You know the scenario: you just got done with a great workout. Maybe it was an awesome day at spin composed of the most motivating workout songs, a long run outside in the nice weather, or your favorite 30 minute HIIT workout.
Post workout you are a sweaty hot mess, and you are STARVING!!!!
Many people, including myself, often grab a protein shake or smoothie after an intense session. However, research is now exploring these protein shakes versus good old chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is a less expensive sports recovery option that you may just want to try!
Chocolate milk offers significant amounts of several B-complex vitamins, nutrients you need to convert food into energy, as well as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D needed for healthy bones. Chocolate milk is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and contains over a dozen vitamins and minerals. –livestrong.com
All of the research comes to basically the same conclusion; a great post workout meal includes the right combination of proteins and carbohydrates. That means eating snacks containing carbohydrates to replenish lost glycogen stores and protein to aid in muscle repair and recovery. More sources discussed the workout window which is said to be, 20-30 minutes before you exercise followed by the 2-3 hours after you are completed.
It seems as if chocolate milk can easily and cost effectively meet your nutritional needs post workout, especially if you are on the run and don’t have time for much else. This chocolate beverage is meeting your protein requirements post workout containing between 8-11 grams of protein per cup. (15-25 grams of protein is great post workout, so consuming 500-750 ml of milk is best).
Another reason why post-workout chocolate milk is beneficial is because cow’s milk contains about 80 percent casein protein content and 20 percent whey protein content. This is ideal because the whey protein is fast-acting, allowing amino acids to get right into the muscle tissue, while the casein protein is digested slower, providing a steady stream of amino acids over a lengthier period of time.
Chocolate milk also provides a great amount of post workout carbohydrates. The sugar in the milk will provide a spike in insulin (which is ok because we have the protein in the milk to balance this spike out). The spike drives the glucose into the muscle tissue replenishing energy stores for the next workout! Lastly, chocolate milk provides athletes like yourselves with much-needed calcium. Calcium provides power, stamina, and healthy bones and joints.
But what if you have a dairy intolerance or whey makes your stomach upset?
You could always try different types of dairy: raw, fermented, grass-fed, organic, sheep, or even goat’s milk! Chocolate almond milk is not going to give you the same benefits as the dairy milk post workout, but you can always add milk substitutes to your protein powder or smoothies to achieve the same idea.
Remember to try to avoid milk with high fructose corn syrup, and enjoy this drink in moderation along with a healthy diet. I don’t advise drinking the milk straight out of the carton standing in front of the fridge! Measure it out just as you would a shake.
Cheers to your easy recovery meal!