Is Chocolate Milk Ideal after a Workout?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Nutrition and sports professionals study every nutrient combination to look for just the right competitive edge. Post workout recovery was critical for Michael Phelps in his record setting Olympics performance, too. Well, this year's Olympics may just have shared one of those little secrets that the rest of us can use as well.

Recently the Today Show looked at technology in the Olympics. David Zinczenko, editor of Men's Health Magazine reported on many technological advances seen during the Olympics. He said the athletes have never been more nutritionally prepared for competition than they have this year.

We learned that during the Olympics, Michael Phelps eats more than 10,000 calories a day and that post-workout muscle recovery was a specific focus as well. Michael uses a sports drink called Pure Sport, which was designed at the University of Texas, has a precise carbohydrate to protein ration and is ingested 15 minutes after working out. The combination of carbs to protein apparently prevents the sugar rush and crash that comes from many sugar-only options. According to the company, the precise ratio of 2.67 grams of carbohydrates to 1 gram of whey protein in Pure Sport allows the body to get into the recovery zone quicker after serious physical activity and accelerates the replacement and storage of muscle fuel while promoting muscle repair.

But what if you don't want to invest in a high-tech replacement? (The starter kit of Pure Sport costs $19.99.) Men's Health and Women's Health found that 1% chocolate milk has some of the same effects on the body as Pure Sport because it contains the same ratio of carbohydrate to whey protein.

So, after your next workout, pour yourself a glass of 1% chocolate milk. (Find more post-workout snack ideas here.

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Oh yes count me in I am totally there! Wow it will feel like I am rewarding myself after working out. Bonus!!! Report
Cool! I usually have a glass of skim milk chocolate milk after I work out! It's good to know that I am actually doing myself a favor with it! Report
Thi sis something I did not know!! I WILL DEF. GIVE IT A TRY!! Report
Skinny Cow makes great FF chocolate milk, really creamy and you don't feel like you're drinking the regular 1% chocolate milk that's watery. 1 cup/150 cal/0 fat/26g carb/11g protein.
WOW! I have been missing the boat here. What a great thing to know. I hate gatorade but I love chocolate milk. Report
My ex-personal trainer used to have me drink chocolate milk after my workout. My wife thought I was a whacko.

I now feel vindicated.

:-) Report
I finally have an excuse to drink it.....Thanks Report
Actually I used to be a swimmer and I used to do this all the time! Your body only has a certain time frame after a work out to retrieve any nutrients it looses during your work out. Not only did this help me bounce back afterwards but my body started to become trim and lean! :) Report
The University of Western Ontario did a study comparing Chocolate Milk to Gateraid for post exercise recovery and delivery of electrolytes. They found that Chocolate Milk was just as effective as Gateraid and in my opinion tastes a lot better and has a lot less sugar! Report
I'm allergic to whey protein. I wonder if chocolate soy milk offers the same benefits? I know it sure makes my mouth happy! :) Report
YES!!!! An excuse to drink chocolate milk!
I've noticed that the dairy industry has been pushing chocolate milk as the "new" sports drink. They had chocolate milk samples the last time I went to the grocery store and we were told that it now comes in convenient "sports" size. Interesting. I won't drink chocolate milk that I haven't made myself, though, given what I've learnt about the milk they use to make it. Blech. Report
The ratio of carbs/protein matches the "nutrient timing" suggestion for strength training, too, I think - and caffeine is also shown in some studies to help aid in muscle recovery. One thing to remember: most of the time, if the workout wasn't an intense focused experience that lasts an hour, it probably isn't a good idea to overload on food right after. For those using the three ten-minute workouts a day, that's especially important. I've never seen a study showing that extra eating is important after only ten minutes (most seem to look at the sixty minute/intense effort athlete). Personally I find it "safer" to eat a small amount of calories right away after working out intensely, and time my workouts so that I have a balanced meal within half an hour of finishing. That's just enough to get a shower in and does not add empty calories :) Report
I find it hard to get on the empty calorie bandwagon because elite, endurance athletes have exceptional metabolic and caloric needs. I'll stick with my unprocessed menu instead. Report
Mmmm... I love chocolate milk! Now I have an excuse... :) Report
Oh it has made such a difference! I could never eat or drink after a run - just no appetite etc - then I read Nancy Clarks book and she suggested chocolate milk - Wow - it is perfect! What a difference in how I feel too! Report
I saw him being interviewed over the weekend and he said that he never said he eats that many calories. Report
I am so glad to hear this! My whole family will like the idea of having chocolate milk in the house again. But I will try to have them all "work out" some with me for that extra Thanks and on my way to get some!!! Report
One of my favorite post run has just the right 4:1 carbs to protein ratio without the expense and hassle of other foods/drinks! Report
Good article Report
I think this is a great idea...maybe I'll even add 1 scoop of whey protein to my milk too. I'm not usually hungry after a workout and my biggest problem is making myself eat something post-workout (I work out around 8pm). So this will be a good enticing option. I just have to make sure the calories of fat free milk+chocolate syrup doesn't exceed my daily caloric needs. Thanks for the great article! Report
I drink Soy milk and I just brought chocolate soy milk. May try it some time to see how things go with my blood sugar after a hard work out. Report
I love having chocolate milk after a hard workout or demanding activity. I drink the ones that come in 200 ml containers and have 0 trans fat. Perfect to keep the energy up and refuel after the gym or a competition. Report
This was a great article. On my way to find 1% chocolate milk!!! Report
Like I need another reason to drink chocolate milk? :) Report
I enjoyed the whole article. And...I really like the reminder that the amount of calories that we eat needs to be appropriate for the activity level we have.
Just think- if I could excerise 6-8 hours a day, I could eat a LOT more! Tee hee, balance, life is balance.
Now, back to my foolish desk job. Sigh. Report
I would make my own to control sugar/fat. However is this good after any workout or just weight training??? Report
I drink an 8oz glass of Organic Chocolate Milk after every workout (the organic doesn't have high fructose corn syrup). It's a great reward, and I'm helping my body recover! Report
Wonder if my Organic chocolate soy milk will have the same effect.........haven't had regular milk in months due to it causing stomach upset. Report
I used to be able to find a Snickers Low Carb w/nutrients that was wonderful! It came in both Peanut Butter & Chocolate Brownie- very hard to find now sadly! Report
This is great news. I love chocolate milk!! I stopped getting it b/c of the chocolate guilt, but it's coming back now. Report
My sister and I participate in an aquatic interval training class once a week. I've noticed that I don't get muscle soreness after the class if I have chocolate milk after class. There is a Wendy's nearby - I do a drive by and drink a bottle on the way home! Report
Fantastic ,l enjoy chocolate milk. It's going to be alot easier when the grandkids are around having their regualr chocolate milk and I enjoying my 1% chocolate. Great article. Report
I will happily add this to my post-workout routine! Chocolate milk is going on my shopping list. :) Report
1% chocolate milk does help with "recovery". Keep that word in mind, I am an amateur bobybuilder and we use it after hard workouts for "recovery". There's that word again, it doesn't help with weight loss but it will help with "recovery" of torn down muscle fibers just like whey protein does. Report
My sister, who has worked out every day for years, loves her Nestle's Quick chocolate milk. Since I've been using SP, I've started working out more with weights and walking. I've just started bike riding, too. Lately I've been drinking Carnation chocolate flavor sugar-free Instant Breakfast in soy milk. I hope that will work just as well. Report
You got to love chocolate milk for being just that - chocolate milk! :) Report
WOW I love chocalate milk, hope it works with fat free also.

Interesting. If that's the claim I will go to check out the food label to see how true it is. Report
I've got to try this! Whether the skim milk works as well or not, that's what I have to have. I am allergic to the fat in milk. The higher the fat the worse the reaction. Wierd huh. I'm trying this tomorrow. Report
Wonder if Almond milk would work as well? I don't drink milk, but LOVE chocolate. Report
10,000 calories????? A day????? Holy cow that's a lot!!!! Report
I love chocolate milk. I really like this idea! Report
Yum. Now this I can do. I like the idea of non-fat milk with Olvaltine. Report
I drink Ovaltine rather than chocolate milk. Gives the extra vitamin kick. Tastes the same as chocolate milk too, so just as good. Report
CHOCOLATE MILK!!! I drink at least 16 ounces per day (Nestle Quik powder and non-fat milk)! Yummy and strong medicine...what a combo! ;-) Report
Chocolate milk?!?!!?! You do not have to tell me twice!!!! I'm all over that! Report
I'm always looking for an excuse to drink chocolate milk. Report
I'd be more apt to drink it if it one serving mixed in a blender. If I just buy it at the store, it's all gone by evening. Report