Attention workout warriors: Got chocolate milk?

By • Published: September 3rd, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

You’ve pumped iron, burnt a hole in the treadmill and cardio-kickboxed your way through yet another two-hour workout at the gym. Your arms ache, your calves burn and you’re dripping with sweat. Your next step? It’s time to refuel.

Chugging down a fruit-flavored sports drink seems like a logical move, but a new study shows that the best beverage for rehydrating after a grueling workout may actually be … chocolate milk?

Scientists say chocolate milk can supply your body with everything a fancy sports drink can … and then some.

Here’s how: Drinking chocolate milk rehydrates your body as much as a sports drink, but it also offers a boost of protein, which helps your muscles repair after intense exercise. The sugar and sodium in chocolate milk also supplies you with electrolytes, which helps you recover and rehydrate more quickly.

And then there is the added benefit of drinking chocolate milk … all that calcium and vitamin D.

To find out what happened when chocolate milk was put into action, researchers from Indiana University tested how drinking different beverages between workouts affected a group of cyclists. The athletes were given either chocolate milk or one of two types of sports drinks between two intense cycling sessions.

According to the study, the milk drinkers not only kept pace with their sports drink-slurping peers, in some cases, they actually performed better.

Of course, you may be wondering, why chocolate milk specifically? Won’t regular milk do the trick? Experts say the sugar in chocolate provides an extra boost of carbs, which athletes need. Also, most people just like chocolate milk better, which means they will be more likely to drink enough to refuel.

So if you’re an athlete, think milk next time you hit the gym. Just skip the cookies.