A growing number of elite athletes are listening to their mothers and drinking more milk in order to make it to the Olympic podium. The two-hour window following a workout is one of the most critical, yet commonly ignored, aspects of an individual’s fitness routine.
Water and sports drinks are a few examples of commonly used recovery drinks. However, chocolate milk is a recovery aid that is often overlooked.
“Milk has fluids, carbs, protein and calcium, which is an electrolyte. Chocolate has magnesium, which is also an electrolyte. Also the balance of carbs to proteins is the optimal amount (in chocolate milk),” said Michele Vasquez, athletic trainer for the California Baptist University Lancers.
Many nutritionists and athletic trainers prefer chocolate milk to other recovery-drink options. Vasquez said she recommends chocolate milk because many people enjoy its taste, accessibility and relatively low price.
Like many beverages, chocolate milk helps to hydrate and replace the nutrients lost during a workout. It also contains small amounts of sugar and sodium that restabilize one’s electrolyte levels.
In addition to its hydrating capabilities, professionals suggest chocolate milk as a post workout drink because it has double the carbohydrates and proteins that are ideal for replenishing tired muscles.
Chocolate milk provides 8-10 grams of protein per cup, making it easy for individuals to obtain the estimated 15-25 grams of protein needed to replenish the body after exercising.
This drink is also a great source of calcium and Vitamin D, giving a nutritional bonus to athletes.
During the average 60-minute workout, individuals burn anywhere between 300–700 calories. In order to properly recover from intense exercise, individuals must find a way to replace the important nutrients lost during their workout.
Kim Latschaw, avid chocolate-milk drinker and member of the CBU women’s water polo team, says she typically drinks chocolate milk three times a day after each workout.
“I drink (chocolate milk) after workouts not only because it’s good, but it’s good for you,” Latschaw said. “I pretty much always drink it post-workout.”
Latschaw strongly recommends that all active individuals implement the consumption of chocolate milk into their workouts.
For highly-active individuals, chocolate milk is ideal because of its high calorie, carbohydrate and protein levels. Chocolate milk lets individuals easily refuel and re-energize their bodies with the added bonus of sweetness.