Chocolate Milk, My New Post Workout Meal

Chocolate Milk
Chocolate Milk

In the past week I have been experimenting with a new post workout meal, a combination of 1% chocolate milk and a bottle of 20oz gatorade. It turns out that low-fat chocolate milk happens to have an ideal ratio of carbohydrates to protein, making it an ideal post workout meal. Studies have shown that it is equal or superior to higher priced sports drinks and recovery drinks on the market, and as a bonus, it contains nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D. It is also easier on the wallet, as some of you who have experimented with protein drink can attest.

Until recently I consumed a natural protein shake powder mixed with Dextrose as my post workout meal. This combination yielded 30 grams of protein and about 60 grams of carbohydrates. The idea was to get fast digested protein (Whey), and high glycemic carbohydrates. 90% of the time I would feel lethargic after consuming this combination.

The new combination I experimented in the past week gave my post workout meal a new meaning. I definitely felt more energetic, my muscles recovered much faster (probably due to the large amount of calcium and Vitamin D), and I did not feel the need to take a nap.

I also added a small bottle of Gatorade to it, but I reckon it will be more than what you will need, unless you weigh more than 200lb (man or woman). One bottle of chocolate milk (16OZ) will yield about 16 gram of protein, 48 grams of carbs, and  approximately 2g of fat. This is an ideal post workout meal!

So, there you have it. I highly recommend trying chocolate milk (1%) for your next post workout meal.

What is your current Post Workout Meal? I am curious.

There is an excerpt of what the researchers found:

  • Building Muscle – Post-exercise muscle biopsies in eight moderately trained male runners showed that after drinking 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk, the runners had enhanced skeletal muscle protein synthesis – a sign that muscles were better able to repair and rebuild – compared to when they drank a carbohydrate only sports beverage with the same amount of calories. The researchers suggest that “athletes can consider fat-free chocolate milk as an economic nutritional alternative to other sports nutrition beverages to support post-endurance exercise skeletal muscle repair.” (1)
  • Replenishing Muscle “Fuel” – Replacing muscle fuel (glycogen) after exercise is essential to an athlete’s future performance and muscle recovery. Researchers found that drinking 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk with its mix of carbohydrates and protein (compared to a carbohydrate-only sports drink with the same amount of calories) led to greater concentration of glycogen in muscles at 30 and 60 minutes post exercise. (2)
  • Maintaining Lean Muscle – Athletes risk muscle breakdown following exercise when the body’s demands are at their peak. Researchers found that drinking fat free chocolate milk after exercise helped decrease markers of muscle breakdown compared to drinking a carbohydrate sports drink. (3)
  • Subsequent Exercise Performance – Ten trained men and women cyclists rode for an hour and a half, followed by 10 minutes of intervals. They rested for four hours and were provided with one three drinks immediately and two hours into recovery: lowfat chocolate milk, a carbohydrate drink with the same amount of calories or a control drink. When the cyclists then performed a subsequent 40 kilometer ride, their trial time was significantly shorter after drinking the chocolate milk compared to the carbohydrate drink and the control drink. (4)


  1. Lunn WR, Colletto MR, Karfonta KE, Anderson JM, Pasiakos SM, Ferrando AA, Wolfe RR, Rodriguez NR. Chocolate milk consumption following endurance exercise affects skeletal muscle protein fractional synthetic rate and intracellular signaling. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010;42:S48.
  2. Karfonta KE, Lunn WR, Colletto MR, Anderson JM, Rodriguez NR. Chocolate milk enhances glycogen replenishment after endurance exercise in moderately trained males. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2010;42:S64.
  3. Colletto MR, Lunn W, Karfonta K, Anderson J, Rogriguez N. Effects of chocolate milk consumption on leucine kinetics during recovery from endurance exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2010;42:S126.
  4. Ferguson-Stegall L, McCleave E, Doerner PG, Ding Z, Dessard B, Kammer L, Wang B, Liu Y, Ivy J. Effects of chocolate milk supplementation on recovery from cycling exercise and subsequent time trial performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2010;42:S536.

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