WASHINGTON (June 2, 2011) New research suggests an effective recovery drink may already be in your refrigerator: lowfat chocolate milk. Grabbing lowfat chocolate milk after a tough workout helped give both trained and amateur athletes a post-exercise training advantage, according to three new studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research this month. Athletes in the studies who had a post-exercise lowfat chocolate milk with the right mix of carbs and high-quality protein had improved training times, better body composition (more muscle, less fat) and were in better shape than their peers who drank typical sports beverages with carbohydrates only.
In three related studies, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin compared the recovery benefits of drinking lowfat chocolate milk after exercise to a carbohydrate beverage with the same calories (similar to a typical sports drink) and calorie-free beverages. The new research linked drinking lowfat chocolate milk after strenuous exercise to:
"Collectively, our research suggests that lowfat chocolate milk easily accessible for most athletes can improve performance and aid training for trained and amateur athletes faced with tough routines," said John L. Ivy, Ph.D, lead researcher on the University of Texas at Austin studies. "We may need more research to understand the exact mechanisms, but there's something that chocolate milk naturally has that likely gives it the post-exercise advantage."
Experts agree the two-hour window after exercise is an important, yet often neglected, part of fitness routine. After strenuous exercise, this post-workout recovery period is critical for active people at all fitness levels to help make the most of a workout and stay in top shape for the next workout.
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