The world of sports nutrition is full of different choices of supplements for recovery or performance. Standing out among them due to its simplicity, though, is chocolate milk. Chocolate milk has gained attention in exercise due to its carbohydrate and protein content, but also due to its widespread appeal and affordability.
Now, researchers have found that the answer to the question “does chocolate milk after exercise lead to more effective strength gains than a traditional carbohydrate beverage?” is yes (link to study).
Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin looked specifically at adolescent athletes, a population that could benefit from affordable, effective nutrition solutions. Using a field study approach rather than a laboratory setting helped the researchers create a situation that would mimic real life use of chocolate milk.
They found that adolescents given chocolate milk post-exercise during 5 weeks of strength and conditioning training had greater strength gains for bench press and for a composite strength (bench press + squat) compared to a group receiving a traditional carbohydrate beverage post-exercise.
The link between protein and exercise performance is well-known, but this is one of the first studies showing a direct link between chocolate milk and exercise benefits in an actual field study. With so many supplements competing for attention in the sports nutrition space, many adolescents and casual exercisers can become confused about what is the right solution for them. The findings of this study mean that chocolate milk positioned in the marketplace for exercise could be a familiar solution with a low barrier of entry.