After running the BolderBoulder this past Memorial Day, I patiently waited in line to receive my swag bag, and refreshments.  Many of my friends quickly gravitate to the free beer, but instead I picked up a chocolate milk.

Chocolate milk may seem like a strange post-race drink, but I had recently read an article stating chocolate milk rates as a more effective recovery drink than Gatorade or other energy drinks.  I struggle with dehydration after vigorous exercise, so much so that I sometimes get the chills and can’t sleep at night.  It’s always a challenge to find the right way to pick myself up after a hard run, long hike or a day of skiing.

As a woman, I’m constantly being told to up my calcium, and drink more milk.  But true confession, I hate the taste of milk, and find it a challenge to drink, more so now that I’ve given up cookies and brownies.  Before drinking that chocolate milk at the BolderBoulder, I hadn’t had chocolate milk since I was a kid.  The last memory I have is stirring powdered NesQuick into a glass of milk, and drinking it down.

Now, I don’t just use chocolate milk to recover, but to start my day off right before a big hike.  I’ve found that a banana, some oatmeal and a glass of chocolate milk give me way more energy to get up those Fourteeners that can be oh so challenging.

For those of you who are still skeptical, one more thing.  Today’s chocolate milk is nothing like that nasty Ovaltine or Nesquick of our childhood.  During my newfound love of chocolate milk as an energy drink, I’ve sampled many brands.  Some of them taste like drinking a chocolate milkshake straight down — yummy!

For those of who love Colorado because of the chance to engage in recreation year-round, it’s important to find the right nutrition to keep us going and recover from our pursuits.  I feel like I’ve found the key for me as the ideal sports drink, but in an unconventional jar and label.

Drink up!