Forget about those fancy sports recovery drinks. Two recent studies show that the ideal post-run beverage may be one that you've enjoyed since you were a kid. The first study found that runners who drank fat-free chocolate milk during the three hours after a run had heightened markers of muscle protein repair compared to those who drank a carbohydrate drink.
The second study showed that chocolate milk also contributes to replenishing glycogen stores in muscles, a source of fuel during prolonged exercise. Muscle glycogen levels in runners were tested 30 minutes and 60 minutes following ingestion of either the fat-free chocolate milk or a carbohydrate beverage. Muscle glycogen content was greater for the chocolate milk drinkers at both measurement times.
Chocolate milk has a lot of other benefits: It can be relatively inexpensive compared to recovery sports drinks, it's easy to make at home or find at a convenience store after a run, and I think most people would agree that it tastes great.
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Source: "Chocolate Milk May Help Repair Muscles, Restore Glycogen After Exercise", American College of Sports Medicine press release, 6/3/10
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