David, our fearless Strider leader, shared an interesting tidbit in last week’s newsletter.
Ok, a quiz, do you know the # 1 recovery item that all exercise experts say works the absolute best in your recovery?…..Are you ready? It’s Chocolate Milk. Yes, chocolate milk. One Strider Saturday soon, Karen and I will treat you all to the glorious taste of 1% or 2% Chocolate milk and I guarantee you will feel the difference.
What’s this? Now I can run for beer chocolate milk. Pinch me. Please tell me I’m not dreaming!
So, is it the chocolate or the milk? I prefer to believe that it’s the chocolate that offers the healing. My DH, Allan, supported my hope theory when he reminded that Brits eat chocolate when they are sick or under the weather. In fact, J.K. Rowling even hints at this cultural tradition in several of her Harry Potter books as Nurse Madam Poppy Pomfrey often gives sick Hogwarts students chocolate to heal them.
Most runners understand the importance of carb loading before a run; however, upon researching this magical chocolaty elixir, I learned the importance of carb and protein loading after a run, which sports drinks simply cannot match. After an intense work-out or a long distance run, your body becomes depleted of glycogens, therefore, it’s important to replenish those lost minerals with some carbs and proteins. The potassium, magnesium and calcium found in an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk offers a substantial amount of minerals needed to rebuild tired muscles and offer some recovery. Water rehydrates while sports drinks replenish fluids and electrolytes, but chocolate milk rehydrates and rebuilds.
But would it work for me? As you may recall, I pulled a quad muscle a couple of weeks ago. I suffered through several short runs until I read David’s chocolate declaration. I decided to test this chocolate milk theory to see if it would help me. After a 3.5 mile last Friday, my left thigh throbbed. I iced it and then drank some chocolate milk. I thought for sure I would be feeling some serious pain the next day or two, and much to my surprise, I was wrong and David’s chocolate theory held true. Now, I am believer and I have been drinking chocolate milk (and even chocolate soy milk) after each run since last Friday.
So, David gets the credit for sharing the benefits of chocolate milk in his Strider e-mail and although it was news to me, it’s been a well known fact in the fitness community for some time. You can read more about the benefits of chocolate milk at ehow, at Medpage Today and CBS news.