With the onslaught of blue, yellow and multicolored sports drinks, many of which contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and artificial colors, there is one nutritious post workout drink that has flown below the radar.
Low-fat chocolate milk.
For years I’ve consumed low-fat chocolate milk to refuel my body after a Body Under Construction Fitness Adventure workout, I prefer it to many sports drinks because it contains:
– Protein – For muscle growth and repair
– Vitamin D – For strong bones
– A solid carb to protein ratio
– Essential fluids and electrolytes including calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium
Drinking plain water after exercise replaces sweat losses — and that’s it. “Chocolate milk provides carbohydrate replenishment to your muscles — something they can metabolize,” says the leading researcher of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
In a recent study, chocolate milk’s performance was tested as a workout recovery drink on nine cyclists. In the lab, an number of athletes biked until exhaustion, and then each rested for four hours. During this break, each consumed low-fat chocolate milk, Gatorade, or the high-carbohydrate sports drink Endurox R4. Afterward, they cycled to exhaustion again.
The results were positive. The research team concluded that the athletes who consumed chocolate milk performed just as well or better as those who drank the other beverages. The high carb and protein content in milk make it an incredibly effective recovery drink — even though it’s never been marketed as one.
Here’s a quick recipe:
– 1-2 Tablespoons of Ground Raw Cacao Beans (~6-10 beans ground)
– 8 oz of unsweetened vanilla Almond Milk
– Ground Cinnamon to taste
– 1 pinch of nutmeg
– 1 Teaspoon of honey, agave nectar, or some all-natural sweetener
– A touch of Vanilla Extract
Consuming the organic version will help you to avoid many of the artificial ingredients contained in sports drinks that can contribute to weight gain and conceal your six-pack. So, drink low-fat chocolate milk after a tough workout. It refuels your body and taste great, too!
By Sloan Luckie, BDO Fitness Expert
Sloan Luckie, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Public Accountant, is the author of the optimal health workbook, Body Under Construction. Body Under Construction shows how to use nutrition, exercise and sleep to build the body of your dreams, reduce your risk to chronic illness and look and feel your absolute best.
His unique philosophy on building and maintaining optimal health has garnered significant media attention. Sloan has appeared on NBC’s “The Talk” with Marion Brooks, NY1 News with Cheryl Wills, graced the pages of Syd Jerome magazine, and conducted nutrition and fitness demonstrations for corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and various other groups throughout the United States.