Chocolate Milk for Recovery

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A recovery drink is an important part of Nutrient Timing. I've experimented with a number of options over the years, and this is my current concoction. It seems to work well, it's tasty and settles well.

1 Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder. This is pure cocoa, not 'hot chocolate mix' and has no added sugar. I use Now Organic Cocoa ( as it is reasonably priced online, and has 21.5 - 107.5 mg of cocoa flavanols (polyphenols). It is the flavanols that are believed to have cancer preventative properties, and I have a history of cancer in my family. If you use a different cocoa, make sure it is not ' alkalinized', 'processed with alkaloids' or 'Dutch processed', which are names for the process that removes the flavanols.
  • 1 Scoop of Protein powder. I use 'Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Powder' as it is the cheapest good quality Protein powder I can find. I use the vanilla flavor so that I can mix it with this drink or Gatorade. I get mine from
  • 2 tablespoons of plain, non-fat yogurt. The bacteria in yogurt help keep the digestive system healthy. The yogurt adds a very slight tang, but does not impact the flavor significantly.
  • 1 raw egg. An egg provides some extra Protein, a variety of fats and vitamins. I use cage free eggs for moral reasons.
  • 2 cups fat free milk. This provides more Protein and some very slow to digest carbohydrates.

2 Variations

I will sometimes use Casein Protein powder rather than whey as it is slower digesting. I have also started adding a tablespoon of flax seed oil, which blends in surprisingly well.

3 Preparation

I mix this with a hand held blender. In cold weather I will heat the milk first, but you have to be careful not to cook the egg or kill the yogurt. As a bonus, you can soak spices in the milk for extra flavor. I use cinnamon sticks, cardamom, root ginger and black pepper.

4 Nutrition

This provides per serving

Calories 432
Calories from Fat 83
Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 307mg
Sodium 429mg
Total Carbohydrates 40g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 31g
Protein 54g

The cholesterol is high, which may bother some people, but the evidence for the health risks of cholesterol seem to be diminishing.

More details at

5 Post Race Recovery

After a race I will usually take something simpler and faster acting. I will mix 1-2 scoops of Protein with 16-32oz Gatorade. The combination of fast carbohydrate and Protein seems to work well.

6 Experiments with Branch Chain Amino Acids

My recovery drink takes me a while to make, and is slower to digest. As a result, I have been trying out a drink that has a tablespoon of branch chain amino acids (BCAA) with two tablespoons of Gatorade powder, taken immediately after a run. I mix up the BCAA drink and take it with me, caching it where I will finish my run. I can then take the BCAA as soon as I finish, or sometimes just before my cool down. I think this is helping my recovery slightly, but not dramatically.