I'm seeing it, and you're probably seeing it too: chocolate milk being praised as an after-workout recovery drink. I've been skeptical about this for a while now, and even scoffed at it last year in a blog post, but when I read it in Runner's World I decided to investigate and find out just what was up with it. After all, I like chocolate milk just as much as you do.
But there is a time and a place for chocolate milk. Both of those would fall into the "practically never," category for me because 1) I don't like to drink calories, 2) I don't like to drink or eat sugar, and 3) there is no such thing as one glass of chocolate milk for me. I know my limits!
So I started doing some research. Okay, googling. And as I suspected, chocolate milk has indeed been found to be helpful as a recovery drink after a vigorous workout. Please note the word, "vigorous." Milk and sugar are digested quickly, which means they provide a rapid replenishment of glucose to your fatigued muscles. You can read all about it here:
But look for the fine print! There are two things I want to point out to you:
1. Chocolate milk is helpful as a recovery drink after a strenuous endurance workout. A strenuous endurance workout is not a jog. It's running 10 miles. It's being completely worn out, depleted, covered in sweat, and unable to move at the end. It's going to the max and then some. Then, I guess you can have some chocolate milk if you must. Not a gallon. Some.
2. The studies that were done to prove the superiority of chocolate milk as a fitness drink were funded by the Nutrition and Dairy Council. Just sayin'. Food is a business y'all.
Will I be drinking chocolate milk after a run? I hope not! I've found that drinking sugary drinks leads to nothing good so that would be a slippery slope for me. I want to get out there and get healthy, and chocolate milk doesn't really have that much appeal for me when stacked against the hassle factor of dealing with sugar cravings afterwards. So thanks, but I'll pass.
Get out there and get healthy today!