Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Milk after workout can speed up post-exercise recovery

A new study has shown that chocolate milk intake after a workout can speed up your post-exercise performance and muscle repair process.

In a sequence of four studies, done at the American College of Sports Medicine conference this week, researchers discovered that chocolate milk provided a recovery benefit to facilitate in repairing and rebuilding muscles, as compared to specifically formulated carbohydrate sports drinks.

According to the new study, consuming fat free chocolate milk after exercise can assist the body in retaining, replenishing and rebuilding muscles and speed up the recovery process.

Consuming low fat chocolate milk after an arduous workout can even help in preparing the muscles to perform better in a consequent round of exercise. Below are listed certain advantages of chocolate milk that the researchers discovered: 

1) To build muscle

Post-exercise muscle biopsies in 8 averagely trained male runners displayed that after consuming 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk, the runners had intensified skeletal muscle protein synthesis - a sign that muscles were more capable to repair and rebuild, as compared to when they drank a carbohydrate only sports drink with the same amount of calories. The researchers indicated that "athletes can consider fat-free chocolate milk as an economic nutritional alternative to other sports nutrition beverages to support post-endurance exercise skeletal muscle repair."

2) To replenish muscle fuel

It is essential to replace muscle fuel (glycogen) after exercise for athlete's future performance and muscle recovery. Researchers discovered that consuming 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk with its mix of carbohydrates and protein (as compared to a carbohydrate-only sports drink with the same amount of calories) contributed to enhanced concentration of glycogen in muscles at 30 and 60 minutes post exercise.

3) To maintain lean muscle

Athletes usually risk muscle breakdown post-exercise when the body's requirements are at their pinnacle. Researchers discovered that consuming fat free chocolate milk after exercise assisted in decreasing markers of muscle breakdown compared to drinking a carbohydrate sports drink.

4) To enhance the subsequent exercises

Ten trained men and women cyclists rode for an hour and a half, followed by 10 minutes of intervals. They took rest for four hours and were given one of three drinks immediately and two hours into recovery: low-fat chocolate milk, a carbohydrate drink with the same amount of calories or a control drink. When the cyclists performed a subsequent 40 kilometer ride after this, their trial time was considerable lesser after drinking the chocolate milk compared to the carbohydrate drink and the control drink.

As for why chocolate milk, researchers indicate that chocolate milk's combination of carbohydrates and high-quality protein first made researchers take notice of a potential exercise advantage. The combination of carbs and protein already in chocolate milk matched the ratio found to be most beneficial for recovery. In fact, studies propose that chocolate milk has the right mix of carbs and protein to help in refueling exhausted muscles, and the protein in milk facilitates in building lean muscles.

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