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Chocolate milk as good as 'sports drink'

SEATTLE, June 4 (UPI) -- Low-fat chocolate milk was found to provide equal or possibly superior muscle recovery compared to a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at James Madison University in Seattle said the study involved 13 male college soccer players who participated in "normal" training for one week, then were given low-fat chocolate milk or a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage daily after intense training for four days.

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After a two-week break, the athletes went through a second round of "normal" training, followed by four-day intensified training to compare their recovery experiences following each beverage -- with the same amount of calories.

All of the athletes increased their daily training times during the intensified training, regardless of post-exercise beverage yet after two and four days of intensified training, chocolate milk drinkers had significantly lower levels of creatine kinase -- an indicator of muscle damage -- compared to when they drank the carbohydrate beverage.

The study, published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found no differences between the two beverages in effects on, soccer-specific performance tests, subjective ratings of muscle soreness, mental and physical fatigue and other measures of muscle strength.

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