Alternative to Traditional Chocolate Milk

    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.

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