Why You Should Refuel With Chocolate Milk:
Low-fat chocolate milk is the original protein drink. In addition to getting the right combination of carbs and protein, research suggests low-fat chocolate milk is a naturally nutrient-rich protein drink that helps you refuel and rehydrate within the critical two-hour recovery window after exercise.
Chocolate milk may be just as effective as certain commercial sport drinks in helping athletes refuel muscles after a workout. In fact, an Indiana University study found that endurance-trained cyclists who drank low-fat chocolate milk after an intense period of cycling were able to workout longer and have more power during a second workout compared to when the same athletes drank a commercially available carbohydrate replacement drink.
Drinking low-fat chocolate milk after exercise not only provides the carbohydrates and protein needed to refuel and repair muscles, it also helps replenish fluids and electrolytes (such as calcium, magnesium and potassium) that are lost in sweat. In fact, milk is 90 percent water. Research suggests milk may be especially effective as a post-exercise rehydration drink due to its unique mix of nutrients.
Milk contains high-quality protein and essential amino acids that may be particularly beneficial in building and maintaining muscle mass when combined with exercise. Several recent studies suggest low-fat milk after exercise can help increase lean muscle.
Exercise-induced muscle damage can lead to future impairments in muscle performance, which could affect future exercise bouts. A study conducted in the U.K. found that those who drank reduced-fat regular or flavored milk after a strenuous muscle workout experienced less exercise-induced muscle damage than those who drank water or typical sport drinks.
A new study released in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that children who drink flavored or plain milk consume more nutrients and have a lower or comparable body mass index (BMI – a measure of body fatness) than children who don’t drink milk.
References:Karp JR, et al. Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2006;16:78-91. Thomas K, et al. Improved endurance capacity following chocolate milk consumption compared with 2 commercially available sport drinks. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 2009;34:78-82.
Shirreffs SM, et al. Milk as an effective post-exercise rehydration drink. British Journal of Nutrition. 2007;98:173-180.
Hartman JW, et al. Consumption of fat-free fluid milk following resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than soy or carbohydrate consumption in young novice male weightlifters. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007;86:373-381.
Cockburn E, et al. Acute milk-based protein-CHO supplementation attenuates exercise-induced muscle damage. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 2008;33:775-783.
Murphy MM, Douglass JS, Johnson RK, Spence LA. Drinking flavored or plain milk is positively associated with nutrient intake and is not associated with adverse effects on weight status in U.S. children and adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2008;108:631-639.