Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Drink

By: Michelle Rupp Email
By: Michelle Rupp Email

For those who exercise, you want to get the most out of your workout. However, are expensive recovery drinks the best for replenishing or is something as inexpensive as chocolate milk a better alternative?

Anyone who likes a good hard workout knows three key components to feeling good is proper hydration before and during the burn and the right recovery drink once the workout or event is complete. Our muscles develop tiny tears so making the right choice 15-45 minutes afterwards can make all the difference in how our bodies respond.

Registered dietition, Kris Bonham at ACAC says getting the right combo of carbs, water and most importantly protein. "If you think about the muscle as a sponge after a long work out or event the muscle is like a wrung out sponge and it's ready to accept more carbohydrates back in and it turns it into stored energy called glycogen." She adds chocolate milk is a great choice.

What you might not know is, it contains the right combination of carbohydrates, protein, water and bonus calcium. "It's been compared to sports drinks, recovery drinks and chocolate milk always does well in those comparisons". You might be wondering if any chocolate milk will do. Bonham says yes, from a carton to Hershey's syrup in milk, either option works. She does recommend to look for one with fewer ingredients. Whether organic or a carton you grew up with, try it out during training. You want to make sure your digestive track is on board.

Several studies compare protein shakes and smoothies to good old fashion chocolate milk. "Chocolate milk has been around a long time and has come in and out of favor. It does have the sugar added and I think that is always a question. But when you're talking about someone working out hard or an athlete or someone who is training for an event, sugar is not an issue"

Not a runner, cyclist or tri athlete? You don't have to be, this refreshing chocolaty treat can work for anyone. "Most people after exercise you're looking to refuel. With hydration, carbohydrates, and protein. Sso it can work for any type of exercise."

Now, when it comes to sports drinks there are hundreds on the market. Some are higher in sodium, potassium, or are simply flavored water. When picking a sports drink, it's recommended you know the intended purpose. Whether it's weight management or training.

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