"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Science of Chocolate Milk!

If you happened to read the novel that was my first blog post on this site, then you already know that I am the unofficial national spokesperson for chocolate milk (CM).  I was introduced to it as a recovery drink during my marathon training and still can't believe how much I had been missing out on.

First, you have to know how unlikely it is that I am the one promoting CM for run recovery.  I rarely drank milk as a kid. Rather, I preferred Tang, the drink of astronauts.  In fact, it was likely 30+ years ago that I had my last leche, the Jr. High cafeteria carton variety.  I also really like my PowerAde.  It's cheaper than Gatorade and tastes just as good.  So when a fellow runner suggested CM, I turned my nose and thought "not a chance."

Then I started to read more and more about the recovery benefits that CM provided.  On blogs similar to this and in article after article, I was seeing the same conclusions.  And since I was serious about the training, I figured I would at least try it.  Try it I did, and I am hooked for life.  It is delicious and better yet, it is the perfect post-run beverage.  But why?  What does science say about CM that makes it the preferred choice.  The following bullet points will give you the general idea as I understand it:

  • Rehydration:  It's an excellent source for replenishing fluids.  It is basically water, but better. It is loaded with electrolytes; magnesium, calcium and potassium.  
  • Refuel & Rebuild Muscles: The optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein, for slowing the breakdown of fatigued muscle fibers and rebuilding lean muscle, is 4 (carb) to 1 (pro).  CM possesses this exact ratio, other sports drinks do not.  The protein benefits alone are significant.
  • Recovery: The sugar make-up in chocolate helps to rebuild glycogen levels depleted with exercise.  This replacement is critical to coming back strong on your next training run. 
  • Bonus: It's more economical than the alternatives.  A gallon of Costco skim will last a week or two. A bottle of syrup will last months.  
Study after study confirms the positive effect that this wonder drink has on runners, cyclists and swimmers.  I am a believer.  Within the first hour following mid-to-long distance runs it is critical to begin recovery.  Your next run will thank you.  As will your legs days later that use to ache a bit more after heavy milage.

There you have it.  I know, I know, it doesn't really sound like something you want to drink following a 6 mile run in 95º weather and sweat dripping down your face.  But trust me, it is awesome.  Take it from Mr. Anti-Milk guy, if you will follow these simple instructions, you will not regret it: 
  1. Put a large 16 - 20 oz cup in the freezer before you go.  
  2. Run like the wind. 
  3. Return, take cup from freezer and pour in skim milk (Note: Skim provides the same benefits and you don't need any unnecessary fat from whole)
  4. Stir in 2 Tablespoons of Hershey's Syrup (Note: Go with reduced fat here as well). 
  5. Enjoy! 
I think I might just go make me a glass right now.  Because, as I like to say, "If milk does a body good, then chocolate milk does a body gooder!"  Cheers. 


  1. The advertising salesman in me can see a whole new niche that the milk industry has maybe been missing out on in the past. "Hi my name is Bruce Jenner. You may know me as a reality tv star, but I am from a small liberal arts college in Iowa and went on the become the greatest decathalete ever. How did I accomplish this you ask? Chocalate Milk."