While the Colbert Report is a comedy show, it typically features real (if often odd) news. This morning (I don’t stay up late enough to watch the show at night) I saw an episode in which Colbert noted that chocolate milk has been found to be as good as sports drinks. Of course, this is not a new claim. Back in 2006 there was a small study that supported this claim. I also recall that a study of sports drinks done years ago included Yoo Hoo (apparently as something of a joke). It seems that Yoo Hoo did better than the sports drinks.
While it might seem odd that chocolate milk (and Yoo Hoo) would be better than special formulated sports drinks, it actually makes sense. After all, most sports drinks work by providing fluids and calories. Chocolate milk does just that, plus the milk actually has a decent amount of nutritional value. Interestingly, many protein shake products are based on milk proteins.
Whenever I’ve felt a bit run down from working out, I’d go and buy a bottle of chocolate milk and drink it, despite the mocking that I would sometimes receive for drinking a kid’s drink. It always made me feel much better. the drink, not the mocking, of course. I had initially assumed it was mostly psychological (I really like chocolate milk) but, on reflection, realized that the milk has sugar, chocolate and other stuff that can restore energy. Apparently, I was ahead of my time once more.
While chocolate milk is a good sports drink, it does have some obvious problems. First, people often find it harder to keep milk down when exercising. Second, chocolate milk is not the sort of thing you want warming up in your sports bottle as you bike or run. Third, spilling milk over yourself and your clothes is even worse than getting sports drinks on you.