Can Chocolate Milk Help You Exercise Better?
By Randi Morse
One of the fun things about social media sites is that they are a great place to find new information. I was on a social media site the other day and saw a story that claimed chocolate milk was better to drink after a workout than a traditional sports drink. My mind immediately denied this. After all, aren't we taught that chocolate milk is not a healthy drink to have? Sure, kids get it in school but that's because we need to ensure they get enough calcium, and making the milk chocolate flavored makes them much more likely to drink it. But chocolate milk can't really be healthy for an adult, can it?
Delicious Carbo Goodness
It turns out that chocolate milk actually can be an amazing option after you put in a hard workout. The first reason is because of the carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates are great for muscles that are exhausted. The carbs turn into sugar which then feeds the muscles helping them to get replenished. When you do the math you quickly see that chocolate milk actually has more carbohydrate content than water, sports drinks, and plain milk. Actually, it has double the amount of carbs. Not only that, chocolate milk is high in water content, which is great for replacing all of those fluids that you lost while sweating it out at the gym.
How Do We Know It Works?
But how do you know that chocolate milk truly is a great choice, especially after you've been turned against it for so long? Because of science. In the last few years there was a doctor who tested how well chocolate milk helped athletes recover after their workout. He had athletes ride on an exercise bike for as long as they possibly could. He gave them a four-hour break and broke them up into groups, giving each group a different drink. Two of the groups were given name brand sports drinks and one was given chocolate milk. The scientists then had the athletes bicycle until they were exhausted again. What they discovered is that the athletes in the chocolate milk group actually recovered just as well, and in some cases even better, than those who consumed sports drinks.
Level of Exercise
One thing that's important to note is that most of the experts agree chocolate milk is a great option after exercising only if you have undergone an intense workout. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of carbohydrates, and calories in chocolate milk. If your idea of daily exercise is to simply walk around the block, chocolate milk might not be the best option for you. But if you plan on sweating it out in the gym and pushing yourself to the limits, feel free to chug down a glass of that delicious chocolatey goodness we all love.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Carlsbad, Calif.