Sports Nutrition isn’t exactly a topic I generally write about, but in this scenario I was too tempted not too. Why: because people for some time have been raving all about the wonders of chocolate milk being the best post-workout recovery drink. In fact a recent study coming out of the University of Indiana found that chocolate milk in fact was beating out water and even Gatorade due to its perfect 4:1 ratio of carbs and protein. So does this mean you should be running out to purchase a carton of chocolate moo?
You see after a workout our body looks to replenish its glycogen stores (sugar) in the muscle and start the process of protein synthesis (muscle rebuilding). This is really important because it preps the body for its next workout. But is chocolate milk really what its cracked up to be?
Chocolate Milk: The alkaline missing link
Far too often I’ve seen athletes who guzzle down sports drinks, Muscle Milk, or eat massive steak not realizing what their body also needs to recover: alkalinity. You see exercise is a form of productive stress and creates acidity in the body. So to properly recover we need a good dose of greens. One of my favourites to add into my post-workout smoothie is E3Live, which is a blue-green algae that helps to build blood, maintain our weight, increases energy and overall well-being. And as a side note, when people claim that milk is a great calcium source, they’re right! The question is not how much calcium it has, but rather how much of it is being assimilated into the system. You see calcium requires an alkaline environment to be properly absorbed and milk due to its high phosphorus content, is highly acid. This makes your pee a rich source of calcium along with your arteries that can slowly begin to clog up with calcium deposits.
Chocolate Milk: Allergen and inflammation in a cup
If you love your chocolate milk, I don’t blame you! I used to as well (especially after a spicy meal). Thing is 70% of the human population lacks the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose (milk sugar) in milk. This makes it difficult to absorb and promotes an autoimmune response like inflammation. But wait, “I drink lactose-free milk Melissa! Huzzah!” Don’t get too excited buttercup because casein (the milky portion) can still be an allergen for many along with the modified cornstarch found in many dairy beverages. And don’t forget that refined sugar promotes an inflammatory response and chocolate milk is chalked full of the stuff.
Chocolate Milk: The pus & hormone filled “beverage”…not milk
There are plenty of people I see leaving gyms clutching those annoying-to-open paper cartons of chocolate moo not realizing that one cup of milk contains up to 500 pus cells. 500! Not to mention the hormones, antibiotics and you’re on a fast track to gynecomastia or in other words, man boobs. And lastly, take a look at your dairy fridge next time you’re shopping. Chocolate milk is now being called, “chocolate milk beverage” by brands like Beatrice. Here’s a listing of the ingredients many of which are pro-inflammatory:
- partly skimmed milk (vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3)
- modified milk ingredients
- reconstituted skim milk powder
- dipotassium phosphate
- modified corn starch
- cellulose gum
- guar gum
- artificial flavour
Does this sound like it came from a cow to you?
So what’s a girl to do after getting her boob sweat on? Here’s my solution:
Chocolate Protein Alkaline Smoothie
1 cup almond milk (fresh, homemade)
1 scoop Vega One Chocolate
1 organic banana
Spinach to stuff Vitamix
1 oz E3Live
¼ tsp cinnamon
Optional: For a festive feel, add in one drop of organic essential peppermint oil
Blend and enjoy.
Here you’ll receive a great combination of carbs to protein, plus get an alkaline dose with the E3Live and spinach. Add in that anti-inflammatory cinnamon and you’ll be able to regulate your blood sugar on top of that protein for hours to come.
So in the meantime, what’s your favourite post-workout recovery drink? How do you replenish?