Power Up Athletic Performance with Real Milk-Inspired Dishes

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(Family Features) From little ones learning the game to professional athletes pushing sports to new levels, nutrition impacts the ability to re-energize, stay hydrated and reach peak performance. Now, new data shows that one naturally nutrient-rich beverage provides more benefits than previously thought: dairy milk.

For years, real milk has been recognized as a powerhouse beverage that delivers nine essential nutrients, including calcium, protein and vitamin D. However, updated nutrient daily values for nutrition labeling and more robust government nutrition databases have provided data that shows real milk delivers 13 essential nutrients, making it a good or excellent source of four more vital nutrients: potassium, zinc, selenium and iodine. These nutrients help build strong bones, maintain a healthy immune system and maintain your central nervous system, all of which directly impact athletic performance.

“As a kid, you thought of dairy milk as the drink that helped you grow and have strong bones,” said Briana Butler, MCN, RDN, LD, a performance and sports dietitian who advises athletes. “As you get older and start paying more attention to drinks’ attributes, you realize that truth applies to adults and athletes as well. Real milk is a trustworthy and nutrient-rich way to repair, rehydrate and replenish muscles and bodies. It is truly an undeniable favorite of mine to fuel performance.”

As the “original sports drink,” real milk has fueled athletes for centuries and offers a natural nutrient combination not found in formulated sports drinks. It provides benefits for fitness enthusiasts of all ages including building lean muscle, maintaining strong bones and supporting a healthy immune system.

With 13 nutrients, real milk isn’t just the ultimate training fuel, it also makes your favorite recipes more tasty and nutritious. Dishes such as Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins are made in just 15 minutes and are a quick and nutritious snack that can be enjoyed on the go, crumbled over yogurt or paired with eggs for a morning power-up. You can also try Rattle Snake Pasta, a better-for-you version of a family favorite that combines rotisserie chicken, peppers and linguine.

Visit gonnaneedmilk.com for more information on real milk’s nutrition and for milk-inspired meals.

Rattle Snake Pasta

Recipe courtesy of registered dietitian Bri Butler and Power Portions
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/4       cup buttery spread
  • 2          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4       cup dairy milk (2% recommended)
  • 1/2       cup vegetable broth
  • 1          tablespoon vegetable base
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt, to taste (optional)
  • pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4       cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • 3          tablespoons minced garlic
  • 10        ounces cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1          green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1          red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1          handful fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1          pound whole-wheat linguini, cooked
  1. In medium pot, melt buttery spread then add flour; mix well. Slowly add dairy milk and vegetable broth, stirring well.
  2. Add vegetable broth and Parmesan cheese; heat slowly until thickened. Add salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
  3. Add jalapenos, garlic, bell peppers and roasted chicken; heat thoroughly.
  4. Serve over cooked linguini.

Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

Recipe courtesy of registered dietitian Bri Butler and Power Portions
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1          zucchini
  • 1 1/2    cups dairy milk (2% recommended)
  • 3          bananas
  • 6          pieces pitted Deglet Noor dates
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 1/2    cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grate zucchini. Using kitchen towel or cheesecloth, wring as much water as possible. Set aside.
  3. In blender, blend dairy milk, banana, dates, vanilla and oil until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  5. Combine milk mixture, zucchini and oat mixture until well combined. Pour into coated 12-muffin pan.
  6. Cook 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Tips: Pair muffin (counts as one grain) with eggs and unsweetened nut butter for a balanced meal. Crumble over plain yogurt for parfait twist.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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