Although chocolate milk may not be the first drink you think of reaching for after a workout, experts at Baylor College of Medicine say it might be one of the most beneficial.
Researchers have found that people who consumed chocolate milk after a workout compared to those who drank a more traditional fluid had a better workout the next day.
“If you look at what goes into a good workout recovery drink, it’s a combination of protein and carbohydrates - protein for rebuilding and repairing damage that occurs to tissues and carbohydrates for replenishing the energy that has just been burned. The protein to carbohydrate ratio in chocolate milk actually is very close to what we know is ideal for recovery,” said Dr. Theodore Shybut, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at BCM.
Chocolate milk is especially appealing because although there are other drinks on the market that offer the same benefits, chocolate milk is generally the more economical option, Shybut says.
He recommends incorporating chocolate milk into your post-workout routine. Try a single serving immediately after your workout and then another serving two hours afterward.
“The early post-workout period is important because immediately after exercise, your muscles are able to absorb nutrients at a much higher rate,” said Shybut.
Shybut recommends that people who are lactose intolerant should not try consuming chocolate milk after a workout. He also recommends that those who have an upcoming competition not introduce chocolate milk into their routine right beforehand if it hasn’t already been a part of their regular training routine.