When asked about the best sports drink, the average person will answer with an energy laden drink such as Gatorade, or even settle for water. Not many would guess the childhood favorite, chocolate milk. However, chocolate milk has been scientifically proven to contain healing and recuperative properties, making it one of the best post-workout drinks.
Chocolate milk has double the carbohydrates and protein compared to other sports drinks, water, and even regular milk, which makes it perfect for replenishing exhausted muscles after a high endurance work out. Milk contains proteins such as casien and whey that can help rebuild muscles after physical activity. Additionally, chocolate milk packs a nutritional bonus of calcium and includes just a little sodium and sugar, additives that work to help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy.
An Indiana University study tested the beneficial qualities of chocolate milk on athletes after they had preformed exhausting work outs. In the study, Indiana University scientists discovered that endurance-trained cyclists who drank low fat chocolate milk after an intense period of cycling were able to work out longer and with more power during a second exercise period compared to when the same athletes drank commercially available carbohydrate replacement drinks. The cyclists were able to cycle 51 percent longer during their second period of exercise after drinking chocolate milk than after drinking the carbohydrate replacement drink with the same number of calories.
Jason Karp, a researcher on the Indiana University study states, “Chocolate milk provides carbohydrate replenishment to your muscles—something [your muscles] can metabolize.” Although drinking plain water after a workout can be rehydrating, water contains no nutrients that replenish tired muscles. Like water, chocolate milk can hydrate athletes after a hard workout. However, chocolate milk also contains vitamins and minerals that help restore muscles to their highest potential.
So, after your next hard workout, replace the bottled water with a refreshing glass of chocolate milk. In the words of the famous commercials, “got [chocolate] milk”?
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