Background: The efficacy of chocolate milk (CM) as a recovery beverage following a period of increased training duration (ITD) was studied in intercollegiate soccer players.
Methods: 13 subjects completed one week of normal 'baseline' training followed by four days of ITD. After each day of ITD, subjects received either a high-carbohydrate (504 kcal; CHO: 122 g; 2 g Fat) or isocaloric CM (504 kcal; 84 g CHO; 28 g Pro; 7 g Fat) recovery beverage. Serum creatine kinase (CK), myoglobin (Mb), muscle soreness, fatigue ratings and isometric quadriceps force (MVC) were obtained prior to ITD, and following 2- and 4-days of ITD. Performance tests (T-drill, vertical jump) were performed within training sessions. Treatments were administered in a randomly counterbalanced protocol, and subjects repeated the procedures with the alternate beverage following a two-week washout period.
Results: Mean daily training time and HR increased (p < 0.05) between baseline training and ITD, with no differences between treatments. No treatment*time effects were observed for Mb, muscle soreness, fatigue ratings and MVC. However, serum CK was significantly lower (p < 0.05) following four days of ITD with CM (316.9 +/- 188.3 U.L-1) compared to CHO (431.6 +/- 310.8 U.L-1). No treatment differences were observed for the performance tests.
Conclusions: Post-exercise CM provided similar muscle recovery responses to an isocaloric CHO beverage during four-days of ITD. Future studies should investigate if the attenuated CK levels observed with CM have functional significance during more demanding periods of training.