(Family Features) Between sports practices, training, games and tournaments, teen athletes endure a lot of stress on their bodies. While some parents know real dairy milk is a nutritious option for growing kids, many don’t realize that chocolate milk has nutritional benefits, too – especially when it comes to exercise recovery.
According to a first-of-its-kind study from the University of Texas at Austin, recovering with low-fat chocolate milk as part of a tough training routine could help teen athletes get stronger. The study included more than 100 high school athletes entering grades 9-12 who were enrolled in a five-week training program involving training four days a week. Some students recovered with chocolate milk and others recovered with a sports drink with the same amount of carbohydrates but no protein.
Researchers found that students who recovered with chocolate milk had greater strength gains compared to those who recovered with sports drinks. In fact, the chocolate milk group bench-pressed an average of 3.5% more at the end of the program than at the beginning, whereas teens who recovered with sports drinks actually decreased their bench-press weight by close to the same amount, around 3.2%. Additionally, those who recovered with chocolate milk improved in squat strength by nearly twice as much as those who consumed sports drinks for post-workout recovery, lifting an average of 15% more weight (compared to about 8% more weight) by the program’s end.
On top of high-quality protein to help build muscle, each 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk has carbohydrates to help bodies refuel; fluids and electrolytes to help rehydrate; calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus to build and maintain strong bones; vitamin A to support a healthy immune system and B vitamins to help bodies convert food into energy.
Top all that off with the taste kids love, and chocolate milk is an easy way for teens to get the nutrition they need to be their best, in athletics and beyond.
To learn more about the science supporting the benefits of chocolate milk for recovery, visit BuiltWithChocolateMilk.com.