London--Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps drank chocolate milk after each event at the 2008 Olympic games. Studies just released show that drinking milk can help muscles recover faster after exercise according to the August edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.
Researchers found that the proteins and carbohydrates found in milk helped repair exercise-induced muscle damage faster than any other supplement, including water or popular sport drinks.
In tests 24 healthy Brittish male athletes drank semi-skimmed milk, a milk-based carbohydrate-protein shake, water and a sports drink after working out. The study found that the athletes that chose chocolate milk recovered faster with less muscle soreness.
“This study supports the growing volume of literature which suggests that milk is a powerful post exercise recovery aid,” said Dr Judith Bryans, a registered nutritionist and director of The Dairy Council in the UK.
This is'nt the first study to look at the benefits of milk consumption; A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism studied a group of cyclists that worked out until they literally dropped, they then rested four hours before cycling again to exhaustion.
During rest they drank either chocolate milk, which has an optimal ratio of 4:1 for carbohydrates to protein, an isotonic sports drink or high protein sport drinks. The research showed that the carbohydrates and protein ratio in milk worked better together, because carbs replace energy while protein rebuilds muscle.
Scientists think that chocolate milk is better for recovery than plain milk because of those extra sugars. Also cyclists that had chocolate milk rode 50 per cent longer than those who drank the protein drink. At the Beijing Olympic Games chocolate milk was used by high profile athletes like gold-medalist Michael Phelps and Boise's Kristen Armstrong.