There was a time when chocolate milk was the go to recovery drink for athletes. And it is still a staple for many athletes from a wide range of sports. I will agree that it is extremely convenient, but I will argue that most things that are very convenient have superior options. I will also agree that the macronutrient content of chocolate milk is decent in the context of replenishment immediately post exercise. But a simple shaker cup with 5 ingredients in it can make you a much superior concoction.
First let’s talk a bit about chocolate milk . . . . It is a pasteurized dairy product and that makes it one of the most common allergens among North Americans. This means that although not everyone gets bloating, gas or more severe reactions from consuming it, a good portion of us would do better without it. This includes me – I don’t get any really obvious adverse reactions, but with even the slightest bit of lactose or casein or some of the other constituents I get an almost immediate build up of mucus in my sinuses which I need to discharge. This tells me that I am not digesting it well. Since I found this out many years ago I avoid pretty much all dairy, but enjoy the odd bit of nice cheese or bite of ice cream now and again. You certainly won’t see me trucking 4L jugs of milk and tubs of yogurt out of the grocery store though. Here is a chart that outlines some of the key things that are healthful in raw dairy and explains what happens when the products is pasteurized.
Side Note: I do believe that raw dairy is a healthful substance and years ago I even owned a share in a cow and therefore got raw milk of my own on a weekly basis. I have never been so mucusy (new word) in all my life and that was when I truly realized I couldn’t/shouldn’t consume dairy.
Yes dairy has calcium and other minerals in it but those same minerals are plentiful in a diet that is rich in vegetables, high quality proteins, high quality fats/oils, fruits, nuts & seeds, AND complimented with a smart supplement regime. I strongly feel that calcium absorption from whole, unprocessed, unpasteurized foods is a superior way to meet your calcium needs. I am aim for the most nutrient dense foods all the time and dairy doesn’t make the cut for me.
The following recipe provides your body with superior macronutrients, in a better ratio and it is also more cost effective than chocolate milk:
- 10-20g Whey Protein* (I use Isolate, this brand: http://www.balanceyourlifestyle.net/index.html)
- 250-400ml purified water (or unsweetened nut milk if you prefer creamier texture)
- 1.0-1.5 Tbls Raw Unpasteurized Honey
- 0.5-1.0 Tbls UDOs 3-6-9 Oil
- 1/4tsp or 2 caps opened up of Recovery XS
*If you choose not to consume whey then I recommend a fermented, sprouted rice protein powder and that you add extra BCAAs.
Put all those in a shaker cup, shake vigorously, store in your car or gym bag, do workout, shake vigorously again and sip over 5-10min (no need to chug it!)
Here are some key points as to why this is a superior option to chocolate milk:
- Whey Isolate has highest Biological Value known
- High quality whey also has a range of other health benefits including those from the active Immuno-globulins, Alpha-lactoalbumin and Beta-lactoglobulin
- Raw Honey is as natural a form of fast absorbing carbs as you can get, and it has enzymes, vitamins and minerals
- UDOs is a great high omega-3 blend AND it tastes great when mixed with the other ingredients
- Recovery XS is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, builder, healer, and much much more
Of course this amount of food does not constitute a meal, it is just something simple, delicious and quite nutritious for you to help meet your biological demands immediately post exercise. I recommend you use this mixture if you are not ending your workout at home (swimming pool, trail, gym, etc.), and you use it to tide you over until you get home and whip up a fantastic post workout smoothie. The post workout smoothie is where the real recovery food magic starts, and I will go over this approach and provide some recipes in another post.
In conclusion, I want people to take this post as some food for thought and as something to consider next time you prepare your post workout snack. Always consider your long term health!