Runners know recovery is a crucial component of an effective training regimen. After long runs and tough exercise, runners need to recover and refuel their bodies with the proper nutrients.

With so many options, it can be difficult to determine which post-workout fuel is the best. With more than 20 studies that support the benefits of recovering with the high-quality protein and nutrients in lowfat chocolate milk, it’s no surprise that runners have been trusting chocolate milk as their go-to recovery beverage for years.

Here's why runners choose chocolate milk.

1. The carbs and protein to refuel

Carbohydrates and protein are two essential nutrients needed to recover from a tough workout, and chocolate milk has both. More specifically, chocolate milk has the right 3:1 carb-to-protein ratio that is scientifically proven to help refuel exhausted muscles.

During an intense workout, the body uses glycogen – sugar the body has processed and stored from food – as fuel. One study found that when compared to a carbohydrate-only drink that had the same amount of calories, drinking 16 ounces of fat free chocolate milk led to more glycogen in muscles 30 and 60 minutes post-exercise.

2. Electrolytes to replenish

Along with fluids, runners lose critical nutrients during their strenuous sweat sessions. Chocolate milk is a natural source of electrolytes that help replenish those nutrients lost in sweat - including potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium – plus fluids to help rehydrate. Calcium is an especially important electrolyte for runners, as research suggests rigorous exercise may cause substantial calcium loss.

3. It can help with performance

Recovering with chocolate milk may help athletes boost their performance in workouts later that same day. One study found drinking fat free chocolate milk after a hard workout helped runners reduce muscle breakdown, build more muscle, and run longer a few hours later. In this study, runners who recovered with chocolate milk, on average, ran 23% longer and built 38% more muscle than runners who recovered with a carbohydrate-only sports drink with the same amount of calories.

With high-quality, natural protein to build lean muscle, fluids to rehydrate, electrolytes to replenish what you lose in sweat, calcium for strong bones, and a carb-to-protein ratio shown to refuel exhausted muscles, chocolate milk provides well-rounded recovery benefits for runners. For further evidence that athletes have been trusting chocolate milk for years, check out the video below, or visit builtwithchocolatemilk.com.

Ready to incorporate chocolate milk into your post-workout recovery routine? Try a lowfat chocolate milk at the finish line of the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose marathon, and refuel and recover with the BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK team.