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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chocolate milk is the real deal!!...low fat at that!!

Well research is finally confirmed: Chocolate milk(CM), low fat even, is a great substitute for a recovery drink! That is great news for parents who are concerned about what is a healthy supplement that is not harmful. Well chocolate is as tame as it gets and here is why.

CM actually has more restoration components than other commercial flavored carbohydrate drinks (Gatorade, Acclerade etc). Check out the differences in nutrients offered in a 240 ml(1 cup)  drink:                          
Nutrient                         Low fat milk           Gatorade
Energy(Kcal)               160, 669                     50,2009
Protein (g)                    8                                            0
Fat (g)                          3                                            0
Carbohydrate(g)          27                                         14
Calcium (mg)              300                                         0
Sodium(mg)                240                                     110

We train a lot of young athletes and we know they eat just about anything! But what is even more crucial is what they do in between preseason workouts. Many athletes are now or will be engaged in intense summer 2 a day workouts. It is crucial that recovery BEFORE the next session is attained. Low fat chocolate milk is the perfect antidote!

Although the mechanisms are not completely clear, the combination of carbohydrate, milk protein, fluid and electrolytes may improve muscle glycogen resynthesis(producing more glycogen, the muscles key element for sustaining contractions), and rehydration to speed recovery between exercise sessions.
The fat in the milk helps delay glycogen depletion. One of the biggest secrets in maintaining carbohydrate stores is consuming healthy carbohydrates all day, everyday, during these preseason practice weeks that usually last two weeks,  especially at night ie. dinner time.

I suggest drinking low fat chocolate milk immediately after exercise and throughout the recovery period in a volume that will help athletes obtain about 1g carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per hour.(To convert to kilograms take your weight divide it by 2.2). Now the kids don't care about all the science they just know that it taste good!  

Finally, low fat chocolate milk is a great recovery drink especially if you are engaged in 2 a day practice sessions. It appears CM helps provide more glycogen and more electrolytes that other popular carbohydrate drinks do not. Fat in these drinks actually appears to help reduce glycogen depletion. You should consume CM immediately after the first session and continue to consume a carbohydrate every hour up until you return for the second. The Carbohydrate does not have to be just CM by the way. Fruit, yogurt, bagels and chicken or turkey sandwich.

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