As the famous slogan goes, "Milk, it does a body good." But new research shows chocolate milk may do even better. Experts at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) have found that drinking chocolate milk right after a workout can be more beneficial than water or traditional sports drinks. "Depending on your size and how intense the workout was, 8 to 16 ounces of chocolate milk shortly after you finish is a good idea," says Dr. Theodore Shybut, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at BCM. "The protein and carbohydrate content in chocolate milk seems to be better than just a carbohydrate-only drink," he tells KTRH.
It is that mix of carbohydrates and protein that can help your body recover and repair after a workout. The carbs replenish energy, while the protein rebuilds and repairs muscles and tissues that are broken down during the workout. Turns out, chocolate moo has just about the ideal carb-to-protein ratio for optimal recovery, according to Baylor researchers. However, Dr. Shybut recommends sticking with more traditional hydration drinks during exercise. "A lot of the current sports drinks are primarily carbohydrate based, because that's easily absorbable from the stomach, whereas chocolate milk is probably better for afterwards," he says. Dr. Shybut adds that those who are lactose intolerant should still avoid drinking chocolate milk, and those with an upcoming event or competition should not suddenly add it to their workout routine right beforehand.
Beyond the physical benefits, there are also other reasons to switch to chocolate moo as a post-workout drink. "One of the potential advantages to chocolate milk as compared to some of the more commercial sports drinks, is that it's often less expensive," says Dr. Shybut. For the best results, he recommends a single serving of chocolate milk immediately after a workout and then another serving two hours afterward.