We all know that feeling after a good workout, when your muscles are achy and you feel completely worn out. I tried different kinds of exercise performance sports drinks, but I never felt anything beneficial from them after my workouts.
I I found an article in Medical News Today about the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after your workout rather than just a sports drink or water. I love chocolate milk, so I decided to start drinking it last December after my workouts. I will be honest, I still have minor sore muscles here and there, but overall I feel good, and totally energized after I drink chocolate milk post workout.
Me after LA Fitness Photo Credit: yours truly, Andrea Smith
Most people fuel up before their workout, but replenishing the nutrients in your body post workout is just as vital for muscle recovery. There is a two hour window after your workout that is important for your body to take in the nutrients that were sweated out during your workout. So the next time you finish your workout, consider grabbing a chocolate milk to drink afterward.
Does it really work?
The idea seems far fetched. Yes, I know chocolate milk is something you enjoyed as a child. However, as we all know milk contains calcium; calcium helps build and maintain strong bones. But, did you know calcium also helps muscle contraction? Muscle contraction means muscle fibers are producing tension or force in your body when you use a particular muscle group. The muscles then relax when you stop the movement. When muscles are not being contracted (used regularly) they remain loose and stretchy, and are not utilized to their full potential. In non-scientific terms, this means efficient muscle contraction is key to building up healthy, strong muscles while you workout. Milk also contains vitamins we all know of A, B12, D, and Riboflavin (B2) which helps convert food into energy. This process crucial to exercised muscles. Lastly milk contains protein, which builds and repairs muscle tissue while also reducing your risk for muscle damage.
So now that you understand how milk works, let’s get to the good stuff: chocolate! Chocolate contains glucose, which replenishes your body of the fluids and nutrients that were lost during your workouts. Chocolate also contains antioxidants, which help strengthen your immune system.
Delicious! Photo Credit: Sayer Ji
Why chocolate milk?
Although some people believe chocolate milk is high in calories, it actually is just the opposite. An eight ounce serving of low-fat chocolate milk contains about 190 calories with a serving of about 2.5 grams of fat. But wait, there is more good news!
Chocolate milk contains the glucose necessary to bring back your energy levels after your workout. It also contains vitamins, which helps convert food into energy and keeps our bodies functioning properly. Last but not least it contains protein, which helps repair your muscle tissue and reduces your risk for muscle damage. Don’t just take my word for it. Now it’s your turn to try chocolate milk after your workout!
Drink Up! Photo Credit: Madeline Holler