Milk is the natural sports drink

Chocolate milk is a natural option for a recovery beverage.

Before you reach for that sports drink to refuel after physical activity, consider grabbing ice cold milk instead. Michigan State University Extension and National Dairy Council suggest “Milk: Nature’s Sports Drink.” Milk provides key nutrients to your body so it’s a great way to refuel. The best part is that you don’t have to stick with white milk, you can choose chocolate milk as your recovery beverage.Milk is the natural sports drink

According to, athletes should refuel the following, twenty minutes to two hours following physical activity:

  • Electrolytes: Electrolytes are salts and minerals that help your body maintain fluid balance and perform at its best. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes like sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
  • Protein: Protein reduces muscle breakdown and stimulates growth. It also works with carbohydrates to help replenish the energy stored in your muscles.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbs are an athlete’s preferred source of energy. After a long practice or race your muscle glycogen (the back-up fuel storage in your muscles) is depleted.

Chocolate milk, according to National Dairy Council’s Think Your Drink, contains carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium. These are all mentioned above as the items that are needed to refuel the body after physical activity. In addition to the vitamins and minerals listed, milk also contains potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin and niacin. In total, that’s nine essential nutrients your body needs. These nutrients are not added to milk, they occur in milk naturally.

Rehydrating after physical activity is also important. Chocolate milk will also replenish fluids lost during physical activity because it is 90 percent water. This can help to prevent dehydration.

Although you may not want to drink chocolate milk during physical activity because it may upset your stomach, it is the perfect drink after physical activity. After physical activity, choose a drink that will help you rehydrate and refuel. Reach for nature’s sports drink, chocolate milk.

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