Whenever you do intense exercise, it is important to replace the nutrients you lost during the workout in order to help your body recover properly.  Ideally, you want a good balance of carbohydrates and protein and you want it within 30 – 45 minutes after your workout.

Because of this need, we see a large variety of recovery drinks and shakes on the market today.  It is quite the booming business.  Recently, though, an underdog contender has risen up through the ranks and is rapidly proving itself to be a winner.  I’d like to introduce you to the Rocky of recovery drinks – Chocolate Milk.

In a study conducted a couple of years ago using 9 male cyclists, researchers compared their recovery ability after drinking chocolate milk, Gatorade, and Endurox R4 (a new recovery drink boasting both carbohydrate replacement and protein).  The cyclists who drank the chocolate milk were able to recover and cycle for their second round 50% longer than the Endurox cyclists, and just as long as the Gatorade group.

What’s great about chocolate milk is that it has an optimal ratio of carbohydrates and protein, making it a wonderful recovery drink.  What’s also great about chocolate milk is that it has other essential nutrients, like calcium, which most of us could use a little more of in our diet.  And, for the zinger, it’s kind to your wallet – especially if you buy plain milk and mix in the chocolate part yourself.

Post-workout recovery is just as important as the workout itself.  No matter what you decide to drink or eat after you exercise, make sure it has a good balance of carbohydrates and protein – your body needs both.  And get it into your body quickly, within 45 minutes of the exercise.  Drinks and shakes are good because they are absorbed into your body faster than foods you have to chew.