It turns out that your mom was right– and then some! Yes, there’s yet another study done by people who have too much time and money on their hands, and this one states that “one of the most effective drinks to help athletes recover after exercise is… [a] simple glass of chocolate milk.”
I can just see it now. Watch for the dairy industry to up its ante in the advertising of “Got Milk?” to include some athlete coming back on a time out (for a commercial or in a game) and they pick up (out of a cooler, of course) a flask of chocolate milk and then smile into the camera with a milk mustache. “Milk, it does my body good and helps me get back in the game.”
The small group of fit athletes who took part in the study were asked to work out strenuously on a stationery bicycle, then drink low-fat chocolate milk, a fluid-replacement drink like Gatorade and a carbohydrate replacement drink like Endurox R4. A few hours later, they were asked to cycle again until they reached exhaustion.
The test was repeated three times — once with each kind of drink — and the data showed that the cyclists were able to go between 49 and 54 percent longer on the second stint after drinking chocolate milk than when they drank the carbohydrate drink. The difference between the milk and the fluid-replacement drink was not significant.
“My way of explaining it is, there’s really nothing magic about the powder in a can that you mix with water,” cycling coach Scott Saifer said of the carbohydrate drink. “It’s water, carbs, proteins, maybe minerals and electrolytes. What’s in chocolate milk? The same thing. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be as good for recovery as a carb drink.”
So, next time you’re out, instead of picking up that sports drink, grab a glass of chocolate milk– but don’t laugh too hard or it will come out your nose!