3 Chocolate Milk Questions All Athletes Ask
In the latest chocolate milk news, Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD, uncovers common questions many athletes have on the deemed “Recovery Drink.” Get the answers to the 3 Chocolate Milk Questions All Athletes Ask by reading below. Are you an athlete who wants to refuel with Nature’s Sports Drink? You can learn more about chocolate milk and athletes by clicking here!
There are a lot of chocolate milk brands out there. Does it matter which one I choose in terms of drinking chocolate milk for recovery?
Nancy: The type of chocolate milk doesn’t matter. You could drink skim, lowfat or full fat milk, vanilla milk, or strawberry milk. Or you could simply enjoy a banana with a glass of plain milk. Chocolate milk is a vehicle to get carbs (sugar) into the body to refuel depleted muscle glycogen after a hard workout — a time when you are hot and thirsty and might not want solid food. Chocolate milk is a good combination of protein (to build and repair muscles) and carbs (sugar, to refuel muscles).
Is the advice on chocolate milk as the best recovery drink based on one study of a small number of athletes, or has it been reconfirmed by many studies or athletes?
Nancy: Yes, many studies with athletes have confirmed that chocolate milk (both nonfat and full-fat) offers a good balance of protein with carbohydrates. It is a more effective post-exercise choice than plain water or a sports drink. Chocolate milk does have added sugar, but so do sports drinks. Sugar is what the body wants to replace depleted glycogen stores. While you may look at the added sugar, I look at all the nutrients that come with the sugar: calcium for bones, high quality protein for building and repairing muscles, sodium and potassium for replacing electrolytes, and a plethora of life-sustaining vitamins. Given that 10% of an athletes’ diet can healthfully come from sugar, I am supportive of chocolate milk (preferably lowfat, to reduce intake of saturated fat) as a yummy way to spend those sugar-calories. If you are opposed to consuming foods with added sugar, then whip up a fruit shake with milk or yogurt, plus banana, berries, pineapple, etc. You can get carbs and protein in many ways!
Some of my workouts are not high intensity. How do you judge whether you need a recovery drink?
Nancy: If you have not depleted your muscles of glycogen, you have a less urgent need for consuming post-exercise recovery foods. A simple solution, regardless of the intensity of the workout, is to back your workout into a meal. That eliminates extra “recovery calories.” The carbs and protein in the meal (eggs & toast, turkey sandwich, chicken & rice, etc.) will offer the “tools” you need to recover optimally. Again, the tools are 1.) Carbs to replace depleted muscle and liver glycogen, 2.) Protein to build and repair muscles, and 3.) Water and electrolytes to replace sweat losses. Recovery is most important for people who do double workouts and will exercise again with in the next 6 hours, or for athletes who did an exhaustive workout. Yet, everyone can benefit from optimizing their sports diet by refueling within the hour post-exercise. For dieters, eating soon after exercise can nip the “hungry horrors” in the bud and spare a visit from the Cookie Monster.
Credit to this blog post belongs to Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD, where the original story can be found here.