‘Is Chocolate Milk a Good Post-Workout Drink?’ — Ask Coach Rick Scarpulla
A friend of mine said a trainer told him that chocolate milk is a good post-workout drink. That can't be true -- can it? Cal, 25, Vancouver
It's hard to believe but the answer is yes -- but only sort of.
Chocolate milk does have a place in the post-workout supplement line. In fact, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, "drinking 16oz of low-fat chocolate milk immediately following a workout provides a proper combination of carbohydrates and protein." It appears to be "just right" for refueling weary muscles, says William Lunn, PhD, an exercise scientist at the University of Connecticut. That said, I wouldn't run out and jump on the chocolate milk bandwangon just yet.
While these studies prove chocolate milk does have merit, but to what degree, is the question. When athletes train at a high enegry output level the body has greater recovery requirements than a fitness enthusiast training at a lower energy level. The low energy output level athlete can benefit from the chocolate milk. The high level output athlete has greater requirements that the milk just won't supply.
Let’s say you finish a really intense squat workout or MMA training session. Slamming a glass of chocolate milk might help but a balanced post-workout drink with a higher protein content combined with proper carbs, amino acids and creatine will be more on par with what the body really needs following a high-intensity workout.
It's my opinion that chocolate milk has a place in the post workout world but it is not a product that will supply the high level athlete with their post workout needs. If you are a guy that just hits the treadmill and a couple free weights -- go for the milk and enjoy it. If you are an animal during training you will need to hit the local supplement store for something a little more in line with your body’s needs.
Rick Scarpulla, the creator of The Ultimate Athlete Training Program, is a highly sought-after and renowned strength, speed and conditioning coach who works in developing top high school, college and professional athletes and programs throughout North America. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.