width=300The next time you reach out for the one score and ten health drinks after an intense workout, pause and think about on-shelf products loaded with artificial colors and sugar. It is truly what the doctor ordered for assisting muscle recovery or has some smart salesman sold you a dummy?

Recent research seems to suggest that a glass of chocolate milk could be a better option to any of the commercial sports drinks on offer. Two studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's 57th Annual Meeting in Baltimore recently indicate that chocolate milk offers a distinct recovery advantage to repair and rebuild muscles compared to the carbohydrate sports drinks.

A report published in Infowebs.com quotes Dr. William Lunn, who worked with Dr. Nancy Rodriguez on both these research projects conducted at the University of Connecticut laboratory, it is always a good option for athletes to have additional options for recovery drinks.

He goes on to explain the research project that involved eight male runners in good training shape who completed two runs across two weeks. Each run, which lasted 45minutes, involved jogging and sprinting at about 65 percent of the men's maximum levels. The runners ate a balanced diet that had been chalked out to match individual needs.

After the runs, the athletes drank 16 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk or the same quality of a carbohydrate-only beverage. Muscle biopsy samples taken over a three-hour recovery period showed that those who drank the chocolate milk had increased markers of muscle protein repair.

The second study used the same eight runners who were subjected to a series of tests after 30 and 60 minutes of drinking the fat-free chocolate milk or the sports drink. Again the chocolate milk was found to be superior to the sports drink in helping to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles.

In the past, there have been research reports about the health benefits of chocolates. These include lowering of blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. Of course, it is worth mentioning that the latest research has been funded by the National Dairy Council and the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board of the United States.