Chocolate Milk Does it Again – Great for Athletes

Hot off the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism press: Chocolate milk once again proves itself as a recovery beverage.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin found that chocolate milk (which has a great combo of carbohydrate and protein) was a better post-workout beverage than a carbohydrate only sports drink or placebo. In this study 32 untrained subjects cycled for 60 minute per day, 5 days per week for 4.5 weeks. After every workout subjects consumed either chocolate milk, a carbohydrate only drink or a placebo. And, at the end of the 4.5 week study, the group that consumed the chocolate milk showed significantly greater improvements in VO2max (maximum oxygen uptake – a measure of aerobic capacity) of ┬ácompared to the carbohydrate beverage group and placebo group and, the chocolate milk drinkers also had grater improvements in their body composition (lean and fat mass) compared to the carbohydrate group.

Study authors conclusion: “Chocolate milk post exercise improves aerobic power and body composition more effectively than carbohydrate alone.”

Now, what if you are lactose intolerant? Try Lactaid. Seriously, Lactaid is so good I bought a gallon of it after trying it in Costco and I’m not even lactose intolerant.

Thanks to milk-lover Jeff Stout, PhD, CSCS for sending this study my way and always keeping me up to date on the latest and greatest in sports nutrition.

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3 thoughts on “Chocolate Milk Does it Again – Great for Athletes

  1. Louis Gudema

    What this really is observing is that the combination of protein and carbs is a better recovery food than carbs alone, which has been documented before. The ideal ratio is 4:1 carbs to protein – Turkey on bagel is about right (recommended by Lance Armstrong in his book on cycling techniques).

    The high amount of sugar in the chocolate milk is not ideal, though.


  2. Marie Spano, MS, RD, FISSN, CSCS, CSSD Post author

    Hi Louis,

    Thanks for your comment. A 3:1 or 4:1 ratio has been suggested by many but this is not supported by research (there is no research saying that this ratio is magic and better than varying amounts).

    However, the sugar is ideal after aerobic exercise because sugar, as opposed to fiber-rich complex carbs, will expedite glycogen replacement.

    For more info on this and many other sports nutrition topics, check out my book:

    Thanks so much for reading!



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