Once again milk is in the news. Back in the July 2006 issue of the WoW What’s Up Newsletter we mentioned a study that was published in the American College of Sports Medicine Journal identifying milk as an ideal post-workout food for building muscle. Then, in our September 2006 issue we reminded you that milk also provides the brain with a surge of tryptophan which is a building block for serotonin – a feel-good chemical neurotransmitter. We suggested that everyone finish off class with a small cup of hot chocolate.

Today in the Globe and Mail, there is an article that cites a study completed by McMaster University researchers confirming that milk consumed after a strength workout will help people gain more muscle and lose more fat than people who drink a sports drink at the end of a workout.

This particular study did not focus on aerobic exercise but the lead researcher is quoted as saying that other research has pointed to the benefits of milk as a good post-aerobic workout fuel. And, get this, particularly chocolate milk! So, again, why not stay after class for a small hot chocolate?

I love this. Together with the the study that promotes caffeine and exercise together as a way to ward off skin cancer, life as a power walker can’t get any better!

We now have scientifically-based, fuelling justification for our post-workout socials. We should all stay after class at the coffee shop to maximize our muscle building. Morning walkers should gather afterward for caffeine. A latte might be the ideal way to combine the benefits of caffeine and milk!! Or, better yet, perhaps we should make that a mocha? In an evening class? Avoid a caffeine overdose, if you want to get a good night’s sleep and order the hot chocolate!

If there’s any bad news in any of this, it’s that I have not seen any studies promoting whipped cream as a topper.

On a personal note, many of you know that I hate to miss a post-workout social opportunity. I have been known to “double fist” it after morning classes with a latte for my hit of caffeine and an herbal tea for hydration. In the evening, I often order a small skim milk hot chocolate and a chamomile tea.

I’d love to hear about your milk, caffeine and chocolate preferences!