Nutrition for Runners: Chocolate Milk

When a friend of mine recommended chocolate milk as a long run recovery drink, I thought she was nuts! Chocolate milk??? Really? How could that be good after a long run?

Chocolate milk

Turns out, she was right.

I’m pretty sure we’re all aware of the fact that our muscles rely on carbs to keep them going. Running a long way obviously depletes those carbs, making it critical that we restore what we’ve lost. But carbs alone aren’t enough–we need amino acids to help replenish our carb stores and repair any damage we might’ve done doing something insane like running 18 miles. Those amino acids, found in protein, help to maintain muscle mass and aid in recovery.

Chocolate milk

Guess what? Chocolate milk has the perfect combination of amino-rich protein and carbs to help muscles recover after a long run! Oh, and it tastes pretty fantastic, too. :D

Carbs turn to glycogen in the muscles for bursts of energy, giving the muscles something to metabolize during recovery. The amino acids in the protein help rebuild and repair any damage. It’s the perfect combination!

Studies even show that chocolate milk is even better than sports drinks at speeding up recovery time and actually increasing the time it takes for you to get fatigued during your next workout. It’s not surprising; it has double the protein and carbs of its regular milk and sports drink counterparts.

I can attest to the healing powers of chocolate milk, too. After the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad race in Miami, I drank this little gem.

DSC06412

While it’s not exactly chocolate milk, it’s essentially the same thing with a few extra goodies thrown in. And while I was still sore after the race, I felt instantly better after I drank it. No joke.

Plus, I don’t know about you, but after a long run, my appetite is pretty much nonexistent. Drinking I can handle. Eating not so much. Even though it’s probably not as good as say, a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and banana, chocolate milk is a decent substitute. Better than nothing, right?

Do you drink chocolate milk after long runs? Would you want to?

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11 thoughts on “Nutrition for Runners: Chocolate Milk

  1. This is one of those times I wish I could eat any type of sugar during a race…because I HATE chewing and this would be my first choice. One of the things I tried (during, not after) is a Slim Fast chocolate drink. Similar to chocolate milk. Lots of carbs, protein, and vitamins. But my tummy revolted against the sugar. So I save that stuff for after races now. I wish I could drink it during too. :-(

  2. I was actually going to give up chocolate for lent, but then I thought, “No wait! That is my recovery drink and I am in the middle of marathon training!”

    So candy, I will give up that instead;-)

  3. Chocolate milk is the best! I’ve been using that now for a few months. It definitely helps with faster recovery with all of these long runs. I’ve also tried pickle juice. That works too with cramping.

  4. I have recently started having chocolate milk after my workouts and oh my yummm is it good! That used to be a major challenge for me as well, as I hated the idea of drinking my calories and “wasting” them. not a waste at all though!

  5. So funny you posted this because after a workout this week I stopped at the grocery store and grabbed some chocolate milk because 1. it sounded delicious and 2. i have heard it’s great for recovery, – but realized I didn’t know why!!!

    Yay for knowledge!

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