Alternative to Traditional Chocolate Milk

March 19, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarathon & Beyond welcomes guest blogger, ultrarunner, and Wellness Coach, Sparkle Paterson, to our website. Sparkle offers an interesting alternative to traditional chocolate milk as a recovery drink.

Chocolate milk seems to be a popular recovery drink after a race or a long run. I could never really understand it as I am not a milk drinker, nor do I want artificial flavors and loads of sugar after a workout.

Most of the chocolate milks out there are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, some as high as 33 grams of sugar. In addition, most contain lots of sodium, some as high as 230 grams. That is why I started thinking of different ways to have healthy chocolate milk.

Here is what I came up with. I begin with 1 cup of non-sweetened coconut or almond milk and add 1-2 tablespoons of Dagoba organic cacao powder, a super food with great antioxidants. I then add 3 tablespoons of chia seeds which have fiber, protein, and omega-3, which we all know is a super anti-inflammatory. Sometimes, I like to add some honey which is a slow-burning sugar and is high in vitamin B. For a little extra flavor, you can also include a bit of pure vanilla. And, finally, I top if off with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Did you know that just ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol?  Studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. Its noted qualities include anti-clotting, arthritis relief, anti-bacterial, and it is high in sources of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Now that you have all your ingredients, it is best to make your chocolate milk sport drink the night before your long run or race. The chia seeds will expand during the night making it a rich, thick drink. This is one of my favorites, and I make it often.  Don’t be afraid to try some of your own special ingredients such as pure maple syrup instead of honey, or you can even blend in a banana. You will love it, and it is a terrific source of energy before a run or after.

You can read more about Sparkle and get lots of healthy recipes by visiting her website.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 25, 2012

Part of our mission at Marathon & Beyond is to provide practical advice on running or preparing to run marathons and ultradistances. Our readers are healthy and active runners who set an example for both adults and kids. From time to time, we hear of a program that is worth passing along to our readers.

Today, a third of American children are overweight or obese, posing a serious health threat to the future of our kids. This September, in support of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel is issuing a national challenge to runners everywhere to help reverse this trend: Download Saucony Run4Good™, the running industry’s first-ever iPhone app dedicated to battling childhood obesity and inspiring people to run. With every mile, runners will be earning money for community youth running programs, putting kids back on the fast track to health.

Five non-profit organizations were recently awarded a grant from the Saucony Run For Good Foundation™. For the next five months, beginning in September, a community mileage challenge will be set, and one of the recent award winners will be profiled. If the community mileage goal is reached during that month, Saucony will double its contribution to the featured organization.

For more information on how the Saucony Run For Good Foundation™ can help local youth communities nationwide, visit

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