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Does Chocolate Milk Really Do A Body Good?

Does Chocolate Milk Really Do A Body Good?

You don’t have to be a nutritional expert to know that too much sugar, salt, fat and not enough vegetables in your diet will soon render you chubby, lethargic, and eventually, in the hospital.

That’s why I find it surprising that not one but two recent studies conducted at the University of Texas – Austin found that drinking chocolate-flavored milk is actually good for you and can help you to become stronger and leaner.

According to the results, which were †published in the†Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a vigorous workout builds muscle, reduces fat, and increases aerobic endurance.

“Serious and amateur athletes alike enjoyed physical recovery benefits when they drank low-fat chocolate milk after a vigorous workout,” said Dr. John Ivy, lead researcher on the studies and chair of The University of Texas at Austin College of Educationís†Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. “The advantages for the study participants were better body composition in the form of more muscle and less fat, improved times while working out and overall better physical shape than peers who consumed sports beverages that just contained carbohydrates.”

My first instinct is to assume that these findings reflect short-term results using†athletes†that are already in pretty good shape, but it seems that they help up over a longer period of time as well.

Compared to the other recovery drinks, chocolate milk drinkers had twice the improvement in maximal oxygen uptake after four and a half weeks of cycling, which included intense exercise five days a week, with each exercise session followed by one of the three recovery beverages. Maximal oxygen uptake is one indicator of an athlete’s aerobic endurance and ability to perform sustained exercise. The study included 32 healthy, amateur male and female cyclists.

Now before you assume that it’s ok to start keeping gallons of chocolate milk in the house, consider the fact that most school children (and adults for that matter) have a much different muscular and metabolic make-up than a cyclist who rides five days a week.

Also keep in mind that Los Angeles Public Schools recently banned flavored milks in its cafeterias because†one cup of strawberry-flavored milk contained as much sugar as a cup of Coke (26 grams). The chocolate milk available to students had 20 grams of sugar.

“We donít yet understand exactly what mechanism is causing low-fat chocolate milk to give athletes these advantages ó that will take more research,” admitted Ivy, “but there’s something in the naturally-occurring protein and carbohydrate mix that offers significant benefits.”

Ivy also notes that a 30-minute recovery window after exercise, for people of all fitness levels, is as important as the nutrition supplement that’s consumed.

What do you think? Will you switch your after-workout shake for chocolate milk?

Also Check Out:

Is There Anything Good About Flavored Milk?

Want Some Breast Milk Ice Cream?

Skip The Milk? 5 Reasons Why

Image Credit: Flickr – eelke dekker

Read more: Children, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Fitness, Food, Health, , , , , , ,

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.

58 comments

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2:05AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks for sharing!

10:03PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Thank you.

7:00AM PST on Jan 9, 2012

No...its full of way too much sugar

7:48AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

im glad to see chocolate milk is good for you. i hate white milk. im a female in menopause and have a low vit d level, and dr. tells me often that i need to drink more milk, take my vitamins among other things. way to go choc. milk

10:03PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Hmmm, so chocolate milk is good :)

3:05AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Chocolate milk in moderation can't hurt anyone. If you don't work out regularly, don't drink it as much, only as a treat. If you train hard, go ahead, you'll need the refreshment.

2:14AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Thank you for posting

9:44PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

I'll probably need to start an exercise program before I can contemplate an after-exercise recovery drink. ;-)

I will say that I can't have chocolate milk in the house without drinking the entire container the first day in one sitting. I LOVE chocolate milk. I'm convinced there's something addictive in it. I can't even look at it when I'm shopping. Unless it has a bright red "reduced for quick sale" sticker on it. Then, all bets are off. Luckily, for me anyway, the organic brand only comes in quart-sized cartons.

If I had known that I could have been drinking chocolate milk after exercising, maybe I would have started earlier in life. Maybe there's still hope. What do they consider a "vigorous workout" and how much milk are we talking about?

1:47PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

good news. I can't work out but still want some, lol.

12:54PM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Plain old cow's milk is bad for you. Period. Get weaned!! You're not a cow! Just google the information. Especially if you drink milk from USA cows. They are given a generically modified borvine growth hormone that IS BANNED ELSEWHERE and for good reason. another MONSANTO (EVIL) product. Find the information, be informed and get off milk. Thank you

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