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Dietician Says 'Yes' to Drinking Chocolate Milk Post Workout

A dietician tells Healthnews why chocolate milk just may be the post-workout snack you’ve been missing.

If you’ve ever wondered what the best snack to eat for post-workout recovery is, TikToker and dietician Taylor Grasso, RD, has an answer for you: chocolate milk.

The content creator recently shared a video in response to another TikToker talking about how much she loves chocolate milk, using it as an opportunity to explain all of the health benefits associated with the creamy beverage.

“Chocolate milk is often overlooked as a great post-workout nutrition option,” Grasso tells Healthnews. “A lot of people automatically turn to protein shakes or drinks when chocolate milk can be a more budget-friendly alternative that packs a nutrition punch.”

@simplyhealthyrd This video is not sponsored by chocolate 🍫 milk but if any chocolate milk companies want oo, hit a girl up 😂 chocolate milk is so slept on as a beneficial protein + carb source post-workout! I’m always getting asked about my fav post-workout options and love talking about chocolate milk! #postworkout #exercise #fitness #nutrition #nutritiontips #protein #dietitian #dietitiansoftiktok #intuitiveeating #workout ♬ original sound - Taylor Grasso | Dietitian

After a workout, the body needs both protein and carbohydrates, Grasso explains. That’s because when you exercise, you create tiny tears in your muscles, and protein breaks down into building block-like amino acids, which then help the muscles to recover and repair. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, serve to replenish the energy stores that the body uses during exercise — particularly during high-intensity workouts.

Grasso says the optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein is 3:1 post-workout, and chocolate milk just happens to have this exact ratio, making it a great recovery drink.

“Not to mention it's packed with vitamins and minerals, like calcium and vitamin D, plus electrolytes and water for hydration — which is especially important going into the summer months,” she says.

In fact, research has actually shown that chocolate milk is ideal for post-exercise recovery.

One study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2019 found that chocolate milk had a more positive effect on strength development in adolescents than other carbohydrate or protein drinks, and that it should be considered an appropriate post-exercise recovery supplement. Another slightly older study published in Medicine and Sports Science found that consuming chocolate milk immediately after endurance-type exercise and again at two hours post-exercise is optimal for recovery and may reduce muscle damage.

Grasso especially recommends brands that are lower in sugar and lactose-free for those with lactose sensitivities, such as Fairlife, which has 13 grams of protein per serving. And for those who don’t consume dairy, chocolate soy milk could serve as a good replacement.

There are also many chocolate milk brands that are shelf-stable, she says, making it an easy on-the-go option, too.

So next time you're looking for something quick and delicious after exercise, consider a glass of chocolate milk.


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