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Surprising Post Workout Effects of Chocolate Milk

Posted on 2016-03-02


You’ve just got done with your workout and you’re feeling great, but now that you’re home you notice that dreaded sweet-tooth is starting to act up again. You just had an amazing workout and you don’t want it to go to waste by eating that chocolate bar you have saved in the cupboard, so you reach dubiously for that sports drink. Believe it or not, there is a way to curve that sweet-tooth craving as well as replenish some needed nutrients and it is as simple as making up a nice cold glass of chocolate milk.

The Science Behind It

John L. Ivy PhD, department chair of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin, explains why chocolate milk is the ideal post-workout drink. “When recovering from exercise two things you want to do is replenish sugar stores in the muscle and turn on protein synthesis and stop protein breakdown. The combination of carbohydrate and protein [found in chocolate milk] work synergistically to do those two things.” In comparison to regular milk, many sports drinks, and water, chocolate milk has twice as many carbohydrates and protein content which is optimal for replenishing those exhausted muscles. It also has a high amount of water content which helps prevent dehydration as well as replace some of the fluid you lost through sweat. The combination of all of these things on top of all of the nutrition already found in milk, makes it an amazing post-workout drink. The delicious taste of the chocolate milk is just a nice perk.

Is it Right for Every Workout?

If you’re workout consisted of some light jogging, or mild weight lifting, I’m sorry to say chocolate milk may not be the post-workout drink for you. Physiologist Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, says that “ a drink like chocolate milk is most useful to a cyclist, swimmer, or long-distance runner. These sports stress high endurance levels and constant, sustained movement. Competing athletes need high levels of calories, carbs, and protein to sustain that level of performance.” Now that we’ve learned all the science behind chocolate milk, we know that it can do just that for these types of athletes.

Save Some Money

If you go to the gym often, then no doubt you’ve seen people with protein shakes clutched tightly in their hands. Science has taught us that we need to replace protein quickly after our workouts so that we can replenish the nutrients your body needs after exercising. Knowing this, people assume they need to buy expensive protein when in reality chocolate milk does an impressive job as a post-workout drink. Consumers are spending roughly $60 on a 6.35lb bag of protein and often more, depending on the brand. In contrast, a gallon of low-fat chocolate milk costs around $2.18.

Chocolate milk is great for replenishing nutrients, preventing dehydration, providing you with the necessary protein for after your workout, saves you money AND it’s delicious.