WARM­ING WIN­TER FIT­NESS

For­get flu­o­res­cent en­ergy drinks. Take your win­ter car­dio to boil­ing point with a com­fort­ing hot choco­late

Men's Health (UK) - - Agenda -

Liquid re­cov­ery is big busi­ness: by 2023, the sports drink mar­ket is ex­pected to be worth £142m in the UK alone. But there’s still some­thing about down­ing a can of flu­o­res­cent trop­i­cal fizz af­ter a long win­ter run that leaves us a lit­tle cold. Thank­fully, sci­en­tists at Shahid Sadoughi Univer­sity in Iran have found a cream-topped al­ter­na­tive that’ll warm your soul.

Af­ter re­view­ing the data from 12 stud­ies, they con­cluded that you’re bet­ter off pour­ing your­self a mug of hot choco­late (mixed with milk – in­stant doesn’t count). It con­tains the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of car­bo­hy­drates, elec­trolytes, pro­teins, flavonoids, fats and vitamins for op­ti­mum re­pair. The re­searchers com­pared key re­cov­ery mark­ers, such as heart rate, per­ceived rate of ex­er­tion and lev­els of cramp- caus­ing lac­tic acid, af­ter sub­jects per­formed cy­cling and run­ning tests. They re­vealed choco­late milk and sports drinks to be equally ef­fec­tive for re­cov­ery in most cases. How­ever, they noted that reg­u­lar hot choco­late drinkers took six min­utes longer to reach ex­haus­tion dur­ing their high-in­ten­sity work­outs.

It might sound too good to be true, yet the science is sat­is­fy­ingly sim­ple. While most sports drinks con­tain carbs to re­plen­ish fuel, as well as elec­trolytes to re­stock those lost dur­ing ex­er­cise and coun­ter­act fluid re­ten­tion, they lack the pro­tein con­tent needed for ef­fec­tive mus­cle re­pair – so you’re more likely to feel sore and slug­gish the day af­ter a long-dis­tance run. If you want to bol­ster your en­durance in the darker months, get ready with the mini marsh­mal­lows.

SWEETEN THE DEAL TO EN­JOY SPEED­IER GAINS

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