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Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is said to be one of the best post workout drinks to aid recovery. The carb/protein ratio is usually pretty good (aim for 4g carbs to 1g protein), and the glycemic index is high. In post workout fuels you want a high glycemic index because it will get to the muscles faster and replenish glycogen stores. So if you think about why they say chocolate milk is so good for recovery, then why can’t you make your own recovery drink using the same basic nutrition principles (4:1 ratio; high-glycemic)? Well you can, and a lot of athletes do, but…CHOCOLATE MILK! I’m not vegan (yet), I’m not lactose intolerant, and chocolate milk is delicious. Milk also has other vitamins and minerals that are important for muscle function including:

Water-soluble vitamins Thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B12
Fat-soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D, E, and K
Minerals Calcium, magnesium, and potassium

I separated the water- and fat-soluble vitamins because whether or not you get all of these vitamins depends on what percentage on milk fat you get. There is a lot of controversy on milk fat right now concerning the missing vitamins and extra processing and what not, so just be aware of what nutrition you’re actually getting and don’t assume skim milk simply has less fat but the same vitamins. Whole milk will also offer leucine, which is an amino acid that stimulates muscle protein synthesis. I do, however have a problem with most store bought chocolate milks so I make my own using this recipe:

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups organic whole milk

2 tablespoons organic raw cacao powder

1 ½ tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on LOW stovetop. You don’t want to

actually cook your chocolate milk. Whisk together until just blended. This should only take

about a minute.

My recipe isn’t perfect. At 258 calories, it has about 51 grams of carbs and 14 grams of protein (not quite 4:1, but close). I encourage you to try your own variations, keeping the same nutritional guidelines – find your “chocolate milk.”

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