Guest Blogger Racquel Burch, Dietetic Intern at Indiana State University shares her experience with chocolate milk as a recovery drink.
Ever since we were kids, we were taught to drink milk because it builds strong bones and strengthens teeth. I remember when I was a kid, I would drink milk at breakfast and dinner because my mom knew the benefits dairy had. As I got older I would often drink milk after working out and especially after tennis matches. When I played tennis I would spend hours on the court and afterwards, I was extremely tired. My mom would urge me to drink milk and it helped me feel better. Sometimes if we had chocolate syrup she would mix it in. After one chocolatey taste, there was no going back. My mom had lit a spark and there was no way it was going out.
Little did I know that the chocolate milk I was drinking was good for me. Not only does chocolate milk have calcium and protein, but it also has carbohydrates that help our bodies after exercise. If we don’t make up for what fluids we have lost, we will become dehydrated. Drinking water will help, but it does not have the nutrients we need in order to be healthy.
There have been many studies that confirm drinking chocolate milk is beneficial to hydrate and help muscles after a workout. One study in particular analyzed the recovery time of runners that drank chocolate milk after a run and those who didn’t. The study aimed at finding whether runners performed better if they drank chocolate milk after exercise versus runners that drank only water after exercise. It was found that those who drank 2 cups of chocolate milk after running had fewer injuries and muscle damage than did those who just drank water.
Chocolate milk is not just for athletes though. If you are hungry after school, drink chocolate milk. If you wake up late in the morning and don’t have time for breakfast, drink chocolate milk. If you want something sweet but don’t want to rely on candy, drink chocolate milk. It is not only good for you, but it also tastes good. Not all healthy foods have to taste “healthy”. Splurge a little and pour some chocolate in that milk any time of the day!