The purpose of post-workout recovery is to replenish glycogen (sugar) stores in the muscle and start the process of protein synthesis (muscle rebuilding) so that your body is ready for the next workout. Both adults and kids in rigourus sports need proper recovery fuel.
Numerous studies are touting the benefits of chocolate milk after a workout as the ideal recovery drink. The claims are that chocolate milk contains the perfect ratio of carbohydrate to protein and its full of calcium and vitamin D. (Not a coincidence many of these studies are funded by the dairy industry but that’s another story.) Either way, should you start downing this drink after your workout or not?
Here is the simple answer …NO !!! But Let me explain why…
Here are 3 reasons why I don’t recommend low-fat chocolate milk after a workout.
- For starters chocolate milk is literally just glorified dessert. The sugar content is ridiculous!! Would you eat a piece of cake after your workout in hopes of building more muscle and replenishing lost electrolytes? An 8oz serving of chocolate milk has 4 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR. Chocolate milk has the same total sugar as a soft drink (that’s the added sugar plus the natural sugar contained in all milk), so with every serving, you’re adding the equivalent of a soda to your daily diet. Consuming on a regular basis sugary drinks like chocolate milk is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. All that sugar is not worth it and overshadows whatever else is claimed to be offered in the milk.
- Sugary flavored chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry milk has a bunch of ingredients you won’t find in plain milk, like colors, flavors (vanillin, aka. artificial vanilla), thickeners and stabilizers (guar gum, corn starch, carrageenan), added natural sweeteners (sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose) and artificial sweeteners (sucralose, maltotame, acesulfame K). These additives are garbage and NOT helpful in any post workout recovery.
- The quality of dairy in most commercial and even organic chocolate milk is questionable. What I mean is simply that high temp pasteurized commercial milk in my opinion is a dead food. Once you take fresh raw milk and pasteurize it to extend shelf life you strip it of all its good bacteria and enzymes. Most of today’s dairy found on grocery store shelves is from confined animal feeding operations and these animals are fed and treated poorly producing a less than ideal milk. Sadly most milk today is not “farm-fresh” from cows left to feed on pasture.
It all comes down to again the idea of REAL FOOD! Chocolate milk may be tasty, convenient, cheap, and easy to drink post workout but at what cost? Drink it if you want but don’t be fooled into thinking you are helping your body recover from a workout.
The best drink post workout is WATER and to replenish lost electrolytes try coconut water or ONE OF MY FAVORITES -> SUEROVIV. SueroViv contains cultured whey and Reign Supreme Mountain Spring Water, honey , and essential oils. SueroViv drinks will help you feel alive and replenished with probiotics, enzymes, electrolyte minerals and B vitamins to help you recover post workout.
After water just having a healthy meal full of clean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs is truly the key for long-term muscle recovery, strength, and growth. If you do prefer a post workout drink/shake instead of a meal THE HEALTHIEST OPTION is to make it yourself with a clean vegan or whey protein powder, water, or coconut water and other healthy add in’s such as a banana, coconut oil, etc and this goes for kids to!
That’s all folks!
Be Well! 🙂