Sick of drinking flavored water after a long, arduous workout? Two new studies from the University of Texas at Austin show that you can now ditch hilariously-endorsed drinks for one that both seems unhealthy and uncomfortably sloshes around in your stomach. Dr. John Ivy and his team of researchers compared the recovery benefits of drinking a typical carbohydrate beverage with similar calories and ingredients to a sports drink, a low-fat chocolate milkshake, and a calorie-free drink after an exercise session, and found that the athletes who drank the chocolate milkshakes had more endurance and power during their exercise. Move over Twinkie diet, here comes a new challenger.
The experiment consisted of ten trained cyclists riding a bike for 90 minutes at a moderate level, followed by riding ten minutes at a higher intensity. The team found that the cyclists who drank the low-fat chocolate milkshake exercised with the aforementioned greater power and endurance rather than when they drank a calorie-free or carbohydrate beverage. The team also tested 32 cyclists, male and female, by having them take five spinning classes once a week, and providing one of the three drinks after each session. After four-and-a-half weeks, Ivy and his team found that the participants who drank the milkshakes had double the improvement in maximal oxygen intake compared to the carbohydrate and calorie-free drinkers. Ivy’s team also found that the milkshake drinkers also built more muscle and lost more fat than the other drinkers.
As for why the milkshake seems to be the better choice for an exercise beverage:
“We don’t yet understand exactly what mechanism is causing low-fat chocolate milk to give athletes these advantages – that will take more research.
But there’s something in the naturally-occurring protein and carbohydrate mix that offers significant benefits.”
It might sound ridiculous at first, especially due to chocolate milk’s capacity to slosh around inside one’s stomach not seeming like an ideal thing to happen while one’s body just finished bouncing around a gym, but protein is a vital partner in developing one’s body after working out, and milk — whether deliciously chocolate or not — usually contains more protein than flavored water, something evident in the popularity of protein shakes, and their similarity to milkshakes. So, it makes sense that any kind of milk would aid the post-workout period, but one can only assume a protein shake is really the optimal beverage.
(via The Daily Mail)