7 Reasons Why Wrestlers Drink Chocolate Milk | A Look at Scientific Studies

Chances are, your wrestling coach tells you to drink chocolate milk before or after training, or you see commercials telling you that chocolate milk is great for wrestlers. But why? What’s so special about chocolate milk that almost everyone in the wrestling space talks about how beneficial chocolate milk is?

Chocolate milk is good for wrestlers because it provides all the essential nutrients for muscle training and recovery. It provides enough calories from carbohydrates and fats to enhance muscle endurance. Furthermore, it provides the proteins necessary for muscle growth and recovery. Thus, it is a popular drink for wrestlers.

It turns out that science agrees with many of the claims on the benefits of chocolate milk for wrestlers and athletes. Thus, here are seven science-backed claims of chocolate milk’s benefits for wrestlers.

Why is Chocolate Milk Good for Wrestlers?

1. Chocolate Milk Has Proteins for Growth

Chocolate milk has all the amino acids essential for muscle growth and recovery. Thus, it is a popular drink choice for wrestlers.

According to the USDA, milk has about 3.27 grams of protein per 100 grams serving. Thus, milk has been shown as a good protein source.

Research from Foods Journal showed that milk from sheep, cows, and goats shows a high total protein content and is a good source of essential amino acids.

In fact, according to the US Dairy Export Council, milk contains all nine essential amino acids.

Here is a table summary of the essential amino acid content of milk.

Essential Amino Acids (g/100g)Nonfat Dry Milk/Skimmed Milk PowderDry Whole Milk/Whole Milk Powder
Amino acid profile of milk according to the US Dairy Export Council

But why do we need all the 9 essential amino acids?

We need these 9 essential amino acids for muscle growth and recovery.

A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that amino acid supplementation increases lean body mass, basal muscle protein synthesis, and IGF-1 expression.

In simpler terms, having these 9 essential amino acids boosts muscle growth.

2. Chocolate Milk Supplies Energy with Fats and Carbohydrates

Chocolate milk has enough supply of carbohydrates and fats to provide energy for wrestling matches and practice.

According to the University of Rochester, an average 160 lb wrestler consumes 432 calories per hour wrestling.

Wrestlers in a higher weight class might even need more calories.

Thus, we need to have enough calories for wrestling which is why chocolate milk is a great choice.

Chocolate milk has a mix of fats and carbohydrates that can help us exercise longer.

In fact, research has shown that drinking chocolate milk before exercise prolongs exhaustion.

This means more practice, so you’ll get better and last longer in Wrestling matches.

Recommended Read: While we are talking about chocolate milk, how about the foods that can help a wrestler, especially in wrestling matches? Are spaghetti, rice, and bread good food choice for wrestlers? I discussed this in a separate post backed with some scientific papers here: What should wrestlers eat before a match?

Have you wondered why people specify chocolate milk instead of milk? This is because milk also has enough proteins and calories to help in wrestling.

Well, chocolate has a unique property which we will discuss next.

Chocolate plus milk

3. Chocolates May Give a Boost in Performance

Chocolate milk is a great sports drink for wrestlers because chocolates contain epicatechin, which has been shown to reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress and potentially delay fatigue.

A study from BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation suggested that epicatechins polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and thus may attenuate symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage.

This means less recovery time for your muscles. 

But how does epicatechin do that? Well, it increases blood flow.

Epicatechin is a flavanol in cacao beans that has been shown to increase nitric oxide production in the body.

An increase in nitric oxide widens blood vessels, which increases blood flow. That’s why it provides less recovery time since the required nutrients can easily be transported to the muscles.

4. Chocolate Milk Provides Electrolytes for Muscle Performance

Chocolate milk is a rich source of electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which are essential for muscle function.

A study from the European Journal of Fitness, Nutrition and Sports Medicine found that Consuming electrolytes from energy drinks 10-60 minutes before exercise can improve focus, alertness, anaerobic performance, and aerobic exercise performance.

Thus, not only does chocolate milk provide a way to supply calories, but also the electrolytes required for optimal muscle performance.

5. Chocolate Milk may Help Muscles Work Longer

A study from the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, showed that consuming chocolate milk after exercise resulted in higher mixed muscle synthesis or growth.

Not only that, they found that the research subjects’ time to exhaustion was longer with the chocolate milk group.

Chocolate milk provides all the energy required to perform well in wrestling. The more energy stores you have, the better your performance gets.

6. Chocolate Milk Provides Calcium

A research study from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise indicated that Calcium supplementation prevents loss of calcium for sportswomen.

They started the research paper by indicating that Exercise-induced calcium loss from sweat is common for sportswomen, disrupting their calcium balance.

In the study, the researchers also found that calcium supplementation can help mitigate this calcium loss during exercise.

Calcium is crucial as we need it for stronger bones. Thus, getting calcium from Chocolate milk is a good idea.

It is also apparent in science that Calcium is essential for muscle contraction because the muscle fibers responsible for contraction require an increase in the cytosolic levels of calcium.

This coincides with the electrolyte content of chocolate milk.

7. Chocolate milk can be a good pre-workout and post-workout drink

Chocolate milk can function both as a pre-workout and a post-workout drink.

For one, it provides enough calories and electrolytes for the muscle to function correctly. Thus, it is a great pre-workout.

Chocolate milk is also a good post-workout as it has all the essential amino acids to speed up muscle recovery.

As you can see, chocolate milk isn’t only a tasty drink for wrestlers. It provides a lot of nutrients to enhance performance and recovery, which is why it is often a wrestler’s preferred drink.


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