After a long day in the sun or a hard workout in the gym, what is your “Go-To” beverage of choice?

Water?  Sports Drink?  Protein Drink? Soda? Milk?

For elite athletes like Olympians, their beverage of choice is Chocolate Milk.  Check it out! //

Over the years chocolate milk has received a bad rap due to added sugar. Research has “de-bunked” this bad rap by showing that the extra grams of sugar in chocolate milk is not a junk food that causes childhood obesity. Flavored milk accounts for less than 3.5% of added sugar intake in children under the age of 12 and less than 2% in teens.  Rather than the sugar content,  chocolate milk should be known for providing 9 essential nutrients that your body requires.  These essential nutrients, also found in white milk, include: Protein, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, B12, Riboflavin, Niacin, Potassium, and Phosphorus.  With milk’s nutrient density, it isn’t surprising that chocolate milk is getting a new image as the perfect drink for Ironman and Olympic athletes after a workout. Therefore, chocolate milk is not just a kid’s drink that you drink from a carton in school but rather a drink for active adults!


So why is chocolate milk being promoted as a beverage of choice after a workout?

1) Studies have also shown that consuming chocolate milk post-exercise may help reduce muscle pain and stiffness due to the ratio of carbohydrates and protein.

2) Chocolate milk is “all natural” when it comes to electrolytes, providing many of the same electrolytes that are added to commercial recovery drinks (calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium) along with fluids to help you rehydrate. In fact, some research suggests milk may help you stay hydrated after exercise, more than some commercial sports drinks.

3) Chocolate milk contains a perfect mix of carbohydrates and protein needed for muscles recover. The window of opportunity to increase recovery time, essential to any athlete that works for greater than 60 minutes at a time, is 30-60 minutes post workout.  Within this time consuming a beverage consisting of a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is essential.  Carbohydrates are not only ideal post work but they are an athletes main fuel source.  Your body stores carbohydrates as glycogen in the liver and in the muscles.  However, if not replenishes before, during, and after exercise, and individual will run out of fuel.  When this happens, muscle acts as a replacement fuel by breaking down its protein.   Therefore, pre-workout, mid-workout and after a workout, your body craves carbohydrates and the protein helps to rebuild the muscles that you just used!

4) Drinking chocolate milk post-workout could help athletes tone up and reshape their bodies, according to research. Milk and milk’s high quality protein has been shown to help athletes gain more lean muscle and lose fat when compared to drinking a carb-only beverage, as part of a regular workout and recovery routine.  In one study, one group of untrained men consumed fat-free milk after exercise whereas another group of untrained men consumed a soy protein beverage or a carbohydrate only beverage.  Results showed that the men who consumed the fat-free milk gained more muscle and lost more body fat at the end of a 12-week training program than those who drank a soy protein beverage or a carb-only beverage. All three beverages had the same amount of calories. 1

5) Drinking chocolate milk after a hard workout could give athletes a performance edge, according to a growing body of research. Some studies suggest drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a strenuous workout could help athletes boost power and even improve training times in their next bout of exercise, compared to when they drink a carbohydrate sports drink.

Now that you have the “ok” to drink a favorite childhood drink, chocolate milk, I challenge you to……..

Move it and refuel it!



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8 Yang, JL. Beverages of champions: Chocolate milk gets an Olympic-style makeover. The Washington Post.