According to new research, grabbing reduced fat chocolate milk after a hard swim could give swimmers a performance edge compared to when they recovered with a carbohydrate sports drink or calorie-free beverage. Researchers at Indiana University found that when trained swimmers recovered with reduced fat chocolate milk after an exhaustive swim, they swam faster in time trials later that same day.
- On average, swimmers shaved off 2.1 seconds per 200 yard swim, and 0.5 seconds per 75 yard sprint after drinking reduced fat chocolate milk, compared to when they recovered with a traditional carbohydrate sports drink or calorie-free beverage.
- The study is the first to test the benefits of reduced fat chocolate milk in swimmers, and included six division one collegiate swimmers performing a muscle fuel (glycogen)-depleting swim bout of 60 x 100 yards followed by five hours of recovery for three consecutive weeks.
- The athletes then recovered with one of three randomized beverages – reduced fat chocolate milk, commercial carbohydrate sports drink (with the same calories as the reduced fat chocolate milk), or calorie-free beverage – immediately and two hours after the swim. The athletes who recovered with reduced fat chocolate milk swam the fastest in their time trials later that same day.
Stager JM, Brammer CL, Sossong T, Kojima K, Spanbaur D, Grand K, Wright BV. Supplemental recovery nutrition affects swim performance following glycogen depleting exercise. Presented at the American College of Sports Medicine, 2014.