Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Low-Fat Chocolate Milk as a Post-Workout Recovery Drink

After prolonged and intense activity athletes and workers benefit from carbohydrate/protein recovery drinks.

During long hiking or biking trips I use my homemade sports drinks or my homemade energy drinks to maintain good hydration. These drinks contain mostly water and carbohydrates from fruit juice.

Recent studies say that after any long, high intensity workout muscle recovery is improved by immediately consuming low-fat chocolate milk, a rapidly absorbed recovery drink that contains both carbohydrate and protein. This is much better than continuing to consume a sports drink after the workout is over. These recovery drinks also help to ensure that full rehydration is achieved after the workout.
chocolate milk bottles

Some people recommend various wonderful blender drinks made with milk and fruit after a workout. These are great to have a while after a workout, but I'm not going to be making any blender drinks immediately after a hard workout while I'm still all dirty and sweaty.

Some adults immediately switch to their favorite alcohol drink after a workout. The dehydrating effects of alcohol will seriously worsen any dehydration that may remain after an intense workout, so this provides additional stress on the body and also delays muscle recovery.

Chocolate Milk Gives Athletes a Leg-up After Exercise - University of Texas - News 22june2011 "Not only does chocolate milk taste good, but two recent studies from The University of Texas at Austin show that it’s also the ideal post-workout recovery drink. 'Serious and amateur athletes alike enjoyed physical recovery benefits when they drank low-fat chocolate milk after a vigorous workout,' said Dr. John Ivy, lead researcher on the studies and chair of The University of Texas at Austin College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education."

Milk joins the roster of sports drinks - MayoClinic 27feb2010 "Protein is needed to build muscles and repair them after use. Milk offers both carbohydrate (lactose) and protein (whey and casein). When compared to sports drinks, low-fat milk, plain or chocolate, was equivalent or better for fueling, repairing and building muscle. The results were especially impressive when milk was used as a recovery or post-exercise beverage."

Chocolate Milk: The New Sports Drink? - WebMD 24feb2006 "A new study shows that plain old chocolate milk may be as good -- or better -- than sports drinks like Gatorade at helping athletes recover from strenuous exercise." "The findings suggest that chocolate milk has an optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help refuel tired muscles, researcher Joel M. Stager, PhD, Indiana University kinesiology professor, tells WebMD." "While rapid nutrient replacement may not be important for casual exercisers, it can make a big difference in performance for competitive athletes who work out vigorously once or twice a day, says Roberta Anding, a sports dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association."

Chocolate milk gives athletes leg-up after exercise: study - medicalxpress 23june2011 "Serious and amateur athletes alike enjoyed physical recovery benefits when they drank low-fat chocolate milk after a vigorous workout," said Dr. John Ivy, lead researcher on the studies and chair of The University of Texas at Austin College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. "The advantages for the study participants were better body composition in the form of more muscle and less fat, improved times while working out and overall better physical shape than peers who consumed sports beverages that just contained carbohydrates."

Chocolate Milk May Boost Post-Workout Recovery - Fitness Magazine "Downing chocolate milk after a tough workout can help replenish exhausted muscles and significantly aid exercise recovery, new research shows." "Physiologist Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, has even one more potential workout recovery drink to add to the list: chocolate milk. His latest study, published in this month's International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, names this kids' favorite an optimal post-exercise recovery aid."

Health Benefits of Chocolate in Moderation

Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled - Cleveland Clinic "Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled. Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart? Why a little, in moderation, may be beneficial. Chocolate has gotten a lot of media coverage in recent years because it's believed that it may help protect your cardiovascular system. The reasoning being that the cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids."

Health Benefits of Chocolate Growing - WebMD 29mar2012 "Health Benefits of Chocolate Growing. Moderate Amounts May Help Heart Health and More, Researchers Find." "Chocolate is increasingly shedding its reputation as a sweet treat only. More research is uncovering health benefits when the dark stuff is eaten in moderation."

Healthy Chocolate: 9 Health Benefits of Chocolate | Women's Health Magazine "9 Health Benefits of Chocolate. Chocolate isn't junk food anymore! Here, the health perks of your new favorite superfood" "The secret behind its powerful punch is cacao, also the source of the sweet's distinct taste. Packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, this little bean is a disease-killing bullet."

Who Does NOT Need Chocolate Milk Drinks ?

I agree with Marion Nestle, nutrition professor at New York University. "As the pressure on schools has grown to get chocolate milk out, they're looking for any new marketing," she says. "I'd never recommend drinking a sweetened drink." School kids who are mostly inactive in the classroom don't need any extra calories from any kind of sugar sweetened drink. Children or adults who are working out to lose weight also do not need the extra calories from sugar. A plain, old glass of lowfat or nonfat milk provides the protein and some other nutrition that these people need after an intense, prolonged workout.

Chocolate Milk Drinks in my Local Grocery Stores

The sugar concentration in milk is similar to that found in many commercial sports drinks. Chocolate milk has twice as much sugar as plain milk, but drinking some of this seems within reason for refueling of a person recovering from a long and intense workout. Deluxe chocolate milk has 4 times as much sugar as plain milk, so I'm pretty sure this is not what the nutrition experts are recommending for recovery after a workout. This excess level of sugar will seriously delay absorption of the fluid into your body, but it does taste great whenever you decide to pamper your sweet-tooth! Making chocolate milk from powdered ingredients or syrup concentrates requires careful measurement because we will all end up with deluxe chocolate milk if we just keep adding more chocolate until it tastes great.

Milk _________________ 12 g sugar per cup
Chocolate Milk ________ 25 g sugar per cup
Deluxe Chocolate Milk __ 51 g sugar per cup

Vote for Your Favorite Post-Workout Recovery Drink

Please click on the comment link below to vote on your favorite post-workout recovery drink !!!

More about:
After Sports Drinks Provide Carbohydrate & Protein for Recovery After Prolonged Workouts - BRT Insights 24sept2009.

Stretching is also important during post-workout recovery - BRT Insights 27aug2007.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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I agree. Low fat Choco drink after workout is helpful. But what I don't agree is completely eliminating choco drinks. There are recent studies now that gave weight to the health benefit of chocolate.
Thanks, I just added a section on health benefits of chocolate. Maybe what we should have in our schools is low-fat milk with cocoa and stevia natural non-calorie sweetener. Students who are inactive in the classroom all day and are inactive watching TV all night don't need any kind of sugar sweetened drinks.
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