What does the most decorated female swimmer in history drink after a tough workout? You got it, low-fat chocolate milk. And now, Katie Ledecky has joined the “BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK” campaign.

How great is Katie, you ask? By the age of 22, she has 3 world records, 5 Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals. That’s awesome by any standard!

In her own words:

“I’m always trying to be faster – even if it’s just by a tenth of a second. I want to see how far I can push myself,” said Ledecky in a statement. “I’ve been drinking chocolate milk for recovery since I was 13, bringing one in a lunch bag with an ice pack to practice. I still drink it on the way home every day. As I have grown and developed as an athlete, I have learned that a lot of things I do outside the pool – like choosing chocolate milk – impact my ability to be my best.”

“Gold medalist Katie Ledecky shares her recovery secret in new BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK campaign.” Credit: Mike Lewis

But, its not just the low-fat chocolate milk that does the trick. You have to eat enough of the right whole, natural foods (protein, carbohydrates and fats), most of the time, for your body to work properly—whether competing, exercising, working, walking or just plain living. Keeping your body in an anabolic state (building up) all the time aids your metabolism, muscle-building, body repair and overall long-term health.

Workout Recovery

The research proves that Katie has made a wise choice for a workout recovery drink. Fancy protein recovery drinks are not mandatory. Low-fat chocolate milk contains many of the B-complex vitamins, phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and has various vitamins and minerals.

According to WebMD:

Low-fat chocolate milk is a better choice than a carbohydrate sports drink for rebuilding and refueling muscles after a tough workout.

The combination of carbohydrates and protein in low-fat chocolate milk appears to be “just right” for refueling weary muscles, says William Lunn, PhD, an exercise scientist at the University of Connecticut.

“It’s not just a dessert item, but it’s very healthy, especially for endurance athletes,” Lunn tells WebMD.

The research involved eight male runners in good physical shape who ate a balanced diet for two weeks. At the end of each week, they took a fast paced, 45-minute run.

Post-exercise muscle biopsies showed increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis (signaling muscle rebuilding) after the milk drink (because of the protein), compared with the carb-only drink.

And, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), athletes need more protein for muscle growth and tissue repair after strenuous workouts.

“Athletes and weight lifters need more to achieve the best results in training……a range of 1.5 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight a day is optimal, ” according to NSCA. This is about twice the protein needs for inactive people.

Like Katie Ledecky, you can rebuild your body better and faster by drinking low-fat chocolate milk after workouts.

Mark Dilworth, BA, LWM at Your Fitness University

Author Details
Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist Your Fitness University
Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and Your Fitness University. Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.