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English researchers pronounce chocolate milk the ultimate sports drink

Posted Apr 22 2009 11:02pm

Milk You' ve probably never sat around discussing the virtues of chocolate milk as a sports drink.

You probably also never had a conversation that went something like this, "Say Bruce, what do you think is the best sports drink? Do you suppose it is that purple stuff that has lots of salt or perhaps that orange stuff that' s supposed to increase your performance, or---do you think it could be chocolate milk?"

But that' s exactly the conversation that researchers had in England at Northumbria University recently when they compared the effects of three beverages on performance in a cycling endurance test. The three beverages were chocolate milk, a commercially available sports drink, and a commercially available fluid replacement drink.

And by now you' ve guessed that chocolate milk came out on top.

According to

"On three occasions, nine trained male cyclists completed a glycogen depletion workout, drank one of the three test beverages during a four-hour recovery period, and then cycled in an endurance capacity trial.

When the cyclists were given chocolate milk, they were able to cycle 51 percent longer in the endurance test before exhaustion than they did when they were given the sports drink and 43 percent longer than when they were given the fluid replacement drink.

The researchers noted that participants cycled longer after drinking chocolate milk than after sports drink, despite the beverages having very similar calorie (or energy) contents.  They said the difference could be due to differences in carbohydrate type and (or) fat content between the beverages."

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