Protein Shake or Chocolate Milk: Which Is Better Post-Workout? | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Protein Shake or Chocolate Milk: Which Is Better Post-Workout?

December 9, 2012 | Raymond Tucker

Must See Nutrition Videos

Athletes are taught to refuel with protein immediately after a workout. Most opt for a quick hit with an easy, portable protein shake. But just drinking protein won't replenish muscle glycogen stores. (See Get the Most Out of Your Post-Workout Protein.) After an intense workout, the body has basically depleted all of its glycogen, which is the primary fuel used for energy production. In order to get the most out of your workouts and to achieve peak performance, restoring glycogen immediately after a workout is extremely important. It's one of the reasons energy levels decrease when carbohydrate intake is reduced.

Bottom line: you need to consume something that contains both protein and carbohydrates.

That's why the only post-workout drink I'd recommend to an athlete—high school, college or professional—is low-fat chocolate milk. After a workout, your muscles are like a sponge ready to soak up whatever you feed them. One cup of low-fat chocolate milk is fortified with 30% of your daily recommended calcium, 25% of your daily recommended vitamin D, and phosphorus. Plus, it's a good source of vitamin A and C. With 26 grams of carbohydrates and eight grams of high-quality protein, a single serving of chocolate milk is the perfect blend of what your body needs after a strenuous workout to replenish your glycogen stores and repair damaged muscle tissue.

You can purchase chocolate milk almost anywhere. For maximum results, I recommend drinking a pint of low-fat chocolate milk after your workout. It can also be used as a healthy afternoon snack to keep you energized throughout the day.

Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Must See
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 2,195,013
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 80,542
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,100,065

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 224,492
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,255,154
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 26,383
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Turn Nutrition Goals Into Actions

New Years Resolutions It's that time of year where resolutions are plentiful and hopes for a healthier, happier year are high. And while I love how the...

Eat Like a Champion, Part 1: How to Build Muscle in the Kitchen

Why Chicken Soup Strengthens Your Immune System

A Healthier Milk, Brought to You By Coca-Cola. Wait, What?

Cheerios With Quinoa: Coming Soon to a Grocery Store Near You

5 Changes Fast-Food Restaurants Are Making to Become Healthier

Low Workout Stamina? Your Diet May Be the Culprit

Big Breakfast, Small Breakfast, No Breakfast: Which Is Best?

What You Need to Know about Fats

Do You Need Protein Immediately After Your Workout?

The Nutrition That Powers Joe Thomas's Iron-Man Streak

Macronutrients, Part I: Carbohydrates

Post-Holiday Chocolate Health Benefits

Halftime Snacks for Quick Refueling

Simple Nutrition Tips for Faster Workout Gains

Russell Wilson Wants You to 'Eat the Ball'

Why Every Athlete Should Drink Tea

How to Build a Meal Plan to Suit Your Body Type

Performance-Boosting Snacks with a Satisfying Crunch

Avoid Pigging Out: How to Conquer Food Cravings

Is It Okay to Eat the Same Thing Every Day?

Types of Yogurt: What's New and What's Best for Athletes

How and Why to Eat Mindfully

12 Grab-and-Go High Protein Snacks

Are 'Healthy Chips' Really Healthy? 5 Popular Options Examined

Coconut Sugar: What Is It, and Is It Good for You?

8 Recovery Foods Recommended by Sport Dietitians

3 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Eat Like a Champion, Part 3: Post-Workout Nutrition

Study Ranks Paleo As Second-Worst Diet

4 Common Nutrition Questions Answered

The 5 Foods That Will Rule 2015

What You Need to Know About Protein

Game-Day Nutrition for Soccer Players

Pre-Game Nutrition: What to Eat Before You Compete

Is All Sugar Bad for You?

Eat Like a Champion, Part 2: How to Lose Fat Safely

Bone Broth Breakdown: Should You Eat This 'Super' Soup'?

The Food Rules for Building Muscle