How does chocolate milk compare to other post-workout beverages?

How does chocolate milk compare to other post-workout beverages?

As a mountain biker, I have definitely noticed a big difference in my rehabilitation
after rides when drinking two post-exercise recovery beverages commonly used by
endurance athletes: Endurox and Accelerade. My first time being introduced to these
exercise drinks was after a sprint Triathlon in Cape May. Afterwards, I really had
little to no muscle “soreness” and blamed it on a possible placebo effect. As the
years have passed, I continue to see firsthand the gains of drinking them, and the
research shows the benefit of these drinks in muscle recovery.

Relatively recently, exercise gurus conducted a study comparing the post-workout
effects of Gatorade, Endurox, water and chocolate milk. The winner of this study
was chocolate milk, which demonstrated equal or greater benefits than Gatorade,
Endurox and water. Chocolate milk contains a combination of carbohydrates, protein
and fats in the correct ratio that maximizes the restoration of the depleted energy
stores in our muscle, leading to less muscle “soreness”. Chocolate milk helps
replace electrolytes and fluids lost during physical activity and contains vitamin D
and calcium, two key nutrients for bone health.

One important factor to consider when drinking any of these beverages to recover
post-workout, is you must drink them 20-30 minutes after completing your run, swim
or bike ride to receive the full benefits. At that point, the glycogen stores are at
their lowest and this is the optimal time to replenish them.

Although chocolate milk is undeniably delicious and perhaps more cost-effective, there are certain downsides to the drink when using it for sports participation. Milk
needs to be refrigerated and is less easily transported. I currently use Endurox
when riding, but like to have the option of chocolate milk when possible as a drink
that is less processed. Either way, these drinks provide numerous benefits for the
endurance athlete.

Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus, NJ provides orthopedic, spine and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Paramus, and Bergen County region. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.