Chocolate milk is a less expensive type of a sport recovery drink and also an effective one. Even Olympians drink chocolate milk in between competitions. Low fat chocolate milk provides what the body needs to recover from physical activities and recovery drinks are designed to do just that -- help the body recover from exercise.
Exercise workouts deplete your muscles of energy so it is important to replenish your body within the first 15 minutes of stopping. Recovery drinks consist of a combination of protein and carbohydrates and other nutrients. They are made for post-exercise energy replacement and muscle recovery, according to the Training and Conditioning website. Consuming 10 to 20 g of protein along with carbohydrates is beneficial for an athlete. Recovery drinks should be convenient and appealing.
Low fat or nonfat chocolate milk provides carbohydrates, protein and amino acids, refueling tired muscles. Carbohydrates build muscle and is your main source of energy. Protein, another essential nutrient to building muscles, helps to speed up muscle recovery. Amino acids are the building block of protein. Chocolate soy milk, which is also available in a light style, is a good alternative if you are unable to digest lactose, a sugar that is found in milk and milk products. Chocolate soy milk does not contain lactose, it contains stachyose and raffinose, prebiotic sugars that help boost immunity and decrease toxic substances in the body, according to the Soya website. Chocolate soy milk also provides the highest quality of protein.
A study from James Madison University, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting showed that post-exercise consumption of low fat chocolate milk provided equal or superior muscle recovery as compared to other high carbohydrate recovery beverages. Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy that turn into glycogen, which allows your muscles to perform better and heal quicker, according to the Chocolate Milk website. The James Madison University study found that athletes given low fat chocolate milk produced less creatine kinase, an indicator of muscle damage, showing that chocolate milk is effective in muscle recovery and repair.
A 2006 study published in the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism," looked at 9 male endurance-trained cyclists performing in an interval workout followed by 4 hours of recovery. After exercise, participants drank chocolate milk, a fluid replacement drink or a carbohydrate replacement drink. Those who drank chocolate milk and a fluid replacement drink took longer to reach exhaustion than those who drank the carbohydrate replacement drink. The study concluded that chocolate milk is an effective drink for recovering from exhaustion and a depletion of glycogen.
- Medical News Today: Chocolate Milk’s “Natural” Muscle Recovery Benefits Match or May Even Surpass a Specially Designed Carbohydrate Sports Drink
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- Oak Brook Soccer Club: Chocolate Milk as a Post-Exercise Recovery Aid
- American College of Sports Medicine: Chocolate Milk May Help Repair Muscles, Restore Glycogen After Exercise
- Training and Conditioning: Fluid Dynamics