Indiana University Bloomington physiologist Joel Stager has found that drinking chocolate milk is one of the best things an athlete can do to recover shortly after a rigorous practice. Chocolate milk, as opposed to white milk, has a high carbohydrate and protein content, ideal for exhausted muscles. It also replaces fluids lost as sweat during workouts.
Stager is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology in IUB's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and is the director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming. Stager also coaches swimmers.
He first tested his "recovery by chocolate milk" theory several years ago on his swimmers, who had been struggling with their twice-a-day practices. The results were so promising that he and his doctoral students, led by Jason Karp, conducted a study involving cyclists in a more controlled environment. The chocolate milk proved to be just as effective a recovery product as one commercial sports drink and almost twice as effective as another commercial sports drink. Stager said chocolate milk would be particularly helpful for athletes such as swimmers, long-distance runners and cyclists enduring long or intense practices, and for other athletes who practice more than once a day. An athlete of average weight could drink around two 8-ounce glasses of chocolate milk each hour for four to six hours following a rigorous workout, according to research-based recommendations for maximum recovery. Stager added that milkshakes are a good alternative for athletes who don't like chocolate milk.
The research was funded by Dairy and Nutrition Council Inc. For more information, contact Stager at 812-855-1637 and firstname.lastname@example.org and Karp at 812-332-3653 and email@example.com.
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