In a sport where seconds and even tenths of a second can make a big difference and intense practice routines are the norm, Indiana University researchers found that when collegiate, trained swimmers recovered with chocolate milk after an exhaustive swim, they swam faster in time trials later that same day.
On average, they shaved off 2.1 seconds per 200 yard swim, and 0.5 seconds per 75 yard sprint, compared to when they recovered with a traditional carbohydrate sports drink or calorie-free beverage.
"Chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink. It's a 'real food,' has the right carb to protein ratio athletes need and it's less expensive than many alternatives," Joel Stager, PhD, lead researcher at Indiana University said.
"From cyclists to runners to soccer players, there's a strong body of research supporting the benefits of recovering with chocolate milk. Now, our research suggests these same benefits extend to swimmers - a sport that relies on quick recovery for multiple races within a single day," he said.