Is chocolate milk actually a good post-workout drink?
Ever thought about drinking chocolate milk after a hard workout? Well, research seems to suggest chocolate milk as good post-workout drink…but it depends on your workout’s intensity!
Protein, carbs, and calories
Before you make the switch to chocolate milk, examine your workout routine. Chocolate milk is most helpful for athletes who need high levels of calories, carbohydrates and proteins to maintain their level of play. Many dieticians will say that water is fine for any moderate workout under an hour or two. But if your body is exerting enough energy to lose a significant amount of sodium and calcium from sweating, you may want to swap chocolate milk for your water.
Recent studies have shown that drinking chocolate milk after exercising is advantageous because of its protein content. Every cup of chocolate milk contains between eight and 11 grams of protein. Experts say that ideally, you will want to consume between 15g and 25g of protein after a workout, which equals between 500ml and 750ml of chocolate milk.
Chocolate milk vs. sports drinks vs. water
Compared to plain milk, water or most sports drinks, chocolate milk contains double the carbohydrate content, ideal for tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost from sweating and assists in preventing dehydration. In addition, it gives the body calcium, vitamin D, sodium and sugar, which help you retain water and regain energy. Milk also contains key nutrients that sports drinks cannot match.
UAMS’ Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, who is certified in treating sports injuries, said, “I would have them give it a trial if they wish. In addition, I would recommend consultation with a sports nutritionist.” He said though that generally for exercise under an hour, water is all that is needed.
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