Chocolate milk has long been understood to have health and performance benefits. Beyond tasting great, chocolate milk is a more accessible option to nutritionally support high performance, and when consumed optimally, can boost training outcomes extensively. But just how much extra benefit does consuming chocolate milk provide?
The following is a succinct overview of a research project which investigated this very question.
Over 8-week period, 22 young males were assigned to two groups: resistance training on its own (RT), and resistance training with 500mL chocolate milk consumption 30mins after exercise (RTCM). All other supplementation was controlled as much as possible, and the exercise routine was identical between groups.
Investigators used the following parameters to measure determine how much subjects improved:
- Muscle Strength (1RM)
- Peak Power (PP)
- Muscle Thickness (MT)
- Body Fat Percentage (BF%)
At the end of the 8-week training block the RTCM group showed significantly improved results compared to the standard RT group.
|% improvement from baseline||RT||RTCM|
|Body Fat Percentage||6.7%||18.9%|
As it turns out, consuming the right amount of chocolate milk after a workout generates a substantial improvement to muscle size and function. This is due to the closely optimised balance of carbohydrates (for quick energy), fat (for slow energy) and protein (for muscle development), that chocolate milk possesses. The reintroduction of these macro nutrients in the form of chocolate milk post-exercise has also shown to aid in exercise recovery, however, the extent of this benefit is yet to be completely understood.
There is a sweet spot to this, however, as too much chocolate milk can impact weight-loss goals. 30-grams of protein is the ideal amount to consume after exercise, therefore 300-500ml of chocolate milk ingested 30 minutes after exercise is ideal to replenish lost energy and stimulate optimal muscle repair. Drinking too much will cause excess protein to be stored as excess tissue (fat) instead of going into the muscle for repair.
There is a reason that chocolate milk has been at the centre of multiple research investigations, and it that’s because it works. This simple, delicious and nutritious post-exercise option can provide athletes and everyday people the boost they need to progress their health and fitness goals.