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Should You Drink Chocolate Milk After a Workout?

The short answer from a sports nutrition expert

Is Chocolate Milk Your Best Option After a Workout?

Q: Is chocolate milk your best option for muscle recovery after a hard workout?

A: A liquid recovery drink is usually a good idea, including chocolate milk. Liquids are quickly digested and absorbed, which helps enhance recovery. Chocolate milk has the required ratio of 3-4 grams carbohydrate to 1 gram protein. And as a complete protein, it provides the essential amino acids your body can’t make.

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But you have other options besides chocolate milk when it comes to similar recovery fuel:

  • 1-2 cups chocolate soy milk. This option is helpful when avoiding lactose. (Cow’s and soy milk are complete proteins. Almond and coconut milk are not.)
  • Homemade smoothie. Try 4 ounces of plain Greek yogurt (10 grams protein) + 1 cup strawberries +½ banana +1 teaspoon honey with ice, with or without water.
  • Bowl of cereal. Top 1 cup whole-grain cereal with 1 cup cow’s milk or soy milk.

— Dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD.

Learn more about our editorial process.

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