Lunn, W. R., Colletto, M. R., Karfonta, K. E., Anderson, J. M., Pasiakos, S. M., Ferrando, A. A., Wolfe, R. R., & Rodriguez, N. R. (2010). Chocolate milk consumption following endurance exercise affects skeletal muscle protein fractional synthetic rate and intracellular signaling. Presentation 794 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study determined the effects of fat-free chocolate milk consumption during recovery from endurance exercise on skeletal muscle protein fractional synthetic rate and phosphorylation of intracellular signaling proteins specific to synthesis. Moderately trained male runners (N = 8) in a randomized, crossover-design study consumed a eucaloric diet (protein intake of 1.5 g/kg for two weeks). At the end of each week, Ss performed a 45-minute run at 65% of VO2peak after which 16 ounces of either fat-free chocolate milk or a non-nitrogenous, isocaloric control beverage was consumed. Vastus lateralis muscle biopsy samples and arterialized blood draws were taken during a three-hour recovery interval following the run.

Fractional synthetic rate and intracellular signaling protein activity were enhanced from zero to three hours of recovery. Post-exercise fractional synthetic rate was higher after chocolate milk than after the control treatment. Chocolate milk also increased other markers of beneficial effects.

Implication. Chocolate milk consumption after an endurance exercise bout enhances kinetic and translational outcomes of skeletal muscle protein synthesis during recovery. 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.

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