Is Chocolate Milk The Ultimate Sports Drink?

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Is Chocolate Milk The Ultimate Sports Drink?
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Is Chocolate Milk The Ultimate Sports Drink?

Read on to learn why chocolate milk makes for an excellent sports drink.

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According to the director of the Human Performance Lab at Indiana University, Joel Stager, after tough physical exertion the body needs more than water.

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Since one percent chocolate milk has liquid, simple sugar, protein and vitamins, it can actually be more beneficial to an athlete since the drink can simultaneously provide fluid and restore glycogen levels.

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In 2006, chocolate milk was put to the test. In a study from the University of Indiana, cyclists performed two workouts in three days. The second one "to exhaustion." After the first workout the subjects drank chocolate milk, a fluid replacement beverage or a carbohydrate replacement one.

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The study found that the cyclists who had consumed chocolate milk performed much better against the subjects who had only consumed the carbohydrate drink.

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A similar University of Texas study compared the performances of cyclists who drank chocolate milk and ones who consumed drinks with only carbohydrates.

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The study found that the cyclists who had consumed chocolate milk had less fat and more muscle and improved their times while exercising. They were in better physical shape than the subjects who drank sports beverages with carbohydrates.

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However, a study from the American College of Sports Medicine found no major difference between the athletes who drank low-fat chocolate milk or a carbohydrate drink.

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Over time, the results grew more interesting. The presence of creatine kinase suggests a sign of muscle damage, but the chocolate milk-drinking athletes showed lower levels of it.

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It's important to remember that drinks like chocolate milk can help benefit endurance athletes or individuals who engage in intense physical exertion.

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Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps has even stated that he enjoyed chocolate milk in between races.

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For many, chocolate milk is a staple of childhood. Now researchers think its role could go beyond kid favorite and take on the sporting world. Studies are beginning to show that chocolate milk has greater benefit to high-endurance athletes than water or sports drinks.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about how chocolate milk impacts the recovery of athletes.

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