is slow-acting, Nelson says.

The amount of milk recommended can be anywhere from one to two cups, depending on the size of the individual and the type of activity, Nelson says. Same goes for the fat content. It depends on duration, frequency and intensity along with age and gender, Stager says.

For an elite athlete, whole milk might be preferable, while a middle-aged weekend warrior might do better with skim or 2% percent.

Also, says Scritchfield, if you’re exercising for less than an hour at a low to moderate level (such as low-key yoga), you’re probably fine with just water and your regular healthful meals and snacks. “Recovery is most important for intense workouts lasting longer than 60 minutes — think endurance and intense team sports.”