Many of my clients who are competitive runners have inquired whether they should consume sports drink or chocolate milk for recovery after a workout. The first question I pose is are they lactate intolerant and if yes, then the answer is easy. However, based on the barrage of media hype and public influence over the benefit of recovery sports drinks, many have questioned if what they drank as a kid could be as good as what many pros propose us to drink.
Several studies have found that if a combination of carbohydrate and protein in the form of chocolate milk is ingested within one hour and consumption continued for 1-2 hours after a submaximal workout, initial and subsequent endurance performance improves. The prevailing thought why the combination of both are good for recovery and subsequent performance is that carbohydrate helps replenish muscle glycogen used for muscle contraction and protein slows the synthesis or breakdown of the glycogen, preserving more of it for the next workout. Therefore, several versions of carbohydrate replacement drinks have emerged on the commercial market that contain either additional carbohydrates or electrolytes to stave off depletion of glycogen.
All types and versions of electrolyte and recovery drinks can be found in the cooler at any local quick mart, as well as chocolate milk, which contains rich balanced sources of carbohydrate and protein. However, chocolate milk has been shown to be more effective than either carbohydrate only and electrolyte replacement drinks for improving recovery and subsequent performance. Read More….