Lowfat chocolate milk contains high-quality protein to help repair and rebuild muscles after strenuous exercise.
Several studies have found that subjects who drank regular or flavored milk after a rigorous workout experienced less exercise-induced muscle damage than those who drank typical sports drinks or water.1, 2
- In one recent study, post-exercise muscle biopsies in eight moderately trained male runners showed enhanced skeletal muscle protein synthesis after drinking 16 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk compared to when they drank a carbohydrate-only sports beverage with the same amount of calories. This enhancement is a sign that muscles were better able to repair and rebuild.3
- In one study, healthy untrained volunteers were randomly assigned to receive a drink containing either different types of milk protein – casein, whey protein or placebo one-hour after performing a bout of resistance training. Consumption of both types of milk protein were found to bring about a similar positive net muscle protein balance, indicating that whole protein consumption can stimulate muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise which over time could lead to increased muscle size and strength.4
- Researchers have also hypothesized that a combination of "slow" and "fast" proteins like casein and whey, both found in dairy milk, would be most effective for building muscle.
Eight volunteers drank fluid milk or a soy protein beverage – equal in protein, carbohydrates, fat and calories – after a bout of weight lifting. The researchers found that while both protein beverages (soy or milk) resulted in a positive net muscle protein balance and more muscle protein synthesis, milk consumption after exercise resulted in a greater net muscle protein balance, and 34 percent more muscle protein synthesis compared to soy.5
1 Cockburn E, Hayes PR, French DN, Stevenson E, St Clair Gibson A. Acute milk-based protein-CHO supplementation attenuates exercise-induced muscle damage. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism. 2008;33:775-783.
2 Cockburn E, Stevenson E, Hayes PR, Robson-Ansley P, Howatson G, Effect of milk-based carbohydrate-protein supplement timing on the attenuation of exercise-induced muscular damage. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 2010;35:270-277.
3 Lunn WR, Colletto MR, Karfonta KE, Anderson JM, Pasiakos SM, Ferrando AA, Wolfe RR, Rodriguez NR. Chocolate milk consumption following endurance exercise affects skeletal muscle protein fractional synthetic rate and intracellular signaling. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2010;42:S48.
4 Tipton K, Elliott T, Cree M, Wolf S, Sanford A, Wolfe R. Ingestion of casein and whey proteins result in muscle anabolism after resistance exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2004;36: 2073-2081.
5 Wilkinson S, Tarnopolsky M, MacDonald M, MacDonald J, Armstrong D, Phillips S. Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;85:1031–40.