"Chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink. It is a 'real food', has the right carb (carbohydrate) to protein ratio athletes need and it is less expensive than many alternatives," explained Joel Stager from Indiana University.
When trained swimmers recovered with chocolate milk after an exhaustive swim, they swam faster in time trials later that same day, the findings showed.
On average, they shaved off 2.1 seconds per 200 yard swim, and 0.5 seconds per 75 yard sprint, compared to when they recovered with a traditional carbohydrate sports drink or calorie-free beverage.
Previous studies have shown benefits of chocolate milk for cyclists, runners and soccer players.
The study is the first to test the benefits of chocolate milk in swimmers, and included six division one collegiate swimmers performing a muscle fuel (glycogen) depleting swim bout of 60 x 100 yards followed by five hours of recovery for three consecutive weeks.