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Chocolate Milk as Recovery

Posted Feb 01 2009 12:00am


I ran across this article from Seattle Pi called “Living Well: Get your carb-protein workout ratios right” and as the title suggests, the article focuses on the correct ration of protein to carbs for post workout recovery. Nutritionist Emily Edison makes the point that despite the popularity of recovery bars and shakes, that protein alone is not enough for full recovery.

The part that really caught my interest was the section by Boston-based sports nutritionist, Nancy Clark. Interestingly enough, she recommends athletes, "get that foundation of carbs with some protein in the form of chocolate milk."

This is not the first time I heard about chocolate milk as a recovery drink. I can’t remember where, but I am certain I read about it, probably in a running or triathlon magazine. I am sure there was a beginner triathlete forum on the subject because I can remember someone making the comment about how one of the popular brand name endurance drinks must be better for you than just plain old chocolate milk.

I purchased some Powerbar Recovery Drink last year, and when I got it home I compared the nutritional information to good ole chocolate milk that we had in the fridge for the kids. What I found was that per serving, it was almost identical. In fact, I later compared the nutritional information from the website of Scotsburn Dairy , the brand I drink, I was surprised to find that the milk had more electrolytes. Almost 1.3 times as much sodium and potassium, and The main advantage that I could see for the Powerbar drink is that it doesn’t require refrigeration, so you can toss it in a gym bag and leave it in your car or locker until you finish your workout. However, it’s probably not a good thing that the drink contains enough chemicals that it has such a long shelf life. There is definitely something unnatural added to make it survive for so long away from the refrigerator.

So in place, on a Saturday, or Sunday after a long bike or run workout, I down a glass of chocolate milk. That tides me over until I can get something substantial into my stomach.

Let me know what you think. What’s everyone’s favourite recovery food?

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