Friday, June 10, 2011

Chocolate Milk and Recovery the studies keep coming !

Chocolate Milk and Recovery is nothing new I have seen studies that either directly relate to its use or are tangentially related via the concept of protein and Carbohydrates intake post work out. Now I love Chocolate in all its glorious forms but I have to admit that at first I was a skeptic when I read the first studies. Now I have to admit that I think it is a cheap alternative for lots of athelets especially kids and ameuters athletes. I continue to recommend very specific protocols for recovery depending on the sport and patient when it comes to nutrition and have incoperated the use of chocolate milk in those planes at the highest levels. Take a look at some of the following abstracts as well as the new study published this June, 2011.

June 2011

Consumption of low-fat chocolate milk is beneficial to muscle recovery and exercise performance, claims two recent studies.

Chocolate milk drinkers had greater improvements in aerobic fitness compared to those drinking a carbohydrate beverage or water, according to recent findings from University of Texas Research.

Last week, the university scientists presented the findings from their latest study (1) at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine.

“Often referred to as ‘nature’s sports drink,’ milk can be an effective way to help the body refuel, rehydrate and recover after a workout as every serving contains nutrients that promote effective recovery after vigorous exercise,” said Gregory Miller, president of the Dairy Research Institute.

Miller is also executive vice president of the National Dairy Council, which co-sponsored the research with the Milk Processor Education Program.

Nutrients in chocolate milk include carbohydrates to help refuel muscles; protein to stimulate repair and growth; and fluid and electrolytes to help replenish what is lost in sweat and to rehydrate the body, according to Miller.


The study involved 32 healthy, untrained participants following a 4½ week aerobic training program consisting of one hour of moderately intense cycling, five days each week.

Immediately and one hour following exercise, the cyclists consumed low-fat chocolate milk, a calorie and fat-matched carbohydrate beverage, or water.

Increased lean muscle and decreased body fat of the men and women was measured to assess the drink’s effect on body composition.

Other recent findings

The study’s findings follow the publication of a larger body of research on chocolate milk in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research last month.

The research (2) studied ten endurance trained cyclists and triathletes who cycled for 90 minutes at moderate exercise intensity prior to performing ten minutes of high-intensity intervals.

Immediately following exercise and again, two hours following exercise, participants consumed a recovery drink of low-fat chocolate milk, a calorie and fat-matched carbohydrate beverage or a non-caloric flavoured water.

The results showed that chocolate milk improved cycling performance more than the other drinks, cutting at least six minutes on average off the cyclist’s ride time.

According to the author, chocolate milk and the carbohydrate drink were more effective than water in restoring carbohydrate fuel in the muscle. There was no difference between groups in markers of muscle breakdown.

Chocolate milk was also found to increase signals for muscle protein synthesis, which leads to the repair and rebuilding of muscle proteins, more than the other drinks.

1. Presented: American College of Sports Medicine 58th Annual Meeting and 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine, June 2, 2011. Aerobic exercise training adaptations are increased by post-exercise carbohydrate-protein supplementation Authors: Ferguson-Stegall, et al.

2. Source: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Vol. 25, Issue 5, Pages 1210-1224, 2011 Post-exercise carbohydrate-protein supplementation improves subsequent exercise performance and intracellular signaling for protein synthesis Authors: Ferguson-Stegall, et al


Effects of Chocolate Milk Supplementation on Recovery from Cycling Exercise and Subsequent Time Trial Performance

Lisa Ferguson-Stegall, University of Texas at Austin
Erin McCleave, UT Austin
Phillip G. Doerner III, UT Austin
Zhenping Ding, UT Austin
Benjamin Dessard, UT Austin
Lynne Kammer, UT Austin
Bei Wang, UT Austin
Yang Liu, UT Austin
John L. Ivy, UT Austin


PURPOSE: Supplementing with carbohydrate plus protein following strenuous endurance exercise has been found to improve both recovery and subsequent aerobic endurance performance beyond that of a carbohydrate supplement alone. The purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of chocolate milk (CM), an isocaloric carbohydrate only supplement (CHO), and placebo (PLA) on markers of endurance exercise recovery and subsequent time trial performance in trained cyclists.

METHODS: Ten trained male and female cyclists (5 males, 5 females) performed 3 trials in which they first cycled for 1.5 h at 70% of VO2max, followed by 10 min of intervals that alternated 45% and 90% VO2max. They then recovered in the laboratory for 4 h, and performed a 40 km time trial (TT). The supplements were provided immediately after the first bout and 2 h into the recovery period. Treatments were administered using a double-blind randomized design.

RESULTS: TT time was significantly shorter in CM than CHO and PLA (79.43±2.11 vs. 85.74±3.44 and 86.92±3.28 min, respectively, p=<.05). Significant treatment differences were found for plasma insulin, glucose, free fatty acids (FFA) and glycerol. Plasma insulin levels were significantly lower in CM than CHO at recovery time points R45 (47.30±10.54 vs. 58.71±6.01 &#;U/ml, p<.05), R120 (14.32±1.34 vs. 22.53±3.37 &#;U/ml, p<.05) and REnd (15.57±1.53 vs. 34.35±4.55 &#;U/ml, p<.05). Plasma glucose was significantly lower in CM than CHO at recovery time points R45 (76.61±3.08 vs. 101.65±3.47 mg/dL, p<.05) and R120 (74.72±2.22 vs. 81.46±4.87 mg/dL, p<.05). While FFA and glycerol were both higher in PLA than in CM and CHO overall (p<.05 for both), FFA and glycerol were higher in CM than in CHO (p<.05 for both) during recovery and at TTEnd. Blood lactate was significantly higher at R45 and TTEnd in both CM and CHO than in PLA, but no differences were found between CM and CHO. No significant treatment differences were found for myoglobin, CPK, cortisol, and 5 pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-&#;, IL-6, IL-10, IL-8, and IL-1Ra).

CONCLUSIONS: Chocolate milk provided during recovery can improve subsequent time trial performance in trained cyclists more effectively than an isocaloric CHO supplement. This may be due to a faster rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis.


Improved endurance capacity following chocolate milk consumption compared with 2 commercially available sport drinks

Authors: Thomas, Kevin; Morris, Penelope; Stevenson, Emma

Source: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Volume 34, Number 1, 1 February 2009 , pp. 78-82(5)


This study examined the effects of 3 recovery drinks on endurance performance following glycogen-depleting exercise. Nine trained male cyclists performed 3 experimental trials, in a randomized counter-balanced order, consisting of a glycogen-depleting trial, a 4-h recovery period, and a cycle to exhaustion at 70% power at maximal oxygen uptake. At 0 and 2 h into the recovery period, participants consumed chocolate milk (CM), a carbohydrate replacement drink (CR), or a fluid replacement drink (FR). Participants cycled 51% and 43% longer after ingesting CM (32 ± 11 min) than after ingesting CR (21 ± 8 min) or FR (23 ± 8 min). CM is an effective recovery aid after prolonged endurance exercise for subsequent exercise at low-moderate intensities.

Cette étude analyse les effets de 3 boissons de récupération sur la performance en endurance à la suite d'un exercice ayant épuisé les réserves de glycogène. Neuf cyclistes masculins entraînés participent à 3 séances expérimentales selon un ordre aléatoire contrebalancé et consistant en un exercice d'épuisement des réserves de glycogène suivi d'une récupération d'une durée de 4 h et d'une épreuve menée à 70 % de la Pmax jusqu'à épuisement sur une bicyclette. Au début de la période de récupération et deux heures plus tard, les sujets boivent du lait au chocolat (« CM ») ou une boisson de réhydratation sucrée (« CR ») ou une boisson de réhydratation (« FR »). Comparativement aux durées des efforts après avoir bu du CR (21 ± 8 min) et du FR (23 ± 8 min), les sujets améliorent de 51 % et de 43 % respectivement la durée de leur effort après avoir bu du CM (32 ± 11 min). Le lait au chocolat est une boisson améliorant la récupération consécutive à un exercice d'endurance et préalable à un effort d'intensité faible à modérée.


Milk as an effective post-exercise rehydration drink
Susan M. Shirreffs*, Phillip Watson and Ronald J. Maughan
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
(Received 14 July 2006 – Revised 19 January 2007 – Accepted 24 January 2007)
The effectiveness of low-fat milk, alone and with an additional 20 mmol/l NaCl, at restoring fluid balance after exercise-induced hypohydration
was compared to a sports drink and water. After losing 1·8 (SD 0·1) % of their body mass during intermittent exercise in a warm environment,
eleven subjects consumed a drink volume equivalent to 150% of their sweat loss. Urine samples were collected before and for 5 h after exercise
to assess fluid balance. Urine excretion over the recovery period did not change during the milk trials whereas there was a marked increase in
output between 1 and 2 h after drinking water and the sports drink. Cumulative urine output was less after the milk drinks were consumed
(611 (SD 207) and 550 (SD 141) ml for milk and milk with added sodium, respectively, compared to 1184 (SD 321) and 1205 (SD 142) ml for
the water and sports drink; P,0·001). Subjects remained in net positive fluid balance or euhydrated throughout the recovery period after drinking
the milk drinks but returned to net negative fluid balance 1 h after drinking the other drinks. The results of the present study suggest that milk can
be an effective post-exercise rehydration drink and can be considered for use after exercise by everyone except those individuals who have lactose


International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2006, 16, 78-91
© 2006 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Chocolate Milk as a Post-Exercise
Recovery Aid
Jason R. Karp, Jeanne D. Johnston, Sandra Tecklenburg,
Timothy D. Mickleborough, Alyce D. Fly, and Joel M. Stager
Nine male, endurance-trained cyclists performed an interval workout followed by
4 h of recovery, and a subsequent endurance trial to exhaustion at 70% VO2max,
on three separate days. Immediately following the fi rst exercise bout and 2 h of
recovery, subjects drank isovolumic amounts of chocolate milk, fl uid replacement
drink (FR), or carbohydrate replacement drink (CR), in a single-blind, randomized
design. Carbohydrate content was equivalent for chocolate milk and CR. Time to
exhaustion (TTE), average heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE),
and total work (WT) for the endurance exercise were compared between trials.
TTE and WT were signifi cantly greater for chocolate milk and FR trials compared
to CR trial. The results of this study suggest that chocolate milk is an effective
recovery aid between two exhausting exercise bouts.


Title: Recovery of endurance running capacity: effect of carbohydrate-protein mixtures
Authors: Betts, James A.
Stevenson, Emma J.
Williams, Clyde
Sheppard, Catrin
Grey, Edwin
Griffin, Joe
Citation: Betts, J.A., Stevenson, E.J., Williams, C., Sheppard, C., Grey, E. and Griffin, J. (2005) 'Recovery of endurance running capacity: effect of carbohydrate-protein mixtures', International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 15 (6), pp. 590-509.
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Journal : International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
Issue date: Dec-2005
Abstract: Including protein in a carbohydrate solution may accelerate both the rate of glycogen storage and the restoration of exercise capacity following prolonged activity. Two studies were undertaken with nine active men in study A and seven in study B. All participants performed 2 trials, each involving a 90 min run at 70% VO2max followed by a 4 h recovery. During recovery, either a 9.3% carbohydrate solution (CHO) or the same solution plus 1.5% protein (CHO-PRO) was ingested every 30 min in volumes providing either 1.2 g CHO · kg-1 · h-1 (study A) or 0.8 g CHO · kg-1 · h-1 (study B). Exercise capacity was then assessed by run time to exhaustion at 85% VO2max. Ingestion of CHO-PRO elicited greater insulinemic responses than CHO (P less than or equal to 0.05) but with no differences in run times to exhaustion. Within the context of this experimental design, CHO and CHO-PRO restored running capacity with equal effect.
Type: Article
Language: en
Keywords: Glycogen-Metabolism
Amino acids

That is a sample of what has been researched on the topic and I will leave you to form your own ideas and would love some feedback on this topic if you have any.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to compare chocolate milk with white milk?

Dr. Rick Rosa said...

Not really, because we are looking something that was not traditionally thought of as a recovery drink and we are so use to looking at recovery drinks as being "crafted" "designed" as compared to something people may have in there fridge right now. That said it would be interesting to see if the addition of chocolate has any effect when compared to white milk. Thanks for the question.