Chocolate Milk: Is it Really the Best Post Workout Recovery Drink for You?
For over a decade, people have raved about drinking good old-fashioned chocolate milk to aid in post exercise recovery. But, there are varying points of view on the drink's actual effectiveness. For over a decade now, people have raved about its ability to help your muscles recover. Some swear by it, and some not so much claiming the sugar content is just too high.
But there are a few constants I found in researching the subject. Low fat chocolate milk with a 4 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein does indeed help workout recovery and can help to reduce muscle damage. One study shows that drinking the sweet brown elixir between workouts can increase your time until you hit the point of exhaustion. Also, it seems that when tested head to head, chocolate milk out-performed sports drinks in recovery aid as well.
What it all seems to come down to is how hard and long you exercise for, is what determines how effective chocolate milk is in aiding in muscle recovery.
In an article on aptiv.com on this subject, Angela Lemond, RDN, co-owner of Lemond Nutrition and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics claims, “If a person just ran five miles and they drank an eight-ounce chocolate milk, then that might be a decent recovery beverage to replenish electrolytes and help with recovery. Your body will use it in a proper way. If your workout is a 15-minute walk, then I'd say that you should just drink water.”
Ms. Lemond continues to sum it up by saying, “It depends on how long the workout is, what your goals are, and if you can tolerate the contents of chocolate milk.” It's simply not recommended for those who are lactose intolerant and those not able to consume high amounts of sugar.
So, those who are a bit more intense in their running, weightlifting, racquetball, mountain biking, etc, this just may be your perfect post-workout regimen. But if you walk, light jog, play softball, golf, etc, perhaps chocolate milk isn't the right recovery drink for you.
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