View Full Version : FYI - Chocolate Milk is the best sports drink

03-02-2006, 05:38 PM
My son just showed me an article in Sports Illustrated claiming that Chocolate Milk is the best sports drink out there. I did a bit of research and found some stories on the web that back it up. It seems that even in Oct. 2005 there was mention of this in the news, but I didn't see it. Here is one article I found:

A great sports drink? It's chocolate milk!

Get milk -- chocolate flavor -- and get better.

That's the ad slogan UPMC sports nutritionist Leslie Bonci suggests the American Dairy Council ought to be pitching to energy-depleted, hard-training athletes.

Recent research has shown that the drink is as good or better than products like Gatorade and Endurox R4 when it comes to replacing fluids and carbohydrates.

"I was at a Gatorade sports supplement convention this summer, and every researcher said chocolate milk works just as well," said Ms. Bonci, director of sports nutrition for the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine.

That was the conclusion of a 2004 study at Indiana University at Bloomington, Ind., in which the two manufactured products and chocolate milk were tested on elite bicyclists. The study has just been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and it also was presented to the American College of Sports Medicine last year.

Joel Stager, a kinesiology professor and director of Indiana's Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming, oversaw the research.

"The milk was twice as effective as [Endurox]," he said. "It was just as effective as Gatorade."

The idea for the study came while he was working as a club swimming coach. A young swimmer brought in an expensive can of powder for mixing a fluid and carbohydrate replacement drink and Dr. Stager thought the ingredients looked familiar. He walked through a grocery store until he found the label he was looking for -- on a carton of chocolate milk.

"We knew before we took this into the lab that it was going to work," he said.

Chocolate milk contains a slew of other healthful ingredients: a high protein component, calcium, riboflavin and Vitamin D, among others.

The caloric content of milk, however, is higher than that of the other drinks. "Milk has more because of the fat proteins in carbohydrates," Dr. Stager said. "That is one of the dilemmas. Our next study is designed to control calorie content and other carbohydrate content."

But the higher calories are not a major problem. Many elite athletes fail to eat enough because they are too tired, and, Ms. Bonci said, and drinking their nutrition is easier.

"The amount of chocolate in milk is not enormous," she said. "It's maybe 50 extra calories. The chocolate is used in adding carbohydrates and taste and that's critical.

"It's a fluid, it's got carbohydrates, calcium and protein. Sounds pretty good to me."