07 April 2006

Mmmm ... chocolate milk

This story has been percolating (pasteurizing?) for a while yet, and I saw this in the latest Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:
Speaking of strenuous exercise, the perfect drink for an elite cyclist hopint to recover may just be chocolate milk. So say exercise-kinesiology prof Joel Stager and co-workers at Indiana University in Bloomington after a study funded in part by the dairy industry. In three trials run at one-week intervals, nine male cyclists performed a strenuous workout, then drank one of three drinks: standard 2 percent chocolate milk, Gatorade, or Endurox R4. After a rest, the cyclists exercised again, this time to exhaustion. The upshot ... wsa that the moo-juicers could continue cycling about 50 percent longer than those who drank Endurox R4 and about equally as long as the Gatorade-guzzlers.

Now, I don't know the specifics of the study, but one thing jumps out at me right away, besides the sponsor: how did they control for quantities? If it was a calorie-controlled study, i.e., each athlete took in the same number of calories from each drink regardless of "serving size," then the study has promise. But if they went off of serving size only, it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

See, here's the problem: a serving suggestion for Endurox R4 is two scoops in 12oz. of water. (I use 2 scoops in 16oz.) That's 280 calories worth of chunky goodness. To hit that same number of calories in 2% milk would require me to drink nearly 20 ounces! That's not an insignificant amount of pretty thick milk (I drink skim regularly), which would also include about 25% more protein and a good amount of fat than Endurox. And for those around me who know I'm mildly lactose intolerant, that much milk is a death knell ...

(For the curious, to reach the same calorie count would require 44.5 ounces of Gatorade. That's a whole lot of fluid to hit your system all at once!)

So I just figure I'll keep doing what I'm doing. I drink Endurox R4 after my rides. I drink Gatorade during my rides. And on those nights when we have breakfast for dinner, I drink chocolate milk. Maybe I can just save a lot of people some money and just have them study me for a while?

The countdown is on: 24 hours from now, I'll be finishing up my pre-race meal (incidentally, it includes Endurox R4) as we watch hapless Cat. 5s drive their cars with bikes on the roof rack into the overhang at the Hillsboro Free Methodist Church. It happens every year, the crunch of carbon and the snap of aluminum as racers jockey for the best parking spots ... I was able to squeeze my short zone 2 ride in last night before it rained, but succumbed this morning and did my pre-race on the trainer in the laundry room. Not real exciting, but I did get to read the chocolate milk story ... all in all, I feel pretty good, and my 4x15min TT efforts on Wednesday night were a lot better than I thought, once I downloaded the power numbers ... BRING IT ON!!



David Johnsen said...

Kind of funny to see the phrase "chunky goodness" with the title of this blog entry. Nothing good about chunky chocolate milk!

H-R is a great route to ride or race, one of the best in my book (and I mean that literally, of course). Good luck tomorrow. If all goes well, I might be asking you to autograph my copy of "Biking Illinois" -- page 98.

Chris said...

If you've ever had Endurox R4, you'd know what I meant by chunky goodness -- it's not the milk!

David Johnsen said...

I knew what you meant -- it was just a joke about the juxtaposition of the phrases.