Refuel Your Body with Chocolate Milk

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The workout may be finished but the body isn't. Whether you are a student athlete, a weekend warrior, or somewhere in between, your health and fitness depends not only what you do on the court or field, but also what you do after your workout. Research shows that low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk has just the right mix of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to refuel your body after exercise.

Refueling your body starts with protein. Exercise causes damage to your muscles, and protein is crucial for repairing muscles and ensuring that your body is at its best for the next workout. Eight ounces of milk (one cup or one school milk carton) has 8 grams of high-quality protein. One plastic bottle of milk has double this amount -- 16 grams -- and will put you well on your way to repairing the muscle damage caused by exercise.

Carbohydrates are important after a workout, because exercise is powered by the carbohydrate found in your muscles. After a workout, most of this carbohydrate has been used up and needs to be replaced. Chocolate milk has the right amount of carbohydrate to replenish what is used up during exercise, and it works together with the high-quality protein to ensure your body is refueled and ready to go at your next workout.

Finally, chocolate milk is a natural source of the minerals (sometimes called "electrolytes") needed to rehydrate and replace what is lost in sweat. Milk often has more of these minerals than typical sports drinks. Plus, milk has calcium and vitamin D needed to build and maintain strong bones. Most sports drinks lack these bone-building nutrients.

Low-fat or fat-free chocolate is a natural, healthy choice to repair, rehydrate, and refuel your body after exercise. Most teens and adults will gain the benefits of this natural sports beverage by drinking 8 to 16 ounces of chocolate milk within 2 hours after a workout. Remember that the workout may be finished but the body is not, and choosing the right post-exercise drink is the key to refueling your body and keep you moving toward your health and fitness goals.

Mix up your post-workout refuel routine with these easy chocolate milk recipes from St. Louis District Dairy Council:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Cool off and refuel after a tough workout with this quick and easy smoothie.

Makes 3 Servings

Prep Time: 5 min


1 cup low-fat chocolate milk

cup vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt

2 Tablespoons creamy, reduced-fat peanut butter

1 (8-ounce) container of low-fat vanilla yogurt


Pour chocolate milk, vanilla frozen yogurt, peanut butter and vanilla yogurt into blender and blend on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into individual glasses.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 220

Fat: 6 g

Protein: 11 g

Calcium: 30% Daily Value

Almond Mocha Iced Coffee

After your morning workout, wake up and refuel with this refreshing iced coffee.

Makes 2 Servings

Prep Time: 5 min


2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

4 Tablespoons boiling water

1 cup low-fat chocolate milk

teaspoon almond extract


Dissolve instant coffee into boiling water. Stir in chocolate milk and almond extract. Pour into glasses of ice and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 156

Fat: 2 g

Protein: 7 g

Calcium: 25% Daily Value

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