Can you believe THIS is the best recovery drink?

By: Pat Riley

The human body is an amazing machine. While running, you are burning calories, building muscle, and pushing your limits, both mentally and physically. While you are working like a beast to improve your running economy (The hard part), what you put in the engine is just as important as how hard you work it (The easy part – eating!). You might be surprised to know that Chocolate Milk is one of the best recovery drinks that you can have after a run!

There is a TON of sports drinks out there (I don’t need to start naming them as you can walk into any convenience story and see an entire cooler dedicated to them). Who knew that the drink your parent’s gave you as a kid could have been so beneficial to you as a runner?

Are you shocked? Are you in disbelief? I was too when I first heard about the benefits of this childhood drink year’s ago but there is real science behind this.

While we all know that water must be replaced and plain water is fantastic for beating dehydration, Milk is very high in water content. Runners can lose 4-5 pounds of water weight on a long run in the summer, so getting that water back into your system is important. Water is only good for replenishing lost water, but our bodies need more than just water.  

Check out the ingredient list for chocolate milk next time you are at the grocery store. Chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content of most “Sports Drinks”. This carb and protein content is the perfect mix that your legs are begging for during your recovery after a great Sunday long run.

According to the scientists at Indiana University who published the finding about how beneficial Chocolate Milk is for you, they simply put that chocolate milk is “Water plus a whole lot more”.

Next time you are getting your gear together for your next long run, don’t forget to add Chocolate Milk to the list. I often would take a cooler with some ice and have 1 Gatorade, 2 12 oz. bottles of water, and 1 12 oz. bottle of chocolate mile (Maybe 2 if I was getting in 15 or more miles!).

I would recommend taking the chocolate milk as soon as you can after your run in order to get the nutrients in your system quickly to let them start working for you to help you build muscle to go longer and faster on your next workout.

The only downside to Chocolate Milk is that it is very high in calories. So if you are running to lose weight, I would hold off until you are at your goal weight. If you are doing some high mileage and weight is not an issue for you, add Chocolate Milk to your recovery routine!

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