Looking for an excuse to drink chocolate milk every single day? We are.
And, conveniently enough we can—in fact we should, especially after a long workout, according to the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. In 2006 the journal published a study comparing the contents and effects of Gatorade to the nutrients found in a simple box of chocolate milk.
Researchers found that chocolate milk contains the ideal 3 to 1 ratio of carbs to proteins, which is found to enhance glycogen replenishment into the muscles after a workout. Chocolate milk also contains whey protein, which gets essential amino acids into the blood stream right after consumption, to build and repair muscle. Finally, it’s a good source of the protein “Casein,” which sustains these amino acids and their circulation through the blood stream to reduce the risk of muscle breakdown.
In one study nine male cyclists biked until exhaustion, rested, then biked again. They repeated the exercise again—this time each given one of three different recovery drinks. The three cyclists who drank chocolate milk were able to bike significantly longer than those who drank standard sports drinks, and longer than their own original tests.
If this wasn’t enough to convert you however, the cost comparison might. While one bottle of Gatorade will run you from $1-$1.50, one box of Horizon chocolate milk (with a straw!) costs only 44 cents per serving, a difference that could save you $20 a month!
So next time you pop your cup under the Gatorade fountain in Thorne, switch it up and try the experts’ favorite chocolatey drink. Your muscles may thank you.
Written by Maeve O’Leary ’14