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Kelsey Dow, Robert Pritchett, Karen Roemer and Kelly Pritchett

Chocolate milk is an effective recovery beverage following endurance exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine its efficacy, compared to a traditional sports drink, for recovery from intermittent, tournament-style exercise through measures of performance, perception, and rehydration. On 2 days, 7 days apart, female collegiate volleyball players completed an exercise session, rested for 2 h, and repeated the exercise. Participants consumed one of two recovery beverages in a randomized, counterbalanced crossover design. The volume of chocolate milk (CM) was calculated to meet the post-exercise carbohydrate recommendation (1.0 g carbohydrate·kg body weight−1·h−1), and the sports drink (carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage; CE) was matched for volume. The beverages had similar effects on performance and perception variables; no significant differences were noted between treatments. Total urine volume collected over the 2-h recovery period was significantly lower for CM than CE (CM: M = 217, SD = 115 ml vs. CE: M = 412, SD = 245 ml; Z = 2.60, p = .009; r = −.58), and when total fluid consumed during recovery was compared to urine output as a percent retained, a significant difference was seen between CM and CE (CM: 79.7% vs. CE: 61.4%; t[9] = −3.34, p = .009; d = 1.06). Thus, it was concluded that chocolate milk is as effective as a traditional sports drink for females recovering from intermittent exercise with a short (2 h) recovery period, and that chocolate milk may be more beneficial than a sports drink for achieving rehydration post-exercise.