Weird Recovery Methods that Actually Work

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Chocolate Milk
Carolyn Ann Ryan / Getty Images2/5

Chocolate Milk

A tall glass of chocolate milk may not be the first thing you reach for after a long, sweaty run, but your signature drink circa middle school may help you recover better between workouts. Jason Karp, PhD, author of Run Your Fat Off, and a team of University of Indiana researchers conducted a study with nine endurance-trained cyclists, comparing the effects of fluid replacement drinks (i.e., Gatorade), carbohydrate replacement drinks, and low-fat chocolate milk. They found that the athletes had a significantly greater time to exhaustion (TTE) and were able to complete more work during the chocolate milk trial than during the other trials. “Chocolate milk is an excellent post-workout recovery drink because it contains the two most important nutrients you need to recover quickly from workouts: carbohydrate and protein,” Karp says. “Carbohydrate is used to resynthesize the muscle glycogen you used during your workout, and protein is used to repair any microscopic damage to muscle fibers and to synthesize new protein as part of the adaptation process.” 

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