Chocolate MilkThere are lots of things you could reach for after a workout. Among these, chocolate milk is one of the best choices. That’s because the drink you loved as a kid has lots of benefits for you as an adult. That old slogan is true – milk really does do a body good. Here’s how.

Chocolate milk’s got the right stuff

Low fat chocolate milk combines protein and carbs to refuel muscles after a workout. Protein and carbs work together to restore energy as well as build and repair muscle. Especially after a moderate to vigorous workout lasting more than 60 minutes attention to recovery is important.

Give yourself a boost

Chocolate milk supports recovery by replenishing glycogen stores, which boosts energy. Glycogen is important to fitness because it is like fuel for muscles. If you’ve ever heard a marathoner talk about hitting the wall, what she is describing is the feeling that comes with complete glycogen depletion. Think of it as a car running out of gas. Not only will glycogen help you feel better after your current workout, it will also help you perform better during your next workout.

Chocolate milk helps you build muscle…and more

Chocolate milk also supports protein synthesis. That is the process that helps muscles grow stronger. You’ll want to ingest 10 to 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes of exercise to enjoy all of the benefits. In addition to energy and muscle growth, these include improved endurance, leaner mass and greater fat reduction. You also get the advantage of calcium for strong bones and teeth.

Chocolate milkWorried about the sugar? Don’t be

There are a number of health professionals sounding the alarm of late about the dangers of sugar. Although chocolate milk does contain sugar it can still be an important part of your recovery practice as long as you balance your sugar intake in other areas. There are so many benefits to drinking chocolate milk after a workout that it makes sense to cut back elsewhere.

Again, you’ll want to down your recovery drink within 30 minutes of exercise. When you drink chocolate milk during this 30 minute window, your body is optimally primed to absorb the nutrients so you get the most benefit. Companies, such as Horizon sell organic, shelf stable chocolate milk in single serve packages. Keep a few in your gym bag for convenience. Having the milk right on hand will make it that much easier to do your body some good.