Belive it or not, the next time you go out for a run or hope on the treadmill, you may want to take along a bottle of ice cold chocolate milk. Sure, you love the flavor of chocolate milk, but leading researchers now say it may be a better athletic drink than what you typically see sports stars chugging on television. In a recent study published in the February issue of International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Excercise Metabolism, researchers report that athletes who drank chocolate milk after excercise were able to workout longer during a second workout compared to athletes who drank commercial sports beverages.
Dr. Joel Stager, professor of Kinesiology at Indiana University was the lead author of the study. He notes that “chocolate milk contains an optimal carbohydrate to protein ration, which is critical for helping refuel tired muscles after strenuous excercise.” Dr. Stager and his colleagues studied cyclists who biked until their muscles were spent, then rested and biked again until exhaustion. During their rest period, the cyclists were tested drinking one of three beverages: chocolate milk, a fluid replacement drink, or a carbohydrate replacement drink. The researchers found that the athletes who drank the chocolate milk were able to bike twice as long than those who consumed the carb-replacement drink and as long as those who consumed the fluid replacement drink.
Alongside being a fun and flavorful alternative to commercial sports drinks, the researchers also point out that milk contains seven other essential nutrients; a combination not found in any other sports drink.