Karp, J. R., Johnston, J. D., Tecklenburg, S., Mickleborough, T., Fly, A., & Stager, J. M. (2004). The efficacy of chocolate milk as a recovery aid. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 850.

"Sport nutritionists recommend that endurance athletes performing two workouts a day ingest carbohydrates immediately following the first training session to rapidly replenish muscle glycogen. To meet this need, many nutritional products have been marketed as "carbohydrate replacement drinks" (CR) or "fluid replacement drinks" (FR) containing less carbohydrate. Since chocolate milk has a similar carbohydrate content to that of many CR, it may be an effective means of recovery from exhausting exercise" (p. S126).

On three separate days, male endurance-trained cyclists (N = 9) performed an interval workout to deplete muscle glycogen. After four hours of recovery, an endurance trial to exhaustion (70% VO2max followed). After two hours of recovery, Ss were given a carbohydrate replacement, a fluid replacement, or chocolate milk (CM - a carbohydrate protein mix).

Time to exhaustion and total work were significantly different between conditions with chocolate milk providing the best performances, followed by fluid replacement, and carbohydrate replacement. There were no between-treatments differences for total body water, heart rate, perceived exertion, or post-exercise blood lactate.

Implication. Chocolate milk is an effective recovery drink and is better than some commercially available products.

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