You’ve just finished a grueling workout, and it’s time to let your muscles recover. Do you reach for a high-priced sports drink that’s loaded with sugar? Well there’s a better alternative – a cold glass of chocolate milk. Chocolate milk has what your overworked muscles need to make a quick recovery from a workout – without breaking the budget.
Muscle Recovery Drink: Drink Chocolate Milk?
Research shows that chocolate milk has what it takes to be a superior muscle recovery drink. It has enough carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores depleted from exercise and plenty of high quality protein to boost muscle protein synthesis. Chocolate milk contains both casein and whey proteins, both of which are superior forms of proteins for athletes.
When you drink chocolate milk after a workout, you also benefit from the flavonoids in the cocoa powder. These flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help muscles that have been challenged recover.
Need Some Proof?
In a study published in the Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, researchers gave cyclists either low-fat chocolate milk or Gatorade after a four hour bike ride. When they asked them to cycle again after drinking one of the two drinks, the group who drank low-fat chocolate milk was able to cycle a whopping 50% longer. Chocolate milk beats out most sports drinks on the market – and it tastes great and costs less.
Why Not Drink Regular Milk for Muscle Recovery?
Although regular milk is a good source of protein and carbohydrates, chocolate milk is made with cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and minerals that regular milk doesn’t have. Overworked muscles generate free radicals, and the antioxidants in chocolate milk help to repair some of the damage and aid muscle recovery.
You can still get the benefits of drinking chocolate milk by adding cocoa powder to regular milk – or make a low-fat chocolate milk shake if you could use a few extra calories.
Chocolate Milk as a Muscle Recovery Drink
After a workout, skip the sports drinks, and reach for the carton of low-fat chocolate milk instead. It’s as good as expensive sports drinks – and it may be better.
Nutraingredients.com. “ADM Touts Exercise Recover Advantages of Chocolate Milk”
Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 2009 Feb; 34(1). 78-82.