Monday, May 17, 2010

Why is the Running Room promoting chocolate milk?

A few of my readers forwarded me an email they received from the Running Room this week. They received the email because at some point they had signed up for clinics or races at the Running Room.

The email's subject line was, "Recharge with Milk" and it contained the graphic up above which in turn is not linked to a Running Room website, but rather to the Dairy Farmer's of Canada's site extolling the virtues of chocolate milk.

Research has shown that eating foods inclusive of both carbohydrates and protein post heavy workout may in fact help with recovery, but it's important to focus on that word heavy.

A stroll is not a heavy workout. A short jog or run is not a heavy workout. A heavy workout is an extended or intense bout of exercise.

Chocolate milk is certainly not a magical post workout choice, it's just a post workout choice inclusive of carbs and protein.

Chocolate milk, for those of you who don't read my blog regularly, has drop per drop double the calories and double the sugar of Coca Cola. It's a liquid chocolate bar.

The Running Room does not sell chocolate milk in its stores.

The Running Room is a trusted resource for Canadian runners and walkers and is often the location of choice for beginners who may never have run or walked for exercise. This general mailing, out to everyone who's signed up for anything at the Running Room, is an abuse of the public's trust because consuming chocolate milk post stroll, walk, light jog or short run is going to do more harm than good for the average beginner.

The container in the advertisement is a 500mL container of 1% chocolate milk. It contains 15.5 teaspoons of sugar, 400mg of sodium and 360 calories, 40 calories shy of what you'd get from a litre of Coca Cola.

Chugging a litre of Coca Cola post walk, jog or run doesn't strike me as the best caloric plan. If you're concerned about weight, as many walkers and runners are, you'd best be sure to only drink that chocolate milk if you've walked more than 70-80 minutes or run more than 30.

If you're walking or running to lose weight, best to pass altogether and stick with water for re-hydration.

I wonder how much the Running Room got paid by the Dairy Farmers of Canada to effectively sell them their email directory and in so doing, sell out.

[Hat tip to blog reader and soon to be mom Jesse who was first out of the blocks with this unfortunate campaign]