Chocolate milk has the ideal amount of carbohydrates and protein needed for muscular recovery.
At Indiana University, a carbohydrate-protein recovery drink was put head-to-head with chocolate milk to see which could help athletes recover faster.
In the study, cyclists did interval workouts to empty their glycogen stores before they were immediately given either the chocolate milk or recovery drink. Two hours later, the cyclists pedalled at a fixed pace to exhaustion.
The result? Good ol’ choc-milk fared equally well compared to the recovery drink.
Another University of Texas at Austin study showed that healthy but untrained cyclists who recovered with low-fat chocolate milk gained more muscle and lost more fat during training than those who recovered with a carbohydrate drink. So, chug a cup or two of chocolate milk after a run, and see how you fare.
Even better, make your own chocolate milk, so you drink more cancer-fighting antioxidants and fewer artificial ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup.
Dietitian Ellie Krieger, author of The Food You Crave, recommends this simple DIY paste:
1. Moisten a one-to-one ratio of sugar and natural cocoa power with a few drops of water or milk.
2. Stir in cold milk.
Make sure you get natural cocoa, not the processed kind which strips out antioxidants.