You’re riding a stationary bicycle and peddling hard. It’s another sweat-drenching workout at the gym. When it’s all done, you’re exhausted and thirsty. So, you reach into your bag and pull out a … bottle of chocolate milk?
Some scientists say it might not be such a bad idea.
Iranian and Canadian scientists reported in a recent study that chocolate milk provided similar or superior workout recovery for athletes than did nutrition-free placebo beverages or sports drinks. In fact, athletes who drank chocolate milk during and after workouts — mostly running or cycling — were able to exercise six more minutes before getting exhausted than those chugging sports drinks.
The chocolate milk-quaffing athletes also had better so-called recovery markers, such as lower levels of cramp-inducing lactic acid and heart rates.
The study’s findings are based on a review of scientific literature, where they found 12 studies that examined the effect of chocolate milk on exercise. Who knew chocolate milk had been so intensely evaluated?
The researchers, as reported by Reuters, noted that chocolate milk contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, flavonoids, electrolytes and several vitamins. That brew, they say, makes for good exercise recovery after a blistering workout. Sports drinks, by comparison, don’t usually have proteins.
And, they note, chocolate milk is delicious to boot.
The researchers caution that their study didn’t include athletes performing other types of exercise besides cycling and running.
So, after your next workout at the gym, don’t be afraid to ask, “Got chocolate milk?”