It’s that biennial time, when people all around the world skimp on their own exercise and spend hours sitting on the couch watching people on the television exerting themselves better, faster, stronger than most of us could ever imagine. It’s the Olympics. So far, we’ve cheered on Michael Phelps as he broke unbelievable records, fallen hard for the charming Missy Franklin, spontaneously applauded for Gabby Douglas, and crossed our fingers for our favorite athletes across the board.
The level of physical fitness of Olympians is something we admire, mostly from afar. Their nearly masochistic diligence in training is not a reflection of our own exercise routines, and their ability to continually push themselves into new world records seems almost other-worldly. But this Olympics, we’ve seen something that brings it right back down to earth. Amidst all the strategy of training and supplements, there is a simple energy booster you can find right in your kitchen.
After Jessica Hardy’s Olympic swims, the preferred drink of children all over the world was what she reached for. And Nathan Adrian, another Olympic swimmer, pitches chocolate milk as the “Official Refuel Beverage of USA Swimming.” Pretty strong endorsements for the simple snack-time sip.
And there’s proof to back it up. Beyond providing a Proustian comfort, chocolate milk is a source of carbohydrates, protein, calcium, Vitamins A and D, and trace minerals. After a workout, chocolate milk is a major player in muscle recovery; in fact, athletes who drink chocolate milk have been shown to recover just as quickly after a workout as athletes who drink Gatorade. Chocolate milk may be an even more effective hydrator than sports drinks because they lack the natural proteins and carbohydrates of milk. An added bonus is that chocolate milk just tastes so much better than most energy drinks out there.
So when the Olympics are over and you roust yourself from the sofa once more, consider following that much-needed workout with a cold glass of chocolate milk. It might not be your ticket to Rio in 2016, but this Olympic secret will certainly give your body an extra boost.