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Research suggests chocolate milk is an effective post-exercise recovery aid

Key Research Finding:

*When athletes drank lowfat chocolate milk after an intense bout of exercise they were able to work out longer during a second round of exercise compared to when they drank a carbohydrate replacement beverage

About The Study:

*Published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

*Conducted at Indiana University by Joel M. Stager, PhD, professor of kinesiology, and colleagues

Study Subjects:

*Nine male endurance cyclists

Study Methods and Results:

*The cyclists biked until their muscles were depleted of energy, rested four hours, then biked again until exhaustion, three separate times

*During the rest period, the cyclists drank about two cups of one of three beverages: lowfat chocolate milk, a commercial fluid replacement sports drink or a carbohydrate replacement drink

*During the second round of exercise, the cyclists who drank chocolate milk during the rest period were able to bike nearly twice as long before reaching exhaustion than those who consumed the carbohydrate replacement drink, and just as long as those who consumed the fluid replacement drink

*The authors conclude that lowfat chocolate milk may be an optimal beverage for refueling muscles after exercise

Why Chocolate Milk?

*The researchers theorize that the combination of carbohydrates and protein found in chocolate milk is what helped enhance the cyclists' performance - the carbohydrate to protein ratio in lowfat chocolate milk is similar to some traditional sports drinks

*No other sports drink contains the nutrient package found in chocolate milk

*Chocolate and other flavored milks contains nine essential nutrients that are important for an athlete's health - including protein for building and maintaining muscle mass and calcium for strong bones

*Chocolate milk also provides fluids to help with hydration and carbohydrates for energy

*Americans of all fitness levels should include three servings of lowfat or fat free milk or milk products in their diet every day, according to the 2005 Diet ary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid recommendations

Karp JR, Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S, Mickleborough TD, Fly AD, Stager JM. Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2006; 16:78-91.

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