Chocolate Milk Proves It’s Worth
When you think of chocolate milk doesn’t bring back memories of being kid, blowing bubbles through a straw, and gulping it down? No? Anyways, most likely you never thought of the popular beverage as having REAL nutritional value: Well think again.
A number of recent studies are showing that chocolate milk could be the best post-workout recovery drink.
Researchers at the University of Texas compared low-fat chocolate milk with carbohydrate sports drinks (Ex, Gatorade) with the same ingredients and calories as typical sports drinks. They studied cyclists using two different protocols and found that cyclists who consumed chocolate milk after riding showed greater improvement in max oxygen (O2 Max) uptake and power output compared to those who drank the sport drinks.
It also turns out that those cyclists that drank the chocolate milk also increased their lean muscle mass and reduced their body fat percentage more than the other group.
It is not yet clear why chocolate milk is proving to be better than sports drinks however, it is believed that it has to do with a unique protein and carbohydrate mix.
The protein makeup of cow’s milk is about 80% casein protein and 20% whey protein, which is an ideal mix. Whey protein is known to be fast-acting, providing amino acids immediately to the muscle tissue, while the casein protein is digested slower, providing a steady stream of amino acids over time. The carbohydrate contents of milk vary but it usually is made up of an excellent mix of sugars and complex carbohydrates. These provide the immediate insulin uptake needed to transport glucose into the cells and a steady stream of the complex carbs overtime.
Chocolate milk also processes important electrolytes like calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium, all of which can be lost during intense exercise through our sweat which need to be replenished. It’s also a good rehydration source and has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than water or sports drinks. To top it off, it also contains a number of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A & D and phosphorus that are not found in typical carbohydrate-based sports drinks.
Try adding chocolate milk to your post-workout nutrition the next time you workout to see if it works for you.