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When your mom told you to drink your milk, she was more of a training expert than you thought. Recent research shows that chocolate milk has great benefits for post-workout recovery and performance. Here are some of the ways chocolate milk can benefit athletes:
Protein: The levels of protein in chocolate milk help build muscle, reduce muscle breakdown and work with carbohydrates to restore muscle glycogen [which helps muscles work]. Chocolate milk also has the right mix of carbohydrates and protein, a 3.25:1 ratio, for good recovery.
Carbohydrates: This also helps restore glycogen stores, which keeps the muscles working at a high level. Both chocolate and white milk are beneficial, but chocolate milk has the added benefit of extra carbs, which are needed after exercise.
Electrolytes: Chocolate milk helps replenish electrolytes lost in sweat, including sodium, potassium and magnesium.
Calcium and Vitamin D: Getting more of these vital nutrients helps strengthen bones, reducing the risk of stress fractures. Teens need calcium during peak bone-building years. Nearly 90 percent of teenage girls and 70 percent of teenage boys do not get the calcium they need.
B Vitamins: Helps convert food into energy by breaking it down so the body can use it more efficiently.
Essential Vitamins: Milk offers nutrients not usually found in sport drinks, including nine essential vitamins.
For post-workout snacks, try a turkey and cheese sandwich with apple slices and pretzels, tuna on whole wheat bread or a peanut butter and banana sandwich—paired up with nature's fitness drink, chocolate milk.