T Nation

New Study: Chocolate Milk


Chocolate Milk May Improve Recovery After Exercise CME
News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
CME Author: D?sir?e Lie, MD, MSEd


To earn CME credit, read the news brief along with the CME information that follows and answer the test questions.

Release Date: February 27, 2006; Valid for credit through February 27, 2007

Credits Available

Physicians - up to 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 continuing medical education credits for physicians;
Family Physicians - up to 0.25 AAFP Prescribed continuing medical education credits for physicians

Feb. 27, 2006 ? Chocolate milk is an effective postexercise drink that improves recovery, according to the results of a small, randomized trial reported in the February issue of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

"Our study indicates that chocolate milk is a strong alternative to other commercial sports drinks in helping athletes recover from strenuous, energy-depleting exercise," coauthor Joel M. Stager, PhD, from Indiana University in Bloomington, said in a news release. "Chocolate milk contains an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is critical for helping refuel tired muscles after strenuous exercise and can enable athletes to exercise at a high intensity during subsequent workouts."

On 3 separate days, 9 male, endurance-trained cyclists performed an interval workout followed by 4 hours of recovery, and a subsequent endurance trial to exhaustion at 70% maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max). In a single-blind, randomized design, the men drank equivalent volumes of chocolate milk, fluid replacement drink (FR), or carbohydrate replacement drink (CR) immediately after the first exercise bout and 2 hours of recovery.

The chocolate milk and CR had equivalent carbohydrate content. Primary endpoints were time to exhaustion, average heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, and total work for the endurance exercise.

Time to exhaustion and total work were significantly greater for chocolate milk and for FR trials than for CR trials, suggesting that chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid between 2 exhausting exercise bouts.

Study limitations include the possibility that the 4-hour recovery period limited the complete digestion of the complex carbohydrates contained in CR.

"The results of this study suggest that chocolate milk, with its high carbohydrate and protein content, may be considered an effective alternative to commercial FR and CR for recovery from exhausting, glycogen-depleting exercise," the authors write.

The Dairy and Nutrition Council, Inc, supported this study in part.

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16:78-91


Research is always behind T-Nation.

Check Berardi's double-tap.


This really shouldn't come as a surprise. Milk in general has always been a decent PWO alternative, and chocolate would only be better as the carbs are higher.

Surge is still much better due to the type of protein in it and the specific carb/protein ratio.


The problem I have with this study is the 4 hour recovery period. Hell, you could sit down to a steak and sweet potato dinner there and probably see better results. I don't see a whole lot of usefullness given the timeframe.

Also, were the subjects fasted before the first exercise bout?



Does that last bit mean the Dairy council funded the project ?

Thats like the old adage...

Eat Beans !
They are good for you.

NO Beans are shit eat Peas.

(this message was sponsored by the peas council).

Choc milk is ok, its not brilliant though.
Its still based on milk after all that many people don't stomach well.
Those wanting cheap post workout and can't afford surge would be better off mixing dextrose with maltodextrin and some whey concentrate. Despite what some may say, this IS cheaper than any of Biotest's or most people's supplements, although not as effective.


There's nothng wrong with chocolate milk, especially after training. I see many people on this site claiming super strict diets of raw oats and cottage cheese. I can't help but wonder if their results match up.


Surge is always better because of the fast protein, or so they say. How much better, is the real question.

Plus Surge has L-Glutamine and other BCAAs.

EDIT: Also, I heard that there is a study comming out on Surge, or a Surge like drink soon. I don't know any more tho, other than that it showed that Surge was effective (duh.)


OK ignore me, US choc milk is quite unlike the stuff they sell here.


how so dr. stig?


Chocolate milk here is either UHT or expensive fresh stuff. Either way they both contain some crap and a lot of sugar. Surely the US version people talk about must be different.


Not really.


No, it's nothing special. Just milk with chocolate in it. But sugar is what you need PWO, so I guess it fits.


Chocolate milk full of sugar and some protein is better than the usual "sports" drinks, full of sugar with no protein.

go figure that one out!


The dairy products as a whole are alot different here across the pond. Im downrange in Afghanistan right now and the dairy that Ive had here and in Kuwaitt, Quatar, Germany and Ireland seems to be different from those from the states. You are more likely to get full fat milk if you are lucky enough to get the real deal(ie fresh), but if your stuck on a diet of UHT boxed milk that has a shelf life of 2 years and doesnt have to be refridgirated, you will notice a difference. I think the resulting nutritional profile is a bit lower than "real" milk, from here or back in the states. Also the yogurt over here is the best Ive ever had. I came back home on leave over christmas and that stuff they sell back in the states is garbage.


A T-Nation author posted an excerpt which claimed 500 ml of milk has 4g of glutamine.


Dude, as someone who has followed the industry for years, the choc. milk suggestion has been around for a long time

Yes, even before Berardi's D-tap. Check some old Men's health circa mid to late 90's if you don't believe me.

Tom Incledon has been suggesting Choc. milk was good PWO forever.


Agreed. This shit was even in old Flex magazines.


thats good about the chocolate milk cause I always mix my post workout protein shake with chocolate milk and it makes it very tastey!
I started this because the milk they sell were I workout was 2% and I cant stand 2% so Chocolate milk says 1%, I only like skim but chocolate milk tastes awesome anyways!


I used to drink a half gallon of fat free Blue Bunny chocolate milk after every workout back in the day when I was trying to bulk up. It helped me a ton! I was a one time skinny bastard and this did the trick for me.

Didn't Arnold used to eat like 3 whole roasted chickens and a 12 pack of beer post workout? I thought I saw that somewhere once.


While I agree with what people are generally saying, PWO effectiveness wasn't the point of this study. The point was the ability of the meal to improve repeated endurance cycling bouts with a long-ass break in the middle. Bit different.