Monday, March 06, 2006

Chocolate Milk Aids in Post-Exercise Recovery

New Study Suggests Athletes Should Re-Think Their Drink; Chocolate Milk Aids in Post-Exercise Recovery More Effectively Than Other Sports Beverages


CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)----Next time you finish a rigorous workout at the gym or a sweat-inducing run, a new study suggests you may want to consider a surprising new sports drink to help refuel tired muscles: chocolate milk.

The new study, published in this month's International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism(1), reports that athletes who drank chocolate milk after an intense bout of exercise were able to workout longer and with more power during a second workout compared to athletes who drank commercial sports beverages.

"Our study indicates that chocolate milk is a strong alternative to other commercial sports drinks in helping athletes recover from strenuous, energy-depleting exercise," according to co-author Joel M. Stager, PhD, professor of kinesiology at Indiana University. "Chocolate milk contains an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is critical for helping refuel tired muscles after strenuous exercise and can enable athletes to exercise at a high intensity during subsequent workouts."

Stager and colleagues had nine cyclists bike until their muscles were depleted of energy, rest four hours, then bike again until exhaustion, three separate times. During the rest period, the cyclists drank one of three beverages: lowfat chocolate milk, a traditional fluid replacement sports drink or a carbohydrate replacement sports drink. During the second round of exercise, the researchers found that cyclists who drank chocolate milk during the rest period were able to bike nearly twice as long before reaching exhaustion than those who consumed the carbohydrate replacement drink, and as long as those who consumed the fluid replacement drink. Researchers theorize that the combination of carbohydrates and protein found in chocolate milk is what helped enhance the cyclists' performance and suggest that flavored milk may be an optimal beverage for refueling muscles after exercise. The researchers also note that chocolate milk is a great-tasting and cost-effective alternative to many sports drinks.

In addition to its ideal combination of carbohydrates and protein, flavored milk contains seven other essential nutrients that are important for an athlete's health -- including bone-building calcium. No other sports drink contains the nutrient package found in flavored milk. According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid recommendations, Americans of all fitness levels should include at least 3 servings of lowfat or fat free milk or milk products in their diet every day.
(1) Karp JR, Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S, Mickleborough TD, Fly AD, Stager JM. Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2006;16: 78-91.

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. Together with dairy farmers, the MilkPEP Board runs the National "got milk?" Milk Mustache Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers on the benefits of milk. For more information, go to
The tagline "got milk?"(R) was created for the California Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and is licensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups.

Weber Shandwick Jeannie Houchins, 312-988-2159

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