When I was a kid, I used to drink chocolate milk all the time. Then I grew up, and stopped drinking it for the most part.
(Confession: I often order chocolate milk if we go out to breakfast. WHAT?? Don’t judge.)
Recently, chocolate milk has been big news. Not only is it a great way to get kids to get their dairy servings in (I couldn’t stand white milk when I was a kid!), but it is also a FANTASTIC post-workout drink–the best, actually–because it contains the protein, carbs, electrolytes, fluids, calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, and other nutrients you need to refuel muscles, build muscle and help reduce exercise-induced damage, and hydrate and replenish electrolytes.
So we adults have permission–in fact, it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED–to drink chocolate milk after strenuous exercise! Great news, right?
Currently, I take Zumba class three mornings each week (and will be adding something new on three more mornings very soon: more on that later!). I don’t eat breakfast before I go because Joy Bauer, the nutritionist on the Today Show (Love her!), told me (and technically the rest of America) that unless you are doing a really, really, really strenuous workout first thing in the morning, it’s a little counterproductive to eat beforehand. The calorie burn is better if you eat (or drink, in the case of chocolate milk) afterwards because your muscles are warmed up and working, getting that metabolism going.
Another great post-workout snack that I enjoy (but not on the same day as chocolate milk!) is a smoothie made with whey protein. Whey protein is great for building muscle and lean body mass, improving body composition, and enhancing athletic performance. Since it’s soluble, it gets absorbed by the body quickly and gets right to work on rebuilding and repairing lean muscle tissue. Whey protein is gluten-free, and is a rich source of branched chain amino acids that the body needs. You can mix whey protein with water if you want, but I’m not crazy about doing that so I make smoothies.
My go-to recipe for a whey protein smoothie is this:
A handful of frozen strawberries (great source of Vitamin C and antioxidants!)
A small banana (Vitamin B6, fiber, Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium!)
1/3 can of LITE coconut milk
1 scoop of chocolate whey protein (see note about this below…)
Blend and enjoy. It’s THAT easy.
Regarding the whey protein: when you are trying this for the first time and don’t have a clue what brand to buy (there are lots of good ones!), go to your local health food/vitamin specialty shop where the staff is trained to answer questions about this. The whey protein I buy has (on the side of the package) a recommended serving size of THREE scoops, because it is made for body builders. Since I am not a body builder and have no desire to bulk up, I only use one scoop in my smoothies. See how that could get complicated? If you make sure you’re talking to someone who knows what they’re doing, you’ll be fine.
I have a great package of goodies up for grabs, courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council. It contains some workout stuff (a hat and socks), recipes, some whey protein samples, a $15 iTunes gift card, a shaker cup, a cute little bag, a pencil, AND a Cuisinart Hand Blender, which makes the act of creating smoothies way easier than you could imagine because clean-up is super fast.
All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment below telling me what your favorite workout is. You can get an extra entry by tweeting about this giveaway (including the link to this post) and then leave an extra comment telling me you did that. You have until next Tuesday morning May 29 at 7:00 a.m. Central to enter. I will choose the winner via a random drawing. If you win, you have until Thursday May 31 to respond to my email with your mailing address or I will have to pick another winner.
Disclosure: I received the same products that are included in the bundle I’m giving away from the Midwest Dairy Council (and no other compensation) for writing this post. All opinions are mine. Though I am an ACE-certified group fitness instructor, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. Please consult the experts in your life for guidance on an exercise or nutrition program.
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Oh, would I love an immersion blender. On a related note, can I say my favorite workout is mixing up cookie dough? I almost always doing it by hand with a wooden spoon cuz I’m old skool.
Other than that, I’m mostly a walker, which is real an ideal exercise. I don’t know if you caught when I shared this on FB, but I think you’ll enjoy this informative interview http://www.npr.org/2012/05/09/152336802/stand-up-walk-around-even-just-for-20-minutes
p.s. it includes a mention of a post-workout chocolate milk–but she says you need to do something more strenuous than working to “earn” the treat. Dang.
Also (is this considered a blog post yet?) have you had Trader’s Point Creamery chocolate milk? You can get it at Whole Foods. It’s amazingly creamy and delicious. You can visit the farm where it’s made in Indiana, too.
I’m a walker (or, walk-kuh if you’re from Jersey) and then swim almost every day in the summer (a.k.a. sum-muh) and also ask for chocolate milk for breakfast. Except on Sundays…then, it’s mimosa time! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Tweet, tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/thisfullhouse/status/205067095346659328
Love walking on the treadmill at the gym…not in our basement. *sigh*
I tweeted. https://twitter.com/#!/Mom24_4evermom/status/205071040483831808
I walk in the pool for 20 minutes at a time depending on the weather 5 days a week.
Zumba is my workout of choice, but I haven’t been back in quite some time (pretty soon though). 🙂
Love to walk while listening to podcasts or Pandora!
Just tonight I did some 12 oz curls!
I love zumba…but my free working out only consists of walking…and trying to get my jogging groove back 🙂
Tweet tweet! https://twitter.com/#!/melisalw/statuses/205129173524676608
I was going to come by to exclaim that chocolate milk was a great post workout drink and then you said it. Then I was going to tell you about whey shakes, lol. I make mine with one frozen banana, one scoop of chocolate powder and milk…the frozen banana, no lie, makes it taste and feel like its made with ice cream!!
PS. My favorite workout is hiking outside or the elliptical inside…but only if I have Mmm Bop on my ipod. 🙂
Not sure why my site isn’t showing…but you know me, right?
Zumba made it in a post! Yeah!! Hmm–I wonder what is getting added those other 3 mornings :). And I would love an immersion blender :).
Totally need the cow socks. Too cute 🙂 I love chocolate milk and did not know I needed to drink it after my strenuous treadmill workout. Hmm. If I won, I could add some ice-cream to my chocolate milk and mix it up with the little hand blender, and if Liz were visiting, we could add kaluha to it….. Oh the ideas, I must win 🙂
My tweet: Love cows, love working out? See how they fit together with a cool giveaway….then I connected it back to the post….. 🙂
I like Zumba but my favorite workout is still step aerobics. What can I say? The 90’s were my heyday.
Ooh, as a Wisconsinite, I do love my dairy. And I love the Guernsey cows! Down here in Oklahoma we have Jerseys; just not the same.
My most very favorite ever workout is definitely kickboxing. It has all the elements (cardio, strength training and butt kicking) all wrapped up into one, and I just found the Jillian Michaels kickboxing DVD so I can get back into the swing (kick?) of things after a sidelining injury. Yay!
I would love this. I love you. Carry on.
I love swimming. I use to be a competitive swimmer WAY BACK IN THE DAY and I love it for the overall workout.
I also make my boys drink a protein shake made with whey and soy milk every morning and if they have some sort of sports practice or event, right after. This helps because I have a 12 year old who is 6’1 and weighs about 100 pounds soaking wet – he’s not down growing and I can’t afford for him to consume that much protein in animal form to assist in his growth, thus protein shakes! They are a life saver. This is also a good routine for my 7 year old because he is getting the protein needed to assist in his growth as well.
I love to walk around the neighborhood with my kids.
oh you know the answer to this one…spinning FTW! I haven’t done it in a few days and my body’s already starting to atrophy I think…
After my morning walks I often drink a glass of chocolate Instant Breakfast. Now I won’t feel guilty about that.
My favorite workouts are my photo hikes. Gets me outside and in the fresh air.
I am definitely a walker — although I do enjoy doing some weight training at the gym with my husband, who is so awesomely patient with me as I stumble along… We also do a lot of outdoorsy stuff, fly fishing, hiking, camping, salmon fishing, etc., which is pretty workout-worthy as well.
Tweet tweet! : https://twitter.com/meyousaucepan/status/205388533110812673
Swimming! I swam competitively in high school, and then have been swimming for exercise since then. It’s the ONLY athletic activity I’m good at. I can’t run worth a lick, but I can swim forever.
And I got my tweet on for you.
I am currently in love with Party Kickboxing
OMG – how do you not eat before Zumba? If I don’t eat before, I feel like I am going to pass out and die during class? 🙂 (I also take a 9:45 class and I’m up at 6. That may have something to do with that)
Right now I am loving Popup pilates by Blogilates. I googled her on you tube and its a quick workout I can do anywhere with just a mat and my ipad! Definitely becoming my go to workout when I’m exhausted but want to do something.
I had forgotten about the chocolate milk post workout benefits. Thank you for the reminder!
I would love to start making more shakes and smoothies. I do best at pilates and yoga. I’d like to maybe start running again, but for now it’s pilates via exercise tv!
I am all about tennis. When I’m chasing the ball I forget that I’m working out and chocolate milk is great in the middle of a match. The protein keeps me going after the sugar boost fades.
I give my kiddos chocolate milk all the time too simply because they refuse to drink milk. The ped told me to do this years ago and it works for us!
I love a good bike ride 🙂
My workout is rollerblading.