Student athletes have many choices to make: which sport to play, what brand of gear to use, what position to play and increasingly, what kind of sports beverage to drink. In fact, sports drinks are one of the most marketed products to young adults.
Student athletes reach for sports drinks to help replenish fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise. However, overconsumption of sports drinks can lead to overweight and obese athletes. This has become such a problem that the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report warning against over-consumption.
The good news is that there is a healthier (and cheaper) choice to be made—chocolate milk! Believe it or not, the childhood favorite provides just the right balance of electrolytes and fluids to help athletes replenish and rehydrate.
In addition to fluids and electrolytes, chocolate milk helps athletes refuel and rebuild tired muscles. 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. Many of the athletes and teams that young athletes admire are opting for chocolate milk over sports drinks.
“Our athletes enjoy drinking chocolate milk after their long and strenuous workouts and baseball practices. Chocolate milk has been important to us and helps the players to replenish with the vitamins they need,” says Elmore County High School head baseball coach Wendell Jackson.
To set your student athlete up for success, keep a gallon of chocolate milk in the fridge at home, talk to your student’s coaches about stocking the weight room or gym with a cooler of chocolate milk and buy shelf-stable single-serve containers for your student to throw in their bag for after practice.
￼Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD, Senior Manager of Public Relations, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc.
Chocolate Banana Frappe
In addition to drinking chocolate milk after workouts, enjoy this refreshing summer drink that features high-protein ingredients such as chocolate milk, 2% milk and Greek yogurt.
1 cup (8 oz) low-fat chocolate milk
1 cup (8 oz) 2% milk
2 (6 oz) containers vanilla
1 large ripe banana, peeled
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup ice cubes
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)
Slice banana and freeze for 30 minutes. Combine milk, yogurt, banana, cocoa powder and ice cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Top with chocolate sprinkles, if desired.
Recipe source: Southeast United Dairy Industry Association