After a long practice under the scorching summer sun, players will typically head for a refreshing drink. Water, or Gatorade perhaps. The University of Washington football team has the usual beverage suspects at their disposal, but they're also trying out something new that you might not expect. Chocolate milk. That's right, chocolate milk. In fact, Washington's players are now required to drink a small carton of fat-free chocolate milk.
The decision to implement the program came after a study last fall from scientists at Indiana University that was published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and was supported in part by the Dairy and Nutrition Council.So, after practices players must drink a fluid-replacement drink such as water or Gatorade and a carton of milk before they can head off the field. To help keep the apprehension at a minimum coach Tyrone Willingham stepped in to drink the soon to be famous combo at the start of practices earlier in the week.
The small study found no significant difference between using a fluid-replacement drink or chocolate milk for athletes following exercise, with dairy folks touting the nutritional benefits of drinking milk -- chocolate or otherwise.
"I check to make sure as much as possible what is going on and what they're going through. There are something's that I don't have to experience because I've already done them, but in this case I hadn't done that. So I wanted to see what it was, the combination, and get a feel for it."It's unclear whether the Huskies will take the milk with them into the regular season, but it obviously should be done. Hopefully they'll win a big enough game this season, and they'll be able to do the traditional Gatorade shower on Coach Willingham. But of course, they'll have their own spin on it - it will be a chocolate milk shower. Now that's something we'd all want to see.