Kids, your parents have always reminded you that drinking your milk at breakfast will help make your bones stronger, but can milk do more than that? You bet! Make sure Mom puts chocolate milk on the grocery list before your next soccer game because, believe it or not, your favorite chocolaty drink has been shown to make your muscles stronger too.
This simple, delicious treat helps your muscles recover from exercise better than other popular sports drinks. Science has shown that drinking low-fat chocolate milk right after an intense game helps your muscles work harder and longer throughout the rest of the day, compared to other drinks like Gatorade, protein shakes, and even water.
During exercise, your muscles use up stored energy, called glycogen. It’s the fuel that keeps your body going. When your muscles start to run out of glycogen, they will be too tired to keep up with the competition. You need to find some way to restore the energy that you used.
Glycogen comes from glucose, a fancy word for the stuff that makes up sugar. Low-fat chocolate milk helps replace your muscles’ missing glycogen from the sugar in the chocolate. The protein (found in all dairy products) helps build muscle. This combination helps your muscles become stronger and gives them enough energy to keep you at the top of your game.
In addition to building muscles, chocolate milk also provides you with nine essential vitamins and minerals that help your body run correctly. Like your parents said, milk really does also help your bones stay strong by providing them with calcium and vitamin D. Stronger bones don’t break as easily, making it less likely for you to be injured when you get fouled.
Remember though to not go too crazy on the chocolate! If you drink more than 16 ounces (or 2 cups) of chocolate milk after working out, your muscles will use the sugar that they need, then your body will turn the extra calories into fat. Tell Mom to choose the low-fat kind and ask her to help you measure out the right amount.
If you tell Mom and Dad about all the great things that chocolate milk can do for you and they still aren’t convinced, remind them that chocolate milk is cheap! It usually costs less than half the price of other recovery drinks and has more benefits. They can even buy low-fat milk of their own to help lose weight, as studies have shown that people who consume the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day lose more pounds than those who drink less.
Good luck in your next game. Let me know how the chocolate milk works out for you!