Fueling Teen Athlete’s Post-Workout Recovery

Most moms know that farm fresh, real dairy milk is naturally nutrient rich. But are you as familiar with the benefits of chocolate milk, especially when it comes to exercise recovery?

According to a new, first-of-its-kind study, recovering with lowfat chocolate milk as part of a tough training routine could help teen athletes get stronger. More than 100 high school athletes entering grades 9 through 12 participated in a five-week summer training regimen, training hard four days a week, and University of Texas at Austin researchers found significant strength gains in teens who drank chocolate milk for recovery compared to those given a typically-available, carb-only sports recovery drink. In fact:

  • Teen athletes who recovered with chocolate milk were able to bench-press an average of 3.5% more at the end of the program than they could at the beginning, whereas those who recovered with the sports drink actually decreased their bench-press weight by close to the same amount (about 3.2%).
  • The chocolate milk group also improved in squat strength by nearly twice as much compared to those who consumed a sports drink for post-workout recovery — lifting an average of 15% more weight (compared to about 8% more weight) by the program’s end.

Experts suggest chocolate milk’s combination of carbs and protein make it well-suited for muscle recovery after an intense workout. This study’s researchers suggest its real-life setting – using real beverages readily available to teens and a typical student athlete training program – makes its findings especially relevant. The study’s findings also fall in line with research conducted on adult athletes—both elite and everyday.

Why Chocolate Milk’s Nutrition Works as a Recovery Drink

Moms of teen athletes see firsthand how physically demanding practices, workouts and competitions can be. It’s important for teenagers to get proper post-exercise nutrition so they can recover effectively, reduce the chance of injury and be ready for their next practice or big game, and a recovery drink, like chocolate milk, is an easy, convenient way to get that nutrition.

In addition to natural, high-quality protein to help build lean muscle, each 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk gives teen athletes:

  • Carbohydrates to help their bodies refuel.
  • Fluids and electrolytes to help rehydrate and replace critical nutrients lost in sweat.
  • Calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and potassium to build and maintain strong bones, which can help reduce the risk for stress fractures. 
  • Vitamin A to support a healthy immune system and B vitamins to help their body convert food into energy.

Top all that off with the taste your kids love, and chocolate milk is an easy way for teens to get the nutrition they need to be their best, in athletics and beyond. So the next time you’re helping your young athlete refuel after an intense practice, consider the science of how chocolate milk helps muscle recovery and consider talking to your teen’s coach about providing athletes with chocolate milk post workout, serve it when they get home or look for brands that don’t require refrigeration so teens can pack it to take on the go as their after-workout drink.

To learn more about the science supporting the benefits of chocolate milk for recovery, visit BuiltwithChocolateMilk.com