Chocolate milk and recovery

Hi Lee,

Can you share any good foods, drinks or shake recipes that you may use to speed muscle recovery when riding many days back to back? I typically try and drink milk or chocolate milk right after I ride, and generally eat high protein and high fiber foods.

Thanks a bunch and ride on!

Jon in Vermont

Hey Jon,

Riding many days back to back? I have no idea what you are talking about.


I don’t do “fun” rides as often as I used to, but I do punish myself pretty much every day. Excess work, violent workouts, constant stress, inadequate sleep. Every day. So I guess I’m a decent case study in recovery. (Although I do feel beat down right now.)

Technologically advanced nutritional products claim to make you bigger, stronger, faster … sooner! If you enjoy and believe in those concoctions, that’s great, but I don’t think your body needs technology.

In my somewhat educated and extremely practical opinion, the ideal recovery food has these traits:

• It’s convenient and available right after your ride. The sooner you fill the tanks, the better.

• It contains the right balance of nutrients. Lots of carbs, some protein and various micronutrients.

• It boosts your confidence. You know it’s doing the right stuff. You’re not eating or drinking … you’re replenishing.

• It tastes good.

Based on those criteria, chocolate milk is a pretty darn good recovery drink. As a matter of fact, a study (download results) showed chocolate milk aided post-exercise recovery as effectively as Gatorade and Endurox R4. (Interesting note: That study was supported in part by the Dairy and Nutrition Council, Inc.)

After a ride, eat what you like. Peanut butter and jelly, chicken burrito, fruit and jerky, whatever. A Snickers bar probably isn’t terrible.

Ride hard. Have fun. Eat well. Sleep enough. Repeat.

That’s my take. What do y’all think?


Know more. Have more fun!

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