Chocolate Milk: Now a Sports Drink Contender

by Mike Simmons
MilkPEP Director of Processor Relations

So, you’ve just finished an intense run, game of basketball or step class. When feeling hot, tired and thirsty, a smart way to refresh fatigued muscles is to reach for a) a common fluid replacement drink, b) a carbohydrate-replacement drink or c) ice cold, low-fat chocolate milk?
Well, since my job is to help processors move more milk, I’d personally pick c. But guess who else says chocolate milk is a sensible recovery drink after exercising? Researchers at Indiana University — in other words, the experts.  
A study conducted by professor Joel M. Stager and colleagues at Indiana University shows that chocolate milk is equal to fluid replacement drinks and better than carbohydrate-replacement drinks as a post-exercise recovery aid.1  Plus, chocolate milk not only helped refresh fatigued muscles, it also helped athletes enhance their next performance. Researchers found that athletes who drank chocolate milk after an intense bout of exercise were able to work out longer and with more power during a second workout compared to athletes who drank commercial carbohydrate-replacement beverages.
Researchers asked nine endurance cyclists to bike until they were exhausted and couldn’t ride any further, then rest four hours, and then bike again until they were exhausted. Each cyclist did this three separate times. During the rest periods, the cyclists drank two cups of one of three beverages: low-fat chocolate milk, a common fluid-replacement drink or a carbohydrate-replacement drink.
During the second round of exercise, researchers found that the cyclists who drank chocolate milk during the rest period were able to bike nearly twice as long before reaching exhaustion as those who downed the carbohydrate-replacement drink, and just as long as those who consumed the fluid-replacement drink.
Researchers also pointed out that low-fat chocolate milk is a great-tasting, cost-effective alternative to certain sports drinks. I’d like to point out that it also contains nine essential nutrients important to an athlete’s health, including protein, potassium and bone-building calcium.  
So, how do you milk this news for all it’s worth?
Order your “Refuel with Chocolate Milk” kit today!
Host or sponsor a sporting event in your area through schools, charities or gyms. This great promotional kit includes an attention-getting banner, pennant string, finish-line tape, vinyl tablecloth and a CD for printing other artwork and handouts. And what better thirst-quencher than some icy-cold low-fat chocolate milk samples to hand out to athletes and spectators?
Go one-on-one to talk to schools, coaches and athletic directors about the benefits of chocolate milk as a sports-recovery drink. A free cooler and a starter supply of chocolate milk make it easy for teams to re-energize with chocolate milk at practices and games.
Visit to order your finish-line kit, and don’t forget to download customizable press materials and local media lists to use for pitching a story about your event to the media contacts in your area.
1 Karp JR, Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S, Mickleborough TD, Fly AD, Stager JM. Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2006; 16: 78-91.
Dairy symposium 2007
The Wisconsin Dairy Association (WDPA) presents this year’s Dairy Symposium July 15 to 16 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis. A must for dairy processors and suppliers alike, the Dairy Symposium is a comprehensive program focusing on issues impacting all dairy processors. The conference’s new format has been designed to be concise, hard-hitting and to the point. There are two solid days of exceptional program speakers, entertaining social events, a golf outing and the opportunity to network with leading dairy executives in a plush, resort setting. The symposium focuses on all dairy products, highlighting the innovative and trend-setting practices that are crucial for transporting the dairy industry into the future. Don’t miss WDPA’s Dairy Symposium for informative, cutting-edge seminars for all dairy interests, representatives from leading dairy companies in attendance providing opportunities to network and interact with business peers in a relaxed and informal setting, and fun-filled social events including a spectacular Sunday-night reception and dinner, and a golf outing at one of the Midwest’s top golf courses. For more information, visit
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