By Ryan Dennis
It’s a question I get almost every day: “Is chocolate milk the best recovery drink?”
The short answer: No.
Does that mean it isn’t a good recovery drink? Certainly not!
Let’s take a closer look to review the benefits, drawbacks and, finally, look at some superior alternatives to this conventional “king”.
– Source of both carbohydrates (the simple kind) and protein (a mix of whey and casein) in the cherished 3:1 ratio, a good target for general recovery.
– Source of many essential nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D and vitamin A
– Real cacao powder, which may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system (your heart & veins)
– Milk is a whole food
– Contains simple sugars which, if consumed excessively, can promote obesity (and beyond).
– Often contains artificial colours, flavors and sweeteners, and may contain Carrageenan.
– May contain a high amount of saturated fat which slows digestion, making it less optimal for the quick uptake needed for recovery.
There are, of course, a couple simple ways to get the most out of chocolate milk:
– Purchase 1%
– Whenever possible: go organic! Organic chocolate milk will not contain artificial sweeteners, colors or additives! Just pure, delicious chocolate milk!
Whey protein isolate (natural) with banana and berries (blended)
– Higher in protein, higher in fibre, far richer in antioxidants and lower-glycemic
– Can be lactose free
Vegan Protein Powders (Such as Vega or Sun Warrior) with mixed fruit
– Higher in protein, higher in fibre, far richer in antioxidants and lower glycemic
– Lactose free and free of any animal by-products
Either of these options makes a superior post-game recovery blend, in my opinion. Whether I’m coming home from the gym, or simply from a day’s work, I always make time for the active lifestyle’s best friend: the blender. It’s as easy as it gets.
So there you have it: Chocolate milk. No, it’s not the best recovery drink, but it’s good in a pinch!
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