Imagine that you’ve just finished a long trail run or a strenuous workout at the gym.
Your energy is depleted and your body has been pushed to the limit. You dry your sweat with a towel and reach for a bottle of your favorite recovery drink. What do you choose? Water? A sports drink? A protein shake? How about an ice cold glass of chocolate milk instead?
Thanks to research by Joel Stager, an exercise physiologist and Indiana University Bloomington, there is slid evidence to support drinking chocolate milk to help your body recover from a tough workout.
Stager’s 2006 study showed that the delicious drink has more benefits for athletes than just taste. In a controlled laboratory setting, chocolate milk outperformed several sports drinks when provided as a recovery aid to endurance-trained cyclists. William Lunn, an exercise scientist at the University of Connecticut, found similar effects on runners in his 2010 study.
Stager found that chocolate milk has a carbohydrate and protein content that is ideal for helping exhausted muscles recover after strenuous exercise. Lunn’s study specifically found an increase in glycogen, or muscle fuel, when chocolate milk was consumed within one hour of a a workout.
What does the research mean for you? Well, both Stager’s and Lunn’s research indicated chocolate milk was best for high-endurance athletes such as swimmers, cyclists and long-distance runners, though most people will benefit from drinking fat-free or low-fat chocolate milk following intense exercise. So the next time you finish your morning cycling class or wrap up a 10 mile run, you can indulge in a delicious chocolate beverage with the comforting thought that you aren’t just firing up your tastebuds, you’re fueling your body, too.
Delysia’s gourmet hot chocolate mixes are the perfect way to get your chocolate milk fix post-workout, and our cayenne hot chocolate would provide a particularly energizing kick.
(sources: Indiana University; International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism)