It can be confusing to find the best foods and beverages for your body. This is especially true when it comes to exercise, hydration, and recovery. Research around these topics is consistent and shows that there are tons of reasons to refuel with chocolate milk.
Research has shown that consuming chocolate milk after exercise or sports performance is a great way to replenish some important nutrients our bodies need for recovery — carbohydrates, protein, fluids, and even electrolytes! In fact, there are 13 essential nutrients in one 8 oz. glass of chocolate milk!
Let’s learn more about why chocolate milk takes the “W” when it comes to recovery beverages.
When you exercise, your body loses a lot of water – mostly through sweat loss. Replenishing the water and nutrients you lost during your workout is important for your body’s health, recovery, and performance. Sports dietitians suggest that rehydrating is vital to restore your electrolyte balance.
Athletes drink chocolate milk as a delicious way to repair muscles, replenish and rehydrate. It has three natural electrolytes that help prevent cramping: calcium, magnesium, and potassium – all nutrients you lose during exercise – all naturally.
It’s important to recharge (or replenish) your energy stores after a workout. Carbohydrates provide your body with a supply of glucose, which is your body’s primary fuel source. Carbs are an important energy source to help you and your muscles perform.
Glucose is converted to glycogen, which is stored in your muscles, and if you don’t add enough glycogen back into your muscles after a long or intense workout, you might not have the energy to work harder next time.
The small amount of added sugar in chocolate milk helps achieve the perfect 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio to help recharge energy and sleepy muscles.
Protein is made from amino acids that act like building blocks for your body. Consuming protein after a workout helps give your muscles the amino acids necessary to rebuild and repair. Why does that matter?
Repetitive movements from jumping, jogging and other forms of exercise can break down muscle cells that could cause damage to your muscles, and consuming protein helps build them back bigger and stronger.
Remember: big damage bad, minuscule damage good.
Chocolate milk provides two different types of protein: whey and casein. Simply put, whey protein is quickly absorbed by your body while casein takes much longer. Each of them serves a different purpose.
Learn more about refueling with milk and why it’s difficult to replicate the same natural nutrition of milk.