Lindeman, A. K., Johnston, J. D., Shepherd, C., Stickford, J. L., McCracken, C. M., & Stager, J. M. (2008). Palatability, preference and tolerance of possible recovery beverages following exhaustive exercise. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number 2196.

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This study determined the palatability, tolerance, and preference for a variety of recovery beverages after exhaustive exercise. Elite male cyclists (N = 12) completed interval workouts (designed for complete glycogen depletion) followed by a four-hour recovery and subsequent endurance trials to exhaustion. Immediately after the interval workout and two hours later, Ss received recovery drinks in a double-blind design. Drinks were water, low-fat chocolate milk, sport drink, vanilla milk, dark chocolate milk, and a water-based cocoa drink. Milk drinks were given at 1 gm carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight with remaining drinks matched for fluid volume. Ss recorded hedonic (palatability) and GI symptoms (tolerance) using established Likert scales.

Ss liked chocolate and vanilla milk for appearance, taste/flavor, texture/consistency, aroma/smell, and overall quality. All subjects rejected the cocoa drink for future use; more than half the Ss citing unacceptable texture, taste, and aroma. The cocoa drink was less palatable for each beverage characteristic compared to all other drinks. Moderate to strong negative correlations were found between overall acceptability (quality of drink) and likelihood to drink the beverage again for chocolate milk, dark chocolate milk, vanilla milk, the sport drink, and the cocoa drink. The only GI symptom reported with any severity was nausea (nausea, bloating, gas, vomiting, cramping, diarrhea) in five Ss with the cocoa drink. No association was observed between drink tolerance (GI symptoms) and endurance trial performance (time to exhaustion or total work) following drink ingestion.

Implication. Low-fat milk-based recovery beverages are readily accepted and easily tolerated by athletes as recovery beverages, perhaps more so than sport drinks or water.

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