Chocolate in drinks may aid athletic recovery

By Linda Rano

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Nutrition

Studies show that there's a low fat chocolate flavoured drink that
can refuel and re-hydrate athlete's bodies after exercise, making
dairy drinks a more marketable prospect to sports fans.

The US Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has drawn on a number of studies to show that the unique mix of key nutrients in chocolate low fat milk make it "an ideal post-exercise choice​." In a statement the MilkPEP said that scientists have evaluated chocolate milk as a post-exercise drink and have highlighted several reasons why it might help the body recover. According to MilkPEP, chocolate milk contains carbohydrates and protein to help replenish exhausted muscles and it provides fluids and electrolytes such as potassium to help with re-hydration. Also, chocolate milk has protein that builds lean muscle when combined with exercise. The MilkPEP draws on research published in the study Chocolate milk as a post exercise recovery aid​ published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism​ in February 2006. During the study nine endurance-trained cyclists performed an interval workout followed by four hours of recovery and a subsequent endurance trial to exhaustion on three separate days. Following the first exercise bout and two hours of recovery the cyclists drank chocolate milk, a fluid replacement drink (FR) and carbohydrate replacement drink (CR). The study found that time to exhaustion and total work were "significantly greater​" for chocolate milk and FR than CR. The researchers concluded: "chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid between two exhausting exercise bouts"​ Another study, published by the British Journal of Nutrition​ in April 2007, compared the effectiveness of low fat milk, (with and without sodium) with sports drinks and water at restoring fluid balance after exercise-induced hypohydration. The study found that the 11 subjects remained in net positive liquid balance throughout the recovery period after drinking the milk drinks but returned to net negative fluid balance one hour after drinking the other drinks. The researchers concluded that "the results of the present study suggest that milk can be an effective post-exercise rehydration drink and can be considered for use after exercise by everyone except those individuals who have lactose intolerance​." Another relevant study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​ in August 2007. The researchers concluded that "chronic post-exercise consumption of milk promotes greater hypertrophy during the early stages of resistance training in novice weightlifters when compared with isoenergetic soy or carbohydrate consumption​ " MilkPEP believes that lowfat chocolate milk may particularly benefit teenagers. MilkPEP based in Washington DC is funded by US milk processors, to promote fluid milk consumption. MilkPEP's board is monitored by the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service.

Related topics: Markets, Chocolate

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