4 top chocolate milk drinks for post-run recovery

Chocolate milk has long been touted as the ideal recovery drink. The combination of fluid, protein and carbohydrate is just what your body needs to refuel post run while its calcium and vitamin D supports bone health. A study from Southern Connecticut State University compared the performance of runners who refuelled using either chocolate milk or a carbohydrate-only drink over two separate trials. Results showed that both drinks effectively replenished muscle glycogen but those who drank chocolate milk also had markers of increased muscle synthesis (rebuilding) indicating better recovery. To prove the point, in the second trial, individuals who drank the chocolate milk lasted significantly longer in the endurance test.

But not all chocolate milks are created equal. Different products can offer varying benefits for runners so choose one that meets your needs.

Best for after a long run: For Goodness Shakes Recovery

For Goodness Shakes Recovery is made from a combination of semi skimmed and skimmed milk and contains a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein. It is specifically designed to support muscle health and restore energy after longer runs. Due to its higher carb content, save this for runs of an hour plus.

Tasting notes: An intensely chocolatey flavour and the sweetest of all brands tested.

£1.75 per 475ml bottle from Ocado.

Per 475ml: 299 cals, 50g carbs and 16g protein.

Best for when you don’t have a fridge: BAM

BAM’s natural chocolate milk can be kept at room temperature until opened making it a great option for when you need a speedy refuel. Made with whole milk and naturally sweetened with honey.

Tasting notes: A subtle chocolate flavour with a lighter, milky consistency.

£1.50 per 330ml carton from Sainsbury's.

Per 330ml: 326 cals, 35g carbs and 11g protein.

Best for non-dairy drinkers: Rebel Kitchen

Rebel Kitchen’s delicious chocolate drink contains just four ingredients – water, coconut milk, date syrup and cacao. It’s contains less protein than the dairy brands so save this for shorter runs.

£1.25 per 250ml carton from Goodness Direct.

Tasting notes: A slight hint of coconut but just as rich and creamy as any dairy milk.

Per 250ml: 130 cals, 21g carbs and 1.5g protein.

Best if you’re watching your weight: Daioni

Daioni’s organic semi skimmed milk is produced by Welsh dairy farmers. It contains less than 5% added sugar yet is still rich in protein meaning it will fill you up and keep you satisfied.

Tasting notes: Smooth and chocolately without being overly sweet.

95p per 250ml carton from Ocado.

Per 250ml: 179 cals, 26g carbs and 9.3g protein.