There are sports drinks, water, electrolyte-heavy drinks, BCAAS (branch chain amino acids) beverages – but what’s the best drink for sports recovery?
According to a new study, the best drink could be the simplest: a glass of cold chocolate milk.
The research from Shahid Sadoughi University in Yazd, Iran found that chocolate milk helped exercisers workout for an extra six minutes than the average, as well as improving heart rates and lactic acid levels.
Chocolate milk contains everything an athlete needs for recovery, too: carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as water and electrolytes.
After analyzing a dozen existing studies and nearly 150 participants, they were measured for various markers like heart rate, exhaustion, and lactic acid, which is what leads to cramping.
They found chocolate milk was more or equally effective as any other recovery drink, though researchers note more studies are still required for definitive conclusions.
“Chocolate milk contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, flavonoids, electrolytes, and some vitamins which make this drink a good choice for recovery in athletes,” said study author Dr Amin Salehi-Abargouei.
“The take-home message is that chocolate milk is a low-cost, delicious and palatable option for recovery and provides either similar or superior effects compared with commercial drinks.”
If you’re not a fan of chocolate milk, certain smoothies, cereals with milk, or soups can provide similar post-workout nutrition. While water is still essential to sports recovery, it lacks the essential nutrients necessary for the body and its muscles to fully recover.
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