Chocolate Milk? Really?

I’m irked again. No surprise, I know.

This time it’s those stupid ‘chocolate milk for recovery’ ads that Google keeps throwing at me. If you’ve done any searches on sports nutrition topics, you’ve probably been bombarded with them as well. You may have also seen them in magazines lately. The dairy industry is going to great length and expense to convince us that chocolate milk is ideal for post-workout recovery.

Do you know what chocolate milk is compared to in order to come out ahead as a “recovery" food? It’s usually water and Gatorade, or the equivalent. Really. As if anyone with the slightest nutritional knowledge would reach for either for post-exercise tissue repair and refueling.

I’m not really anti-milk, although I don’t drink it myself. It tends to stimulate mucus production in me, and I already have more than enough. If you don’t experience this or any other issues when drinking it, keep at it.

Just don’t delude yourself into thinking chocolate syrup, most of which is high fructose corn syrup and doesn’t even include real chocolate, and milk is the secret to better recovery. Unless you’re already down to your desired body fat level (race weight) AND are training/competing multiple times per day or doing a stage race, you’re likely better served in the long run by avoiding refined sugars and the resulting insulin spikes. 

Besides, one of the latest sports nutrition studies points to post-workout consumption of brown rice protein being as effective as dairy protein (whey) when it comes to body composition and exercise performance. This research has the sports nutrition industry spinning since whey protein had long been considered the gold standard for athletic recovery, while plant-based proteins have been viewed as inferior.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should never drink chocolate milk. If it’s your indulgence, have it as such, but don’t go chugging expecting it to help you get leaner and faster.

 

Personally, If I’m going to have dairy, I’d rather have the occasional scoop (or two) of ice cream. Rocky Road, please.

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