Gatorade. Vita-Water. Generic-named Vita-Water. Cliff Cubes. Sports Beans. Runners and fitness fanatics alike love discussing the best way to rejuvinate post work-out. I had a Jazzercise instructor who raved about peanut butter, a mildly alcoholic friend who enjoyed a cold beer before hitting the shower, and a rugby playing companion who swore by ice baths. Well, Dr. Dad just threw a new one into the mix: Chocolate milk.
That’s right. Behold the cocoa-goodness and revitalizing powers of sipping down a a glass of low-fat or non-fat chocolate milk. According to Abigail Funk in “Back on Track With Chocolate Milk” from Training and Conditioning, this tasty treat has been shown to “enhance skeletal muscle protein synthesis, increased replenishment of muscle glycogen, and fewer markers of muscle breakdown, all of which leads to repairing and rebuilding muscle.” In an endurance athlete’s terms, this mean that when you work out, you cause your muscles to get all grumblecakes, but chocolate milk is being shown to fill in the gaps and help your body recover.
If you’re going to get your lactose on, be aware that timing is key when it comes to knocking back a pint o’ chocolate milk. Ms. Funk quotes Nancy Rodriguez, saying, “To get the real recovery benefit in terms of muscle protein synthesis and replenishing glycogen, the 30- to 40-minute window after exercise is the time to drink it…Coaches and athletes need to be very conscious of the timing aspect.” You have to had that bad-boy ready to imbibe almost as soon as you’re done working out. Otherwise, you won’t get the maximum benefit, and may not get much benefit at all.
So my question about this recovery method deepens as I start to wonder about many, like myself, who loathe lactose in liquid form. Are we doomed to not partake in this rebound? Or is chocolate soy milk an option? Now I’m curious. If you do not feel an aversion to milk though, check it out and tell me what you think.