The benefits of chocolate milk

Lait au chocolat

Published on 25 November 2015
by Mélanie Olivier

Several studies show the benefits of drinking chocolate milk as a recovery drink. However, other than the fact that it contains an optimum protein/carb ratio, allowing repair of damaged tissue and post workout muscle glycogen renewal, do you know of other benefits for athletes?

  1. Milk and chocolate mils contain whey and casein proteins in such proportions that it favours slow digestion and absorption, thus increasing the concentration of amino acids in the blood.  
  2. They supply liquids and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, lost in sweat during physical efforts, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and D-vitamin which favours global muscle, bones and cardiovascular health.
  3. Clinical studies on sports nutrition in regards to drinking milk or chocolate milk after working out (aiming mainly at weight lifters who use resistance as a training method) revealed that they supply an important increase in lean mass (including muscle mass) and an important reduction in body fat when compared to soy beverages or other sports drink that are rich in carbohydrates only.
  4.  Also, a study conducted with active young women, over a period of eight weeks, as shown that a resistance training program combined with a post workout recovery routine which includes chocolate milk (non-fat or 2% M.F.) has positive effects on muscle strength, gain of muscle mass (+3 %), and reduction of total body fat (-3%).     

Other studies continue to show the potential of chocolate milks as a recovery drink contributing to physical performance in future endurance workouts. For example, a study published in the Journal of Science & Medicine in Sports shows that runners could run 23% longer in a subsequent session and a 38% increase in muscle strength indicators when drinking chocolate milk after an effort compared with a sports drink with similar calories amount. Another study shows that cyclist could ride 51% longer after having recovered from a ride drinking chocolate milk. 


In summary, several studies and sports nutrition headways show that chocolate milk is an effective and simple drink when the time comes to recover from a workout. However, one must not forget to take into consideration the amount of calories thus ingested in their daily equation, the physical effort must be intense enough to justify drinking a post workout recovery drink.


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Mélanie Olivier
Dt.P. M.Sc., sport nutritionist/dietitian and president of VIVAI: experts in nutrition