Some of our favorite clients have asked “why are you selling chocolate milk?” It does seem odd that we would consider selling such a high calorie beverage, but chocolate milk is becoming increasingly popular post-workout snack. Recent research has begun to investigate the post-workout recovery effects of chocolate milk versus protein shakes or powders, with promising results. Coaches and athletes may be surprised to learn that chocolate milk may even be more effective than supplements in many cases. Chocolate milk is a practical and inexpensive alternative to many “high-performance” supplements.
Chocolate milk offers a number of key nutrients for athletes. According to the Nutrient Facts website, one cup of low-fat chocolate milk contains 160 calories. Further, a cup of chocolate milk offers significant amounts of several B-complex vitamins — nutrients you need to convert food into energy — as well as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D needed for healthy bones. Chocolate milk is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and contains over a dozen vitamins and minerals.
Exercise increases stress on the muscles. Following a workout, muscle is stressed and individual muscle fibers may have undergone some damage. Protein is associated with muscle growth and tissue repair, and athletes need to increase their protein intake to reap the benefits of practice sessions. Highly active people need to consume about 1.8 g of protein for each kilogram of body weight, about twice the need of sedentary people. A cup of chocolate milk offers 8 grams of protein.
In addition to protein, athletes need to increase their carbohydrate intake following exercise. Exercise uses up glycogen stores, which are responsible for supplying energy to muscles. Carbohydrates are easily digestible and can refuel these glycogen supplies. Further, if glycogen is not refueled through food, the body uses protein stores for nutrition, negating some of the benefits of the exercise. Drink a glass of chocolate milk and you’ll get 25 grams of carbohydrates.
Why Chocolate Milk?
Research has found that chocolate milk contains an ideal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. This carbohydrate-to-protein ratio is essential for refueling tired or damaged muscles and assists with the workout recovery process. Chocolate milk may contain more workout recovery ability than most protein shakes. Further, many people already like the taste of chocolate milk and it is both cheap and easy to find.
To get the best results from your training, ensure that your post-workout drink or meal is up to par. After your workout, your body is most receptive to using amino acids to repair muscle tissue, while using carbohydrates to restore muscle glycogen. Chocolate milk offers one of the best post-workout options, which will provide you with the benefits of carbohydrates, while giving you the optimal protein source for rebuilding muscle. Try it today!