Why Your Choice of Recovery Drink Matters

Why Your Choice of Recovery Drink Matters

You already love chocolate milk because it’s delicious. But did you know it’s also a great choice for your recovery drink after intense workouts? Not only does it contain real nutrients you need to fuel up, it’s easy to take on the go.

Whether it’s a hard day lifting weights at the gym, a grueling practice or a long game, your workout leaves you sore, tired and ready to refuel. A first-of-its-kind study in high school athletes reinforces what pro athletes have known for years about the benefits of chocolate milk – recovering with lowfat chocolate milk post-workout could increase strength gains as compared to a typical sports drink.

New Study Shows Benefits of Chocolate Milk After Workout for High School Athletes

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin wanted to find out if different recovery drinks made an impact on strength for young athletes. And the results may surprise you.

To find the answer, researchers looked at more than 100 high school athletes entering grades 9 through 12 who were participating in a five-week summer training program, training hard four days a week. They found significant strength gains in teens who recovered with lowfat chocolate milk after their intense training routines compared to those given a typically available carbohydrate-only sports drink.

In fact, teen athletes who recovered with lowfat chocolate milk were able to bench press an average of 3.5% more weight at the end of the program than they could at the beginning, while athletes consuming a typical sports drink actually decreased their bench-press weight by close to the same amount (about 3.2%).

And, while both groups showed improvements in squat strength, the teen athletes drinking chocolate milk improved by nearly twice as much, lifting an average of 15% more weight than they could before (compared to about 8% more in the group recovering with a sports drink).

Why? Experts believe it is the combination of carbs and protein in chocolate milk that helped teen athletes recover effectively. This nutrient ratio has proven effective for both professional and everyday athletes, and is why they often say they are built with chocolate milk. Balanced nutrition and careful meal planning is so important for young athletes — here’s why chocolate milk’s nutrition in every 8-ounce glass matters:

  • Natural, high-quality protein to help build lean muscle.
  • Carbohydrates to help refuel and fluids and electrolytes, including sodium and magnesium, to help rehydrate and replace critical nutrients lost in sweat.
  • Calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and potassium to build and maintain strong bones, which can help reduce the risk for stress fractures. 
  • Vitamin A to support a healthy immune system and B vitamins to help the body convert food into energy.

Chocolate milk isn’t just good for you, it’s also easy to drink at school. And when you’re working on your eating plans, there’s another great benefit of chocolate milk: your parents won’t mind adding it to the grocery list. It’s wholesome, nutrient-rich and inexpensive: at around 50 cents[i] per serving, it cost less than many commercial sports drinks.

Explore more of the science behind recovering with chocolate milk.


[i] Sales data from IRI, calendar year 2018