At some point you've probably heard that chocolate milk makes a great, inexpensive, and easy-to-find recovery drink. That's because (low-fat) chocolate milk has that 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio and provides fluids for post-workout rehydration. If you're going to choose this as your go-to recovery drink, plan on drinking enough to get 1-1.5 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight immediately after exercise and again 2 hours later.
When it's cold outside and you're not limited to convenience store recovery drinks, here is an idea to kick up your post-workout chocolate recovery drink!
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon hot water
1 cup heated milk of choice*
Sugar to taste
Vanilla extract to taste
Pinch of salt on top
*Choose oat, soy, low-fat dairy, hemp, or rice milk for the highest carb content, but dairy and soy milk will provide the most protein at 7-8 grams protein per cup.
You'll likely still need some additional carbohydrates and protein to meet your post-workout recovery targets (1 gram carb per kilogram of body weight) so I recommend pairing your hot cocoa with some warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon toast, or a bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup and a drizzle of nut butter or tahini.