Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Drink? Food for Thought.

Chocolate milk has been getting a lot of hype for being a very effective recovery drink after exercise.

Here’s an article about it (from a study conducted at Indiana U): Click here!

I think it’s worth noting 2 things:
1) the study that Karp conducted consisted of a sample group of 9 (yes, 9, not 100, not 1000 but 9…) elite cyclists.
I think that’s a pretty small population upon which to base a conclusion but the dairy board is jumping on this bandwagon and marketing chocolate milk like it’s the best thing since sliced bread;

2) the research was funded by the Dairy and Nutrition Council.

Then, couple #2 with this:
…Industry funding of nutrition-related scientific articles may bias conclusions in favor of sponsors’ products, with potentially significant implications for public health.  That is backed up here.

My point? I have several:
– I’m not against drinking chocolate milk as a recovery drink BUT…make sure you’ve earned it. You better be busting your hump like those cyclists for at least an hour at 80% of your max heart rate before you even think about chugging some of this. 30 mins of activity at 60% of your max heart rate earns you water, not chocolate milk.
– Always (did I say always?) look at the source of a study (who’s funding it? It’s funny how the conclusions favour their product…)
– Always look at the size of the sample population that was tested.  A massive anti-vaccination movement against the MMR vaccine occurred because a study conducted by Dr. Andrew Wakefield tested 12 kids in England (some of which already had pre-existing health conditions) and “found” that autism was caused by the MMR vaccine. 12 kids. Some with pre-existing health conditions. That is not a clean sample group upon which to make these type of conclusions, in my opinion.

If you’re in doubt about food related matters, find a dietitian (www.dietitians.ca) and ask them, or check with a personal trainer to see what kind of information s/he may have on the subject.

References:
Karp study info here.
Wakefield info here.

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