Chocolate Milk After A Workout

Hey friends! What the week, eh? I love the holiday season! And I love kicking it up a notch in areas of life that matter.

P.s. I have joined the Dedicated December (thanks to Janetha), so it’s been quite the month so far focusing on fitness. I love it! On that front, I too have ‘kicked’ it up (as I challenged all of us to do so, remember?!).

Here’s my *check-in* : While teaching BodyPUMP yesterday I added weight to particularly hard squats, back, triceps, and shoulder tracks. It was awesome! It’s empowering to not only be able to lift weights but to lift (pretty) heavy weight for such a long time (none of those tracks were shorter than 5:10 minutes)!

{For those of you that want to know the weight selection was– Squats : 60 lbs, Back: 45 lbs (!!!), Triceps: 30 lbs, Shoulders, 20 lbs for plate work}

What do I do right after I lift, you ask?? It has to do with chocolate……

……I drink reduced-fat chocolate milk.


And for good reason(s) too. I notice a huge difference on days where I lift and don’t drink chocolate milk as compared to lifting days when I do drink chocolate milk (which is, thankfully, much more often!)


Chocolate Milk

Before I explain, let me tell you that I am a person who has never loved the taste of milk. To me, milk was just an avenue to eat cereal and devour granola. I had no idea there were other ‘options’ out there until I lived on my own during college! Once I discovered soy milk & found I liked it, I started to buy it.

I like the taste of almond milk the best-now-, so that’s what I usually go with.

Still, to this day I hardly drink milk-type drinks as *drinks* per say, but I use them in recipes, in cereal bowls (duh!), and as post-recovery drinks, shakes, and smoothies.

**{I am also very adamant about the point that hardly any one “needs” milk in the quantities suggested by the USDA, and am wary of almost any milk study because of the fact that the dairy council secretly funds most of those studies. However, with chocolate milk, because of the benefits shown in studies NOT funded by the dairy council or the U.S government, I decided to try it out myself.}

chocolate milk! in a handy child-sized drinkable cup. Don't judge.

Chocolate milk caught the eye of researchers (one of them being a college professor of mine) because the drink naturally has the perfect ratio of carbs to protein found to be best for recovery from strenuous exercise. Cool, eh?

Chocolate Milk After A Workout

When we pump iron we do crazy things to those muscle cells of ours (i.e. break them down). We of course want our exercise to pay off, so it is VERY crucial to treat our bodies well right after a lifting session (or other hard exercise routines). The muscles best recover when the muscle cells can be refueled quickly & efficiently. And WE are happiest when the muscle cells are rebuilt & replenished to form lean muscles.

So here is the answer to both: drink a drink that will help you do it ALL right after you’re done working out.

Um, yes please.

That would be chocolate milk that I am talking about :)

I decided I would try it out as an experiment on myself (I had heard this research way back in my undergrad days in 04-07, but never did anything about it!!).

So for the last few months (late-August to now) I have faithfully been drinking about 8-ounces of reduced-fat chocolate milk right after every BodyPUMP class I taught or took, and after any strenuous lifting session, HIIT cardio, or circuit training. {8-ounces – 16-ounces has been shown to have the most benefit in the time frame of 40 minutes within end of exercise bout. More or less ounces has not shown much difference.)

right after teaching BodyPUMP--with my choc milk-- don't mind the hair. hah.

In those months I’ve been able to increase my weight selection on the bar in BodyPUMP (while teaching it) by about 1/3-1/2!! I have not had a single injury (which is kind of a miracle, considering). And I have never been too tired to do a workout. (Remember I take a major rest day 1 day per week which is also key, but this was held constant throughout the past several years, so we can disregard that confounding factor). And I hardly do yoga or stretch as much as I should (once again, considering my fitness schedule).

The only time I was crazy sore andhardlycouldwalk was right after Thanksgiving when I taught BodyPUMP after 8 days of not doing that type of exercise and had not drunk chocolate milk after those two sessions.


Say what you want but I’ve recently received these comments from gym goers: “you look so skinny,” “you can lift so much,” “you’re a beast,” “you are seriously fit,” and another instructor who teaches in another state and came to a class I taught while visiting told me,”I’ve never seen an instructor lift as much as you did while teaching.” And my clothes fit better, I feel awesome, and I can dance as much as I want. Score.

I’m not saying all of this to boast, I am just illustrating that it is NOT me alone. I seriously believe that drinking chocolate milk after my workouts has helped so much in recovery, replenishment, weight loss (not intentional), and rebuilding stronger muscle making me leaner, fitter, and well, yes, stronger.

Plus, it is like a meal right away! And lifting (ask my husband. I practically bite his head off if he delays me from my food. Hah. Sad but true.)

Team Refuel advocates this drink all the time –olympians and athletes who drink it regularaly-check out their website!

The Benefits of Chocolate Milk After A Workout

  • Helps to build muscle
  • Replenishes muscle “fuel”
  • Helps to maintain lean muscle
  • Aides in subsequent performance

From the same medicalnewsarticle that I got those four outlined facts from, I read this: “[Chocolate] Milk also provides fluids for rehydration and electrolytes, including potassium, calcium and magnesium lost in sweat, that both recreational exercisers and elite athletes need to replace after strenuous activity. Plus, chocolate milk is naturally nutrient-rich with the advantage of additional nutrients not found in most traditional sports drinks. Penny-for-penny, no other post-exercise drink contains the full range of vitamins and minerals found in chocolate milk.” (source, emphasis added)

Uh save money while aiding my fitness goals? I’ll take it! No fancy schmancy drinks for this wallet πŸ˜‰


Well, that pretty much sums it up. I drink it because it not only tastes good but it does my body good. Woot.

I do drink chocolate milk that is made from a local dairy (and they treat the cows right, etc., etc.), but you could make your own as well. And yes you can substitute soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, and whatever milk you come up with, but you probably won’t get the same benefit of the perfect ratio found only in chocolate milk.

This all just reiterates what I mentioned on Tuesday–protein fat and carbs are key to a meal or snack. Guess what chocolate milk has in it?

you don't have to give your right arm to pay for recovery drinks! woot.

I rest my case.

And with that I am off to dance! And then some more BodyPUMP tonight. How did I get so lucky again?! #IlovewhatIdo

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am thankful for chocolate milk. Read above to see why (sarcastic laugh).
  2. I am super grateful for our new sheets set. I feel like I am sleeping in a teddy bear! Awesomesauce.
  3. I am really feeling grateful for the new RAM my hubby bought me for my birthday. My macbookpro is so much faster now! (he did have to explain to me what RAM is….but still! hah)

Let’s hear it–are YOU a chocolate milk drinker?? Why or Why not?? What of this info did YOU find most fascinating?? What are YOU thankful for today??

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  1. i love chocolate milk but do try to stay away from it due to it’s high caloric count and my inability to have portion control. but i do love how you drink it from a sippy cup in your car! πŸ˜‰ haha. you just maaaaaaaaaay have convinced to go buy a jug of chocolate milk due to all of it’s benefits! (WOW! that many? seriously? now that’s a good reason to drink it!) today i’m thankful for all of the ‘stuff’ we have. some families are not so lucky…

    • I am a nerd, I know–sippy cup, REAlly?! Hah. SO I understand about the caloric thing–that’s prob why I never tried in undergrad when I heard all the science on it. Whoops. Major boo-boo. It rocks my world every time. And it is only 1/3 of the calories of what I burn, so no biggie there. TRue though, that it is about portions–I could chug a gallon, but I don’t.

      Restraint, baby :)

      SO true–we’re totally blessed!

      • Russell says:

        I probably need to research more, but I’m in week 10 of a workout session. After being over weight for so long, I’m finally doing something about it. I’ve cut my calorie intake down to 1,700 per day and exercise for 40 minutes, 6 days a week. As a result I’ve lost 23 pounds, so adding CM to my diet concerns me a little. But anything to help these old muscles would be great!!!

  2. I have never liked plain milk myself. I forced myself to drink it while I was pregnant because I felt I needed to for the baby : )

    My son attends karate 3x per week and does a pretty intence workout, I think i’m going to have him have chocolate milk after…thanks!

  3. I’ve never really been much of a chocolate milk drinker, mostly because of the calorie content. But NOW my health habits and views have completely changed, so I’m stoked to get on the chocolate milk bandwagon! I totally agree with all you’ve said, and I’m loving the research behind it. I LOVE chocolate milk, so I have no reason to not drink the stuff after an intense workout.

    Today I am thankful for the furnace that keeps our home warm. It has been SO chilly the past few days!

    • TRUE–Read my comment above to Linz. :)

      THe science behind it all blows my mind. SO freakin’ cool. WHo knew, right?!

      Oh yeah, gotta love the furnace.

  4. caroline says:

    I love hot chocolate but have never really liked drinking cold chocolate milk.

    I am thankful for a warm house!

  5. Is it only normal chocolate milk that’s beneficial? I can’t drink regular or soy milk, so I drink almond milk. And does it have to be chocolate (not that i dont LOVE chocolate milk, but i’m avoiding added sugars!)

    • Unfortunately, no. It is the exact ratio of carbs and the certain protein in milk that creates such a dynamic duo–so any substitutions would not work. Good luck with finals!

    • Instead of the chocolate milk just have a protein shake with some quick digesting carbs after lifting weights. Sugars post-workout are the only time they are beneficial to your body- your muscles need the protein and carbs post-workout!

  6. I love hot chocolate milk! Does that count? =) What about Hot chocolate water? Probably not… love the sippy cup Annette!

  7. I’ve always wondered if this chocolate milk thing after a workout was true!
    I was a little sceptic (all the sugar, and I am trying to do low sugar – so used low sugar whey) but now you are making me want to go for it after boot camp! :) I love chocolate milk!

  8. So glad you clarified. I was always sceptic of that due to the sugar… glad you clarified though. Next time I’ll grab a chocolate milk after boot camp!

  9. You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write.
    The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  10. Read more news regarding the chocolate benefits and I think the matter that has been published in this article seems true in many ways. Anyways sincere thanks fallen from my part for devoting such informations in this site.Its really incredible!


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  7. work from home nz

    Chocolate Milk After A Workout | Recovery Drink | Post Workout | Refuel | BodyPUMP | Enjoy Your Healthy Life



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