Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Sep 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Chocolate Milk & Endurance Exercise Recovery: Protein Balance, Glycogen & Performance.

Lunn WR, Pasiakos SM, Colletto MR, Karfonta KE, Carbone JW, Anderson JM, Rodriguez NR.


1Exercise Science Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT, Departments of 2Nutritional Sciences and 3Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, and 4School of Health Sciences, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI.


This study examined effects of fat-free chocolate milk consumption on kinetic and cellular markers of protein turnover, muscle glycogen, and performance during recovery from endurance exercise.

Male runners participated in 2 trials separated by 1 wk and consumed either fat-free chocolate milk (MILK) or a non-nitrogenous, isocaloric, carbohydrate control beverage (CON) after a 45-min run at 65% of VO2peak. Postexercise muscle protein fractional synthetic rate (FSR) and whole body protein turnover were determined during 3 h of recovery using muscle biopsies and primed, constant infusions of L-[ring-H5]phenylalanine and L-[1-C]leucine, respectively. Phosphorylation of translational signaling proteins and activity of proteolytic molecules were determined using Western blotting and enzymatic activity assays. Muscle glycogen was quantified and treadmill time to exhaustion (TTE) was determined following the recovery period.

Consuming MILK postexercise resulted in higher mixed muscle FSR with lower whole body proteolysis and synthesis compared to CON ((p ? 0.05). Phosphorylation of eIF4E-BP1 and FOXO3a was higher for MILK (p<0.01), whereas Akt phosphorylation was lower during recovery regardless of dietary treatment (p<0.05). Enzymatic activity assays indicated lower caspase-3 activity during recovery for MILK (p<0.01) and higher 26S proteasome activity for CON (p<0.01). Muscle glycogen was not affected by either dietary treatment; however, TTE was greater for MILK than CON (p<0.05). CONCLUSION:
The effects of consumption of fat-free chocolate milk following endurance exercise on FSR, signaling molecules of skeletal muscle protein turnover, leucine kinetics, and performance measures suggest unique benefits of milk compared to a carbohydrate only beverage.

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