This study investigated the effects of cow’s milk on recovery from repeated simulated team games (STGs) in females. Twenty female team-sport athletes completed an STG circuit (2x ~ 30 min, with 10 min ‘half-time’). Measures of muscle function, soreness and tiredness, symptoms of stress and serum markers of muscle damage and oxidative stress were determined pre- and 24 h, 48 h, 72 h and 96 h following the circuit. At 48 h, a second STG was completed. Sprint performance (5 m, 15 m), lap time, countermovement jump (CMJ), heart rate and RPE were recorded during each STG. Immediately following each STG, participants consumed either 500 mL of cow’s milk (MILK) or 500 mL of an energy-matched carbohydrate (CHO) solution. Compared to CHO, MILK had a beneficial effect in attenuating losses in peak torque for knee extension (60°/s) (likely; effect size (ES) = 0.26 to 0.28) knee flexion (60°/s) (likely; ES = 0.45 to 0.61). A benefit for MILK was observed for 5 m sprint (possible-likely; ES = 0.40 to 0.58), 10 m sprint (likely; ES = 0.30 to 0.53) and symptoms of stress (likely–very likely, small). Mostly unclear outcomes for other variables were observed. For STG variables, trivial (HR, CMJ) and unclear (5 m sprint, 15 m sprint, lap-time, RPE) outcomes were recorded. In conclusion, the consumption of 500 mL of milk attenuated losses in muscle function and perceptions of stress following repeated simulated team-sports games. However, further investigation is warranted to determine whether MILK can influence subsequent team-sport performance.
- muscle damage
- post-exercise recovery