Chocolate Milk: The New Sport Drink

You’ve always known chocolate milk to be delicious. But did you know it’s a first-string, post-workout beverage, supplying many of the key nutrients necessary for refueling, rehydrating and reducing muscle protein breakdown?

Yep, it may not sound intuitive, but the facts are in and chocolate milk is out performing both carbohydrate sport drinks and fluid replacement beverages.

In a study published in Applied Physiology and Nutrition Metabolism, male cyclists performed an intense cycling exercise and four hours later performed a second cycling exercise. Immediately after the first cycling exercise, and again two hours later, subjects were given chocolate milk, a carbohydrate replacement drink, or a fluid replacement drink.

Consumption of the chocolate milk resulted in subjects cycling 51% longerin the second exercise session than after the carbohydrate replacement drink and 43% longer than after the fluid replacement drink.

Scientific Studies, like the one cited, are influencing athletes to rethink their drink. After exercise, proper recovery will bring these components back into balance: fluids, electrolytes, carbohydrates, and protein. Turns outs, one gratifying glass of chocolate milk provides them all! Adequate rehydration requires fluid and electrolytes. Chocolate milk has both. Refueling requires three-to-four times more calories from carbohydrates than from protein. Chocolate milk owns this ratio. A high quality protein reduces muscle breakdown and stimulates growth. Chocolate milk has the best proteins (whey and casein) for muscle tissue. So after your next bout of exercise, try the remarkable new sport drink: an enjoyable glass of low fat chocolate milk.

Guest post by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

05-06-2013-diane-boyd-headshotDiane Boyd has a background in clinical nutrition. She began her career as a hospital-based registered dietitian providing medical nutrition therapy and eventually became the chief clinical dietitian at a teaching hospital in Michigan. She currently has a private nutrition practice in North Carolina where she specializes in medical nutrition therapy, weight management and eating disorders. She is the consulting nutritionist for Cape Fear Sports Enhancement and promotes nutrition via workplace programs and freelance writing. Her passion for fitness and eating well fuel the work she truly enjoys.