Carbohydrate-Protein Intake and Recovery from Endurance Exercise: Is Chocolate Milk the Answer?

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Postexercise carbohydrate intake has been shown to augment recovery from heavy aerobic exercise. The effects of carbohydrate and protein coingestion (CHO + Pro) have been investigated more recently, including the potential influences of chocolate milk. Some studies report that CHO + Pro beverages (including chocolate milk) enhance subsequent exercise performance versus carbohydrate beverages, although others have reported no positive effects. The putative efficacy of CHO + Pro could be due to influences on glycogen resynthesis, protein turnover, rehydration, attenuations in muscle disruption, or perhaps a combination of these factors. However, there are inconsistencies in the literature regarding the effects of CHO + Pro on these factors, and the mechanisms explaining potential influences of CHO + Pro are not defined clearly. Further research is required to address these limitations, but present evidence suggests that CHO + Pro beverages may positively influence recovery under some exercise conditions, and chocolate milk is likely a good recovery beverage for lactose-tolerant endurance athletes.

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