Nutrition - Chocolate Milk is a Good Recovery Drink

Nutrition - Chocolate Milk is a Good Recovery Drink

Dick Moss

There are many sports drinks on the market - some of which replace fluids, and some of which also replace carbohydrates. But there's a drink you might have in your refrigerator right now that is just as effective - chocolate milk!

The Study
That's right, a recent study at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, compared the effectiveness of carbohydrate replacement drinks, fluid replacement drinks and chocolate milk when recovering between two bouts of exercise, four hours apart.

The subjects, cyclists, performed an interval workout, followed four hours later by another workout - to exhaustion - at 70% of V02 Max. Two hours after the first workout, the subjects drank similar amounts of either a carbohydrate replacement drink, a fluid replacement drink, or chocolate milk.

Performed on three successive days, the subjects were measured on time to exhaustion, total work, average heart rate and rating of perceived exertion.

Time to exhaustion and total work were significantly greater for chocolate milk and the fluid replacement drink compared to the carbohydrate replacement drink. The chocolate milk and fluid replacement drinks were similar in effectiveness.

The researchers believed that chocolate milk was effective because it contains the same types of simple carbohydrates that are used in sports drinks.

Chocolate milk can be an effective exercise recovery beverage. You can use it immediately after workouts or competitions, or between closely scheduled competitions, such as heats of a track or swimming meet, or games in a tournament.

However, before you use chocolate milk in a big competition, test it in a practice situation. Some people are lactose intolerant and some others may have difficulty tolerating milk in their stomach when they during a competition or intense effort.

Reference: Jason Karp, Jeanne Johnston, Sandra Tecklenburg, Timothy Mickleborough, Alyce Fly, Joel Stager, "Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid." International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, February 2006.


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