Is Chocolate Milk Better Than a Sports Drink?

A physiologist at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) has found that drinking chocolate milk is better than most sports drinks for athletes who wish to recover shortly after a rigorous practice.

Chocolate milk has a high carbohydrate and protein content, and also replaces fluids lost as sweat.

Joel Stager, a professor in IUB's Department of Kinesiology, first tested chocolate milk on the team of swimmers he coaches, after observing that they were struggling with their twice-a-day practices. Later, he conducted a study involving cyclists in a controlled environment.

He compared chocolate milk to one drink not unlike Gatorade, and also to a carbohydrate-replacement drink similar to Endurox R4. Although Gatorade held its own against chocolate milk after three tries, athletes worked more than 50 percent longer on chocolate milk than on the carbohydrate drink.

Stager said chocolate milk could be particularly helpful for athletes who must endure long, intense, or multiple practices.



Dr. Mercola's Comments:



The correct answer to the title of this post is, of course, neither of them are good for you and both should be avoided. You might call this a trick question.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I saw the headline recommending chocolate milk as a better alternative to teeth-dissolving sports drinks, especially when taking into account all the problems associated with drinking milk.

I was less surprised when I read that the Dairy and Nutrition Council had partially paid for the research. Small wonder they ended up finding a brand, spanking new "benefit" of processed, pasteurized milk.

Organic or not, any milk you'll find in a grocery store is pasteurized, a process that eliminates most all the good bacteria normally present in milk and damages its fragile proteins, making it a far more harmful than beneficial substance for your health.

If you love milk, your healthiest choice is to find a raw milk source near you.

You may not realize that you can now comment AND vote on articles at Vital Votes. Your participation will actually help select the articles that are sent out in this newsletter. And if your comments are good enough they will be posted in the newsletter.

If you aren't registered make sure you do so. Register now at Vital Votes. You have a chance of having your comment posted like Tom from Grandview, Ohio:

"Oh, great!  They've taken a whole food (raw milk) and cooked, squeezed and processed the life out of it. They then added to that another whole food (cocoa) after refining the nutritional benefits out of it. Then they added refined sugar and probably some high fructose corn syrup to make it palatable. Voila! A 'healthy" new sports drink is born! ...

What a crock of cowpatties! The only sport drink one needs while exercising is clean water. If one requires more than that to continue exercising, then perhaps one is exercising beyond one's physical limitations and should stop until properly renourished."

However, another woman from Alabama, after acknowledging the benefits of raw milk, wondered:

"... is milk a better alternative than sports drinks?  As an athlete and natural health enthusiast, this is something I have wondered and suspected for a long time. Sometimes it just is not possible or practical to obtain raw milk ... So after long training sessions or athletic events I need to choose between the most available options, and pick the best one. 

Lately I've been thinking that any milk -- pasteurized or not -- is more nutritious and less harmful to the body than 'engineered' sports drinks.  After all, pasteurized milk is milk, just heated (which, yes, I understand denatures proteins etc.) 

Contrast that to Gatorade, which contains high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, citric acid, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, calcium silicate, coconut oil, brominated vegetable oil, food coloring."

Tom from Grandview, Ohio continued by replying:

"While exercising, your body does not absorb nutrients well ... Unless you are addicted to Ultra-Marathons, and true Iron-man (person) competitions, then all the body really needs (if it has been well trained prior) is  good clean water, preferably mineral water ...

If you find it necessary to push the endurance envelop on occasion try eating a can of Portuguese sardines (true sardines) in olive oil, and wash it down with mineral water. Depending on your ability to handle food while exercising it will do more in the form of nutrition than any fad sports drinks at a very low cost."

Dr. Terry Male from New Brunswick, Canada said regarding the question:

"... it's a valid argument that not everyone can access raw dairy products. I had to really work at it ... [But] as to the article's argument, chocolate milk vs. processed sports drinks, I think neither is a good choice. Chocolate milk is too sweet, contains too many things that your body doesn't need (especially while exercising), and I think it could cause gastric distress if consumed while on a run.

The processed drinks also contain too many things that you don't need (food coloring, preservatives, etc.)."




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