Chocolate Milk: The SuperNatural Sports Drink

As you may imagine, there are many benefits to working with Kalona SuperNatural™, including tasting and tasting and tasting the great products we produce. The first one I ever tried was the infamous chocolate milk. It was like drinking a milkshake out of the bottle. But, all good things in moderation – and in all honesty, I treated chocolate milk as a treat.

From treat to training

Six weeks ago, I started training for a half-marathon, and started to do some research on the best foods to eat and beverages to drink before and after a long run. Keep in mind that I’m not trying to shave calories out of my diet, but to make sure that the ones I consume are working for, not against me.

I’ve watched the proliferation of highly engineered and marketed sports drinks increase over the years, but I have never been interested in incorporating them into my diet – especially when there is a more nutritious natural alternative.

And it turns out, that chocolate milk does a great job of replacing the muscles supply of stored glucose (or glycogen), a key source of energy for exercise. The best way to do this, according to the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Dietetic Association, is to eat or drink a serving of carbohydrates within 30 minutes after a long and vigorous workout.

Great, but what about the chocolate milk?

In this WebMD article, a researcher at Indiana University reports that chocolate milk has an “optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help refuel tired muscles.” His study compared the effects of chocolate milk, a regular sports drink and a protein-enhanced sports drink on the performance of a group of cyclists.

The entire group cycled to exhaustion, then they were given a recovery beverage, rested for four hours and then cycled again to exhaustion. The performance was identical with chocolate milk and the regular sports drink – but they did not perform as well after refueling with the protein-enhanced drink.

In a study published in The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, subjects given chocolate milk a stationary bike ride were able to ride 49 percent longer than those who drank a generic carbohydrate-replacement beverage—and the milk drinkers pedaled even harder. Here’s the cool part — milk has naturally occurring electrolytes that keep you hydrated, it’s sweetness helps move the energy into your muscles and, well—it’s always easier to consume something that tastes great!

Any other athletes, or athletes in training that have incorporated chocolate milk into their diet? We’d love to hear what you think! And if you want to learn more, here’s some links to some of the information cited above.

Karp JR, Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S, Mickleborough TD, Fly AD, & Stager JM (2006). Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 16 (1), 78-91 PMID:

Chocolate Milk: The New Sports Drink, WebMD

Got Milk? Try Chocolate After Your Workout, Fitness Magazine