To maximize training quality, athletes have sought nutritional supplements that optimize recovery. This study compared chocolate milk (CHOC) with a carbohydrate replacement beverage (CRB) as a recovery aid after intense exercise, regarding performance and muscle damage markers in trained cyclists. Ten regional-level cyclists and triathletes (maximal oxygen uptake 55.2 +/- 7.2 mL.kg(-1).min(-1)) completed a high-intensity intermittent exercise protocol, then 15-18 h later performed a performance trial at 85% of maximal oxygen uptake to exhaustion. Participants consumed 1.0 g carbohydrate.kg-1.h-1 of a randomly assigned isocaloric beverage (CHOC or CRB) after the first high-intensity intermittent exercise session. The same protocol was repeated 1 week later with the other beverage. A 1-way repeated measures analysis of variance revealed no significant difference (p = 0.91) between trials for time to exhaustion at 85% of maximal oxygen uptake (CHOC 13 +/- 10.2 min, CRB 13.5 +/- 8.9 min). The change in creatine kinase (CK) was significantly (p < 0.05) greater in the CRB trial than in the CHOC trial (increase CHOC 27.9 +/- 134.8 U.L(-1), CRB 211.9 +/- 192.5 U.L(-1)), with differences not significant for CK levels before the second exercise session (CHOC 394.8 +/- 166.1 U.L(-1), CRB 489.1 +/- 264.4 U.L(-1)) between the 2 trials. These findings indicate no difference between CHOC and this commercial beverage as potential recovery aids for cyclists between intense workouts.