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Chocolate Milk Boosts Exercise Recovery MORE THAN Sports Drinks, Study Finds

An intriguing review of 12 studies comparing the exercise benefits of chocolate milk versus sports drinks has found that chocolate milk does a better job at helping you recover from exercise, the Daily Mail reports. Specifically, the milk allowed athletes to exercise six minutes longer and improved lactic-acid levels, which protect against cramps. Researchers noted that milk is also a good natural source of carbohydrates, proteins — which sports drinks don’t usually contain — fats and electrolytes.

Sports drinks are undeniably popular all over the world and, admittedly, when you’re dehydrated your first inclination may be to reach for one of the hard-to-miss, neon-colored sports drinks that appear on store shelves and in vending machines worldwide. But before you down that drink, remember that pure clean water should always be your No. 1, go-to beverage.

Alternatively, if your workouts or sports activities cause intense sweating and you need to replace electrolytes, you might consider a different beverage — for example, did you know that coconut water is one of the best rehydration drinks on the planet? Coconut water is particularly beneficial if you engage in activities resulting in profuse sweating and is:

  • Rich in natural vitamins (particularly B vitamins), minerals and trace elements, including iodine, manganese, selenium, sulfur and zinc
  • Packed with amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, organic acids and phytonutrients
  • A powerhouse of electrolytes and natural salts, especially magnesium and potassium
  • Light, low-calorie and low in sugar, but pleasantly sweet
  • Full of cytokinins, or plant hormones, which have anti-aging, anti-cancer and anti-thrombolytic effects in humans

When it comes to milk, I’m not against milk (raw, grass fed) or chocolate but I caution you to seriously reconsider before opting for flavored milk of any kind. Aside from the fact that many processed flavored milks often have their beneficial milk fats removed, these flavored products can contain artificial sugars and flavors, including carrageenan, a food additive extracted from seaweed.

While food-grade carrageenan is different from its degraded counterpart, there are still worries that stomach acid could essentially turn food-grade carrageenan into potentially carcinogenic degraded carrageenan once inside the body. It’s also been linked with an increased occurrence of intestinal ulcerations and potentially cancer growths.

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