A group of scientists at Indiana University discovered that one of the most effective drinks to help athletes recover after exercise is chocolate milk!
The chocolate milk research, published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, was supported in part by the Indiana Dairy and Nutrition Council.
Nine fit athletes were asked to work out strenuously on a stationery bicycle, then drink low-fat chocolate milk, a fluid-replacement drink such as Gatorade and a carbohydrate replacement drink such as Endurox R4. A few hours later, they were asked to cycle again until they reached exhaustion.
The test was performed once with each kind of drink, and the data showed that the cyclists were able to go between 49 and 54 percent longer on the second stint after drinking chocolate milk than when they drank the carbohydrate drink.
"My way of explaining it is, there's really nothing magic about the powder in a can that you mix with water," cycling coach Scott Saifer said of the carbohydrate drink. "It's water, carbs, proteins, maybe minerals and electrolytes. What's in chocolate milk? The same thing. There's no reason it shouldn't be as good for recovery as a carb drink."