Chocolate Milk for Athletes: why? and how?
The 2014/2015 Utah high school chocolate milk numbers are in, and they are pretty cool…
48% Utah schools participated in the replenish grant program & consumed…
28,753 gallons of milk
(That’s 230,020 pints)
Participating schools earned 60% of state athletic titles
How’s it work?
The Dairy Farmers of Utah offer grant money to Utah high schools to be used for chocolate milk. For the 2014/2015 school year, farmers donated almost $175,000 to the program. So why do farmers do it? Tasting is believing. It’s one thing to read the science about the importance of milk or the benefits of chocolate milk, but having direct access to the product is extremely beneficial. “There’s nothing like a cold pint of chocolate milk after a tough wrestling match,” says dairy farmer and past Utah Ute wrestler, Jeff Hardy. “When students can taste the product and then see the results, we’ve made a real difference.” Utah’s dairy farmers want high school athletes to have access to chocolate milk throughout the school year AND at championship events. So they have instituted two programs to make that happen.
The Replenish Grant is a yearly opportunity open to ALL Utah High schools. Just 48% of high schools participated last year, and yet 60% of the state athletic titles went to that 48%. Over half of Utah high schools have yet to tap into the opportunity and reap the benefits. In August, check our website for application information.
As the baseball team got on the bus after the state championship game, I was met with cheers!! Had a cooler full of Tru Moo waiting for them. Could not have ended better.
– Becky Ottesen, Spanish Fork High
For three years, the Dairy Council of UT/NV has partnered with the Utah High School Activities Association and the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association on our Refuel Program to make chocolate milk THE official beverage of high school sports in our region. We know that chocolate milk is an ideal recovery beverage following activity, and this program is one more way to give athletes free access. Here’s why it’s important: Chocolate milk’s nutrient profile does 3 essential things for athletes after exercise:
Replacing lost fluid after a workout is key to recovery. At 90% water, milk not only delivers needed fluid but so much more…
- Ever wonder how much fluid kids need? These handouts from sport dietitians are a great resource:
Activity takes energy (carbs), and milk naturally contains replenishing carbohydrate in the form of lactose. Chocolate delivers a small amount of added sugar, which is ideal for a recovering body. Simple carbohydrates are absorbed quickly to replenish energy stores.
Hard exercise damages muscle tissue, and protein builds it back up. Getting protein within 30-60 minutes following a workout can reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery.
This grant was fantastic for Roy High School. To be able to give kids that little extra after a hard workout or after playing a game was an absolute blessing. We used it among all the sports, but I really feel that it was very helpful in the success of the football team to win 12 games in a row and 12 games in a season for the first time in the 50 year history of the school.
– Fred Fernandes, Roy High
Farmers will continue to offer both of these opportunities for the 2015/2016 school year, and we look forward to boosting our participation well above the 50% mark.