After a muscle burning, heart pounding and sweat pouring workout, what do you reach for? Chocolate milk.
This is the advice from Althea Zanecosky, a sports nutritionist in Pennsylvania quoted by media reports Tuesday.
Some people only drink water. Others turn to popular sports drinks such as Gatorade, not only to rehydrate, but to replenish electrolytes.
Those are the minerals that get the fluid in and out of our exercising cells, said Zanecosky.
But, she said, experts are beginning to believe people need something else after a hard workout in order to fully recover - protein to rebuild muscles that are torn down during exercise. That is chocolate milk.
The kid favorite that is known for being a good source of calcium may have everything people need after a workout.
"You get protein to rebuild muscle. You get carbs to refuel muscle. You get lots of liquid to rehydrate, but you also get the minerals to help you rehydrate," said Zanecosky.
According to Zanecosky, water is still a great choice for rehydrating, "but after you're done, what you really want to do is refuel."
And the idea of recharging with chocolate milk is catching on. Members of Philadelphia-area high school are required to drink it along with Gatorade to help their performance after a long run.
Joan Hunter, a cross-country runner, recently switched to chocolate milk. "I've used some sort of chemical, I hate to say it, chemical recovery drink. And I would really prefer a natural recovery drink. And it was so easy to get down," said Hunter.
Chocolate milk is different from regular milk because it has extra sugar, which is a good way to replace carbohydrates.
But since the milk has extra calories, it's a good idea to choose low fat or fat-free milk and limit the amount.
(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2007)