Chocolate milk has scored a victory as a sports recovery drink. A study at Indiana University with nine endurance cyclists found that after drinking chocolate milk they were able to work out longer and retain more power for a second workout. Chocolate milk beat out the carbohydrate-replacement drinks and equaled the fluid-replacement drinks most jocks think of chugging after a big game, race, competition or work out. Yup, there’s something about the combination of carbs and protein in lowfat chocolate milk that helps exhausted muscles recover and refuel between workouts.
But how do individual milk processors get the word out? Take this new news, plus other information on the health benefits of milk, and lots of icy cold samples to where the athletes are-after all they stand to benefit the most from this report on chocolate milk. Reach out to the athletic departments at high schools and colleges, as well as local community organizations for fun runs and walks. Or think Nike and target serious, hard-training athletes at local races and marathons. These super jocks are really, really picky about what they eat and drink as they prepare for, and recover from, a race. That’s why what they drink, eat and wear soon trickles down to the rest of the world in the form of “cool”.
On the road in New YorkRecently, Beth Meyer, public relations specialist for the American Dairy Council and Dairy Council Inc., helped the ADADC sell the idea of chocolate milk to athletes at the Rochester Arthritis Run in Rochester, N.Y. They used the Finish Line Kit, free to dairy processors at milkpep.org. The kit includes a bold banner, pennant string, finish line tape, vinyl tablecloth, and a CD for printing other artwork and handouts. Working ahead of time with the Arthritis Foundation, the ADADC was able to include information about the recovery benefits of chocolate milk in the race’s pre-training packet. The results? They were deluged with runners asking for chocolate milk (donated by Upstate Farms) after the race. The group actually ran out of milk and will bring three times as much to next year’s race. Press was good: in their coverage of the race, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle wrote about chocolate milk as a recovery drink.
What would they do differently? “Not bring as many handouts,” smiles Beth. “The runners didn’t have pockets to put them in.” She advises dairies to make sure they get their materials into race bags and not rely on handouts alone. This also let’s them know to look for you after the race. The ADADC plans to support the Arthritis Run (Rochester Marathon) next year, and are also taking their efforts to The Great Race in Auburn, NY.