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Chocolate Milk Is Not A Sports Recovery Drink

Just when LA schools put a ban on flavoured milk, a Canadian chain of fitness centres, Goodlife Fitness has declared it their official recovery beverage.
Hey there Healthwashing, didn't expect to see you here.
Their healthwashing claim is that that consumption of chocolate milk after physical exertion is excellent replenishment for muscles. What is needed for recovery is carbs and protein to boost muscle repair. Being high in water, they also state that chocolate milk provides hydration. Well so do a lot of things, um... like water? What one seems to be considering is the amount of sugar in chocolate milk. As soon as there is an insulin response in the body (caused by refined sugar intake) the body will switch into a fat storing mode.

5 Reasons Why Chocolate Milk Is Never Good (Workout or Not!):

  1. Chock full of sugar. As mentioned before, chocolate milk contains 6-10 tsp of sugar. Yuck, my teeth hurt! 240 mL (ie one serving) of Nesquick ready-to-drink chocolate milk contains 28g of sugar. Keep in mind, this is only one serving. The bottle actually contains 2 and is polished off easily at once.
  2. Acid forming. Dairy, by its very nature is acid forming within the body. This means it must be neutralized by various chemical reactions (science class anyone?) Basically, what happens is that in order to calm down the acid-factor, minerals must be put to work. Where do these minerals come from? Bones! Say hello to our good friends calcium and magnesium (among others). So, even though chocolate milk and milk in general may be rich in calcium, we aren't really absorbing much of it.
  3. Artificial ingredients. If you think the only ingredients within chocolate milk are milk and cocoa powder, guess again. While this may be true if you physically make your own chocolate milk from these two ingredients, most people prefer the convenience of drinking this beverage pre-made. Chocolate milk is primarily made from 1% milk, which is already unnatural as much of the fat component has been stripped from it. This means the milk has gone through processing (never a good thing) and along with the fat, goes the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). So, the next logical step is to add these vitamins back. The problem here is that they are added back in a synthetic form which our bodies do not readily absorb. Also found in chocolate milk are strange things like cellulose gel, cellulose gum, carageenan, and artificial flavours. I'll pass on those, thanks.
  4. Overly stimulating. Chocolate milk packs a caffeine punch that may not be the best thing for your body, well, ever...but especially after an intense workout. Exercise, while beneficial at low and even moderate intensity, is actually a stressor to the nervous system when kicked into high gear. Post-workout, it's defnitely a good idea to shift things down a notch and let our systems recuperate. Avoiding stimulants is a big part of this.
  5. Takes the place of other things you could be drinking! Why sip something that is not health promoting when there's so much goodness out there?

How about making your own amazing chocolate milk?


48 Responses to “Chocolate Milk Is Not A Sports Recovery Drink”

  1. Andrea said…
    Two points: -One of the trainers at my gym sometimes provide free Gatorade after spin classes. I've told her how I feel about this. -Years ago I saw Bruce Wylde make his own version of electrolyte drink on Breakfast Television. I've since lost it (I keep everything) and can't find it online anymore (I looked awhile back), but it involved lemon, molasses, and the contents of a calcium capsule. There was probably more in it. I got behind on your blog again and missed the contest - and you're even now in my list of 10 (yes, an even 10) blogs that I'm still reading on a regular basis. *sigh*
    • Andrea said…
      (To clarify, I'd written down Dr. Wylde's recipe and used it frequently.)
  2. Ana said…
    I am so sick of this chocolate milk for recovery crap! Thanks for posting this :-)
  3. Quora said…
    Why is chocolate milk considered a good post-workout recovery drink?... Not everyone agrees with this. Andy Johns is hard to argue with since he's run the experiments on himself. The results speak for volumes; however, it is hard to REALLY know what's going on inside the body. As he said, he wasn't able to run true scie...
  4. Quora said…
    Is chocolate milk healthy?... No, it's not healthy. Mammals only consume milk (from their own species!) when they're infants. They're bodies didn't evolve to consume it beyond that. My answer from this question (Why is chocolate milk considered a good post-workout recovery drin...
  5. WHY MILK IS NOT A RECOVERY DRINK - via @meghantelpner
  6. [...] Chocolate Milk Is Not A Sports Recovery Drink [...]
  7. Hey @goodlifefitness- chocolate milk is NOT a sports recovery drink! #healthwashing
  8. So true! Thanks @meghantelpner Chocolate Milk Is Not A Sports Recovery Drink - Making Love in the Kitchen
  9. Always. RT @grassrootsstore: So true! Thanks @meghantelpner Chocolate Milk Is Not A Sports Recovery Drink -
  10. [...] continues with the DFC. May not surprise many of you – nor us – that the whole “chocolate milk as a recovery drink thing” would be rearing it’s ugly head again. The most recent display is manifested in this campaign, [...]

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