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Low-Fat Chocolate Milk Aids Muscle Recovery as effective as commercial sports drinks
  MedPage Today
June 02, 2009
LITTLE FALLS, N.J., June 2 -- When it comes to muscle recovery, a glass of low-fat chocolate milk after exercise is just as good as a high-carbohydrate energy drink, researchers say.
Action Points
* Explain that a small study of athletes found that low-fat chocolate milk provided better muscle recovery after intense training compared with a high-carbohydrate energy drink.
* Note that the study was published as an abstract and presented orally at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
In a small study of soccer players, low-fat chocolate milk consumption provided better muscle recovery after intense training compared than an isocaloric, high-carbohydrate drink, Michael J. Saunders, Ph.D., of James Madison University, and colleagues reported at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Seattle.
They said fitness experts are increasingly calling chocolate milk an effective option for postexercise recovery as studies show it to be just as effective as some commercial sports drinks in helping athletes re-energize after a workout.
To assess the potential benefits of chocolate milk, the researchers conducted a small study of 13 male college soccer players who served as their own controls by completing two intervention cycles.
Each consisted of one week of normal training, followed by four days of more intense training.
Immediately after each day of intense training, the players downed a high-carbohydrate drink in one intervention and chocolate milk in the other.
At days two and four of intense training, the researchers measured creatine kinase and myoglobin levels, muscle soreness, mental and physical fatigue, peak isometric force of the quadriceps, and leg-extension repetitions.
The researchers found that serum creatinine kinase levels -- a marker of muscle damage -- were significantly lower after drinking chocolate milk than they were after the high-carb beverage.
After two days of intense training, levels were 343.5 u/l for chocolate milk compared with 449.9 u/l for the carbohydrate drink. After four days, levels dropped to 316.9 u/l and 431.6 u/l, respectively.
Mean changes in peak isometric force of the quadriceps values also tended to be greater after milk than after the carbohydrate beverage, but the difference was not statistically significant.
There were no differences between beverages with regard to soccer-specific performance, muscle soreness, or mental or physical fatigue.
The researchers said the results indicate that low-fat chocolate milk is effective in muscle recovery after intense training.
The study was supported by the Milk Processor Education Program, which runs the national Milk Mustache "Got milk?" Campaign.
The researchers reported no conflicts of interest.
Primary source: American College of Sports Medicine
Source reference:
Gilson SF, et al "Effects of chocolate milk consumption on markers of muscle recovery during intensified soccer training" ACSM 2009. Additional Exercise & Fitness Coverage
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