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Chocolate milk: the ultimate recovery drink?

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Q: I hear that chocolate milk is a good recovery drink but it seems that a beverage that contains chocolate and sugar couldn’t possibly be of any good after a workout. Is it a myth?

A: Chocolate milk is actually a great go-to option after a long and sweaty run. Yes it has more calories and sugar than regular milk, but that’s not always a bad thing. Especially after a high-intensity workout. Chocolate milk has about twice the amount of protein and carbohydrates of regular milk which is what runners need to replenish muscles after a run. The sugar content gives that extra boost of energy (without consuming too much sugar) that many of us need after pushing our bodies to work hard. Plus, it has enough water to rehydrate athletes.

Keep in mind the type of workout though. This isn’t a beverage to down after a more relaxed, low key session. The high levels of carbohydrates makes it a suitable drink for after a long run because sustaining movement over a long period of time means that you need to consume larger amounts of protein, calories and carbohydrates. Just make sure you’re drinking it right after your workout. That’s when you need it the most.

Other things that make this drink a good choice: it’s so basic it’s available pretty much everywhere, it’s not overly expensive and it’s a source of calcium. Not to mention, it tastes delicious! Go ahead and chug a glass. You’re not even cheating on this one.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you can opt for an almond milk or soy milk beverage. But keep in mind, these drinks are not equal in terms of protein, fat and carbohydrate content. One with more protein is better. Click here for more about milk alternatives.