Fat-free chocolate milk beat out carbohydrate sports drinks at helping to rebuild and refuel muscles after exercise, researchers report.
The combination of carbohydrates and protein in low-fat chocolate milk appears to be "just right" for refueling weary muscles, says William Lunn, PhD, an exercise scientist at the University of Connecticut.
"It's not just a dessert item, but it's very healthy, especially for endurance athletes," Lunn tells WebMD.
Post-exercise muscle biopsies showed increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis -- a sign that muscles were better able to rebuild -- after the milk drink, compared with the carb-only beverage.
Additionally, drinking fat-free chocolate milk led to a higher concentration of glycogen, or muscle fuel, in muscles 30 and 60 minutes after exercise, compared with the sports drink. Replenishing glycogen after exercise helps future performance, Lunn says.
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