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Chocolate Milk

by Racer X Virtual Trainer


Reproducted with permission from Medical News Today

One of the best post-exercise recovery drinks could already be in your refrigerator, according to new research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference this week (June 2010). In a series of four studies, researchers found that chocolate milk offered a recovery advantage to help repair and rebuild muscles, compared to specially designed carbohydrate sports drinks.

Experts agree that the two-hour window after exercise is an important, yet often neglected, part of a fitness routine. After strenuous exercise, this post-workout recovery period is critical for active people at all fitness levels - to help make the most of a workout and stay in top shape for the next workout.

The new research suggests that drinking fat free chocolate milk after exercise can help the body retain, replenish and rebuild muscle to help your body recover. Drinking lowfat chocolate milk after a strenuous workout could even help prep muscles to perform better in a subsequent bout of exercise. Specifically, the researchers found a chocolate milk advantage for:

  • Building Muscle - Post-exercise muscle biopsies in eight moderately trained male runners showed that after drinking 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk, the runners had enhanced skeletal muscle protein synthesis - a sign that muscles were better able to repair and rebuild - compared to when they drank a carbohydrate only sports beverage with the same amount of calories. The researchers suggest that "athletes can consider fat-free chocolate milk as an economic nutritional alternative to other sports nutrition beverages to support post-endurance exercise skeletal muscle repair."1
  • Replenishing Muscle "Fuel" - Replacing muscle fuel (glycogen) after exercise is essential to an athlete's future performance and muscle recovery. Researchers found that drinking 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk with its mix of carbohydrates and protein (compared to a carbohydrate-only sports drink with the same amount of calories) led to greater concentration of glycogen in muscles at 30 and 60 minutes post exercise.2
  • Maintaining Lean Muscle - Athletes risk muscle breakdown following exercise when the body's demands are at their peak. Researchers found that drinking fat free chocolate milk after exercise helped decrease markers of muscle breakdown compared to drinking a carbohydrate sports drink.3
  • Subsequent Exercise Performance - Ten trained men and women cyclists rode for an hour and a half, followed by 10 minutes of intervals. They rested for four hours and were provided with one of three drinks immediately and two hours into recovery: lowfat chocolate milk, a carbohydrate drink with the same amount of calories or a control drink. When the cyclists then performed a subsequent 40 kilometer ride, their trial time was significantly shorter after drinking the chocolate milk compared to the carbohydrate drink and the control drink.4
Why Chocolate Milk?

Chocolate milk's combination of carbohydrates and high-quality protein first made researchers take notice of a potential exercise benefit. The combination of carbs and protein already in chocolate milk matched the ratio found to be most beneficial for recovery. In fact, studies suggest that chocolate milk has the right mix of carbs and protein to help refuel exhausted muscles, and the protein in milk helps build lean muscle. This new research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting milk can be just as effective as some commercial sports drinks in helping athletes refuel and recover.

Milk also provides fluids for rehydration and electrolytes, including potassium, calcium and magnesium lost in sweat, that both recreational exercisers and elite athletes need to replace after strenuous activity. Plus, chocolate milk is naturally nutrient-rich with the advantage of additional nutrients not found in most traditional sports drinks. Penny-for-penny, no other post-exercise drink contains the full range of vitamins and minerals found in chocolate milk.


  1. Lunn WR, Colletto MR, Karfonta KE, Anderson JM, Pasiakos SM, Ferrando AA, Wolfe RR, Rodriguez NR. Chocolate milk consumption following endurance exercise affects skeletal muscle protein fractional synthetic rate and intracellular signaling. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010;42:S48.
  2. Karfonta KE, Lunn WR, Colletto MR, Anderson JM, Rodriguez NR. Chocolate milk enhances glycogen replenishment after endurance exercise in moderately trained males. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010;42:S64.
  3. Colletto MR, Lunn W, Karfonta K, Anderson J, Rogriguez N. Effects of chocolate milk consumption on leucine kinetics during recovery from endurance exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010;42:S126.
  4. Ferguson-Stegall L, McCleave E, Doerner PG, Ding Z, Dessard B, Kammer L, Wang B, Liu Y, Ivy J. Effects of chocolate milk supplementation on recovery from cycling exercise and subsequent time trial performance. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010;42:S536.

Source: Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Copyright: Medical News Today

Reproducted with permission from Medical News Today

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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  1. Gravatar
    Hammer Jack December 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Yet another copied article that is just what I saw 2 weeks go. This is just more information that does nothing but fill in empty space. What a waste of time.

  2. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer December 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Hammer - Thanks. Much appreciated. Yet another comment that did nothing but waste my time. Make sure you come back next week for another repeated article.

  3. Gravatar
    Hammer Jack December 31, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Just joking around with you, great articles, keep up the good work!

  4. Gravatar
    Nalezny 247 December 31, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    i drink chocolate milk like 2 times daily haha this article made my day!!! Great news that chocolate milk is good for you so now i can drink it more

  5. Gravatar
    Glenn McGovern January 01, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Very good and useful article as usual. This is a very good website. Thank you.

  6. Gravatar
    RVfan January 01, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    This info has been available for 2+ years & is still rather miselading. I'd MUCH rather the focus be on the total & complete sham that is these "energy" drinks basically funding this sport... when nobody uses them whatsoever, they impede performance, and cost nothing to make. Yet i'm supposed to buy into their BS when i go to a SX & see their rented skanks acting like bored robots ? Aint doin' it..... These "drinks" actually delegitimize the sport & i cant wait till the FDA clamps down on this total scam. Dungey does NOT drink Rockstar ! RV does NOT drink Monster ! James does NOT drink RedBull ! Let's do an expose on "why athletes & teams agree to take money from these "companies" and attach their names to them when it is openly acknowledged by damn near everyone that this entire 'energy' category was created for mouth breathers" Do this piece & DON'T fear the fallout from these "Sponsors" Racer X doesn't owe Monster or Rockstar or RedBull a frigging thing ! Its not "ok" to just take their $ since they are the highest bidders in that category for Feld & DMG !

  7. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 02, 2011 at 6:43 pm tell me how you really feel, LOL. I completely agree with you but I don't think the FDA or any other government agency needs to step in. I think it is pretty apparent (as you pointed out) that no one is using energy drinks for more "energy". Freedom of choice is where its at and like you, I exercise my freedom to be smart enough not to drink their products. However, their products do pay a TON OF BILLS just as cigarettes, soft drinks and beer pay for a ton of bills in other sports. Don't be angry at the Monsters of the world. Just choose to be smart enough when to consume and not to consume their products. And by the sound of things, it looks like you already have.

  8. Gravatar
    Brooks January 03, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    So the question now would be, which chocolate milk? Do you get the pre-mixed variety, milk + chocolate syrup or milk + chocolate powder? Or does it really even matter?

  9. Gravatar
    atvmx99 January 03, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I'm curious as well, I drink chocolate milk all the time. I was wondering which kind was best? I drink the nesquick powder kind and I love it. I'm glad to hear chocolate milk is good for you, I figured it was kinda bad! Time to go get some chocolate milk!!

  10. Gravatar
    DirtDgr January 03, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I drink Ovaltine all the time. Does that count?

  11. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 03, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I drink organic fat free chocolate milk. Can't remember the name but it has a cow on the carton.

  12. Gravatar
    cody25911 January 17, 2011 at 8:35 am

    So this is to replace lets say muscle milk after a workout?

  13. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Yes, Chocolate Milk can be used in place of Muscle Milk

  14. Gravatar
    Bosch January 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    "Yes, Chocolate Milk can be used in place of Muscle Milk"

    That's not an accurate statement.
    Muscle Milk is a protein supplement. Per serving it has 4x the protein, 2x the calories and half the carbs of choc milk. As a recovery drink it's great, I drink 3 gals a week, but it's not a protein supplement replacement.

  15. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 20, 2011 at 6:32 am

    For the general motocross athlete and the weekend warrior, I do believe it is an accurate statement. I need to do an article on this whole supplementation subject. It has gotten way out of control. Most, and I'd be willing to bet the vast majority, of weekend warriors do not need supplements. Fix your diet and you won't need as much supplementation. It is my opinion that the people who need supplementation are endurance athletes (marathon, tris, etc.) who are putting in tons of volume and body builders.

  16. Gravatar
    IgnaBa January 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I agree with Tim but would like to make a statement. This supplement drinks are not indeed that important in normal athletes, but it does speed up the metabolism and helps us achieve faster our fitness goals. We shouldnt depend on them or make them that important in our diet. As Tim said, with a good and balanced diet, good hydration and monitored or controled workout you should be at your best

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