November 15, 2013
Grab Some Chocolate Milk After Your Workout
Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Picture it: Jacksonville, Florida, 1965. Players for the University of Florida (UF) Gators football team are sapped and losing exorbitant amounts of weight after strenuous practices and games. Dwayne Douglas, former Gator and Philadelphia Eagles football player and then-assistant coach to the college team approaches UF kidney disease specialist and director of the UF College of Medicine’s renal and electrolyte division, Robert Cade, to look into this never-before-researched phenomenon.
From this fateful encounter, a new beverage was created and the world of sports would never be the same. Gatorade helped the UF Gator freshman squad defeat an early dominating B team squad in a scrimmage. The following weekend, the varsity team soundly defeated the favored Louisiana State University Tigers after that team fell apart in the fourth quarter. And today, when an athlete finishes a grueling game or a demanding workout, they can almost assuredly be seen grabbing a Gatorade or one of the other similar products created in its image.
The benefits of this fluid invention cannot be denied. But what if an easier and more practical answer was overlooked by Cade’s cadre of researchers?
Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) claim there is a better alternative to helping an athlete achieve recovery after a workout. And that alternative is chocolate milk.
While this dairy beverage may not be as refreshing as the electrolyte-laden sport drink, the Baylor team discovered those who consumed chocolate milk after their workout were, when compared with those who didn’t, were set up to have a better workout the following day.
“If you look at what goes into a good workout recovery drink, it’s a combination of protein and carbohydrates - protein for rebuilding and repairing damage that occurs to tissues and carbohydrates for replenishing the energy that has just been burned. The protein to carbohydrate ratio in chocolate milk actually is very close to what we know is ideal for recovery,” said Dr. Theodore Shybut, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at BCM.
Sure, Gatorade’s benefits are intended to replace fluids lost during exercise. But when you put chocolate milk next to products such as Muscle Milk, this childhood favorite comes off as equally beneficial but more appealing, thanks in no small way to the fact it is a more economical option.
Shybut recommends consuming a single-serving of chocolate milk immediately after you finish your workout and then another serving two hours later.
“The early post-workout period is important because immediately after exercise, your muscles are able to absorb nutrients at a much higher rate,” said Shybut.
There is one caveat, he warns however. Athletes suffering from lactose intolerance should forego the post-workout chocolate milk routine. Additionally, it is not recommended you wait to incorporate this beverage into your routine until just before an upcoming competition. The benefit and the ability to maximize the reward one receives from it is best realized only after it has been a part of a regular training schedule.