The best workout drink?
In my previous post, I talked about the importance of selecting good meats in diet to maximize your workouts.  Equally important, if not more, is proper hydration.  Humans can live weeks without food, but only last a few days at most without water.  A strenuous workout can cost almost 1.5 liters of water in sweat.

So what's the best to drink while working out?  Everyone knows about Gatorade, and water is always a good fallback.  Interestingly enough, chocolate milk has been shown to be a good choice!  (CBS News)  In fact, Michael Phelps can be seen drinking Carnation Instant Breakfast between races. 

Sports drinks include carbs to include the glycogen loss associated with heavy exercise.  Milk contains these carbs, but also includes proteins, which research shows increases glycogen uptake.  "The findings suggest that chocolate milk has an optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help refuel tired muscles," according to researcher Joel M. Stager, PhD, Indiana University.

According to the study, athletes replenishing with chocolate milk were able to go 50% longer on a stationary bike test after they had been worked to exhaustion.

Some newer energy drinks, such as Endurox, attempt to mimic the carb/protein ratios of chocolate milk, but fared poorly in performance testing.  Researcher Jeanne D. Johnston, MA, says it may have to do with the different composition of the sugars in the milk. Another theory is that the sugars in the milk may be better absorbed in the gut than those in the Endurox.

This is enough to convince me to at least try drinking chocolate during my next workout!


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