They say milk does your body good. Stir in a little chocolate, and apparently it turns to post-workout gold.
But is chocolate milk after a workout *really* the muscle recovery boost you think it is?
How chocolate milk boosts workout recovery
After an intense workout, your muscles are looking for a bit of love. Here’s what chocolate milk can offer.
1. Carbs and protein — the big punch
Intense workouts like hillwalking or sprinting utilize your body’s carbohydrate stores — aka, your muscle fuel. The harder you push, the more calories and carbs you burn.
Eventually, your body’s gonna tank. So, replenishing carbs after a workout will help you regain your energy (and your strength for tomorrow’s sweat sesh!).
Enter chocolate milk. This delicious delight contains carbs *and* proteins, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue.
According to a 2013 research review, chocolate milk has a protein-to-carb ratio of 4:1. It’s the perfect bevvie for both workout recovery and reducing muscle damage after high endurance activities.
2. Electrolyte gains
When you sweat, you lose more than just water. According to a research review, sweat also contains electrolytes and minerals like sodium and calcium.
Hydration. First, milk is udder-ly hydrating. (Hold your applause.)
Minerals. It’s also brimming with calcium, sodium, and potassium.
Basically, it’ll top up your supplies in a jiffy.
3. Energy for days
Sure, there’s the slight sugar buzz from the chocolate. But we’re talking about the combined effect of carbs, protein, hydration, and electrolytes.
Athletes who compete in high endurance sports like running, swimming, or biking will definitely feel refreshed after a cold glass of post-workout chocolate milk.
So, should you drink chocolate milk after a workout?
There are a few things to consider before you start chugging sweet chocolate leche.
- Workout intensity. Chocolate milk is best after high endurance workouts, like running, swimming, or spinning. If you stretch, walk, or do yoga flows, a post-workout glass of water might suffice.
- Sugar content. Some chocolate milk brands include many added sweeteners. Look for food labels that indicate low sugar contents. Sugar has many forms. So, be aware of sneaky additions like high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, sucrose, and dextrose.
- Lactose sensitivity. If lactose makes your belly ache, chocolate milk doesn’t sound like your best post-workout recovery. Keep in mind that nondairy chocolate “milk” might not have the same post-workout benefits.
Chocolate milk vs. protein shakes
A small research review found that chocolate milk wasn’t any more effective at post-workout recovery than other protein-rich sports drinks. After all, they both contain carbs, protein, healthy fats, and calcium.