Bodybuilding & Chocolate Milk

Bodybuilders who choose chocolate milk as their post workout recovery drink may have an advantage on their competitors. After demanding workouts, your body craves certain nutrients for energy replacement and muscular recovery. Chocolate milk provides these fast carbohydrates and protein to refuel the body for upcoming workouts. While catchy supplement marketing may lead bodybuilders to buy the latest recovery drink, an effective replenishment drink could be in your refrigerator.

Chocolate Milk (on wooden background)
A glass of chocolate milk on a wood surface. (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

Carbohydrates and Muscles

Weight lifting depletes glycogen stores in your muscles. Glycogen powers the body through activity like a heavy weight training session. After that demanding training session nutrients like carbohydrates and protein assist in glycogen synthesis and muscular repair. The IDEA Health & Fitness Association recommends to consume carbohydrates directly after your workout to restore glycogen levels in your muscles.

Protein and Carbs for Muscles

During a weight training session, muscle fibers undergo microscopic tears that need repairing for the next workout session. Protein found in chocolate milk repairs these tears in muscular tissue. Consuming protein immediately after your workout prevents additional muscular tissue breakdown. Combining protein with carbohydrates enhances glycogen synthesis for optimum replenishment, according to the June 2010 issue of the "Journal of Sports Science and Medicine."

Simple Sugars

Chocolate milk possesses high amounts of carbohydrates that are classified as simple carbs. Simple carbohydrates include sucrose, fructose and table sugar. These simple carbs provide fast energy and insulin for the body. The other class of carbs, complex carbohydrates, is found in breads, rice and certain cereals. These carbs release energy at a more gradual, slower rate, which maintains insulin levels. Simple carbs typically receive a poor reputation; however, these carbs found in specifically chocolate milk are best for fast and immediate carbohydrate loading for glycogen production.

Timing of Milk Consumption

According to the 2012 issue of "Medicine and Sport Science," there is a best time to drink chocolate milk for exercise benefits. Researchers state that drinking chocolate milk immediately after working out and again 2 hours after exercise is the best scenario for post-workout muscle recovery. Non-fat chocolate milk consumption helps repair muscle damage. Another study, published in the December 2012 "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition," reports that consuming non-fat milk after a workout promotes greater loss of fat mass, increase in lean body mass and greater strength in female weight lifters.

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