Your Muscles Like Chocolate Milk

Wondering why our NYC refrigerators are jam-packed with chocolate milk?  Researchers report that chocolate milk is one way to refuel muscles after a hard workout.

How can this be? Chocolate milk has an ideal combination of both carbohydrates and protein.  Research on chocolate milk for sports nutrition consistently shows there is more muscle-protein synthesis post-exercise.  This is mainly because chocolate milk has more of the lactose sugar (a carbohydrate), and carbohydrate helps shuttle protein into the muscle for regeneration.

Additionally, according to a recent WEBMD article, “… drinking fat-free chocolate milk led to a higher concentration of glycogen, or muscle fuel, in muscles 30 and 60 minutes after exercise, compared with the sports drink.”

In another study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, cyclists tested three separate workouts of interval training.  Following their workouts, they were randomly assigned to immediately consume a drink of chocolate milk, a fluid replacement drink or a carbohydrate replacement drink.  The results suggested that “… chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid between two exhausting exercise bouts.”

As a snack, having a container of chocolate milk can be a good choice since protein and carbohydrate will tide you over until your next meal.

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