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Got Chocolate Milk?

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As schools begin to ban chocolate milk -- districts in Los Angeles and D.C. in particular have already eliminated it from schools -- the beverage is looking for another market to target, and they're banking on athletes.

The Milk Education Program (MEP) will forgo its trademark mustache for the first time in 17 years with its new chocolate-milk ads, the first of which stars triathlete Mirinda Carfrae, complete with a new tagline: "My After."

It's the beginning of a new Got Chocolate Milk? campaign that is selling the drink as a sports recovery beverage, essentially (and is even giving you the chance to get sponsored, too).

So if the kids won't drink it, why will athletes?

"Chocolate milk has what athletes need to recover after a tough workout," says Julia Kadison, VP of marketing at the dairy group. An industry-funded study from three universities published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise says that recreational runners who drank fat-free chocolate milk after a strenuous run ran 23% longer when exercising later vs. those who drank carbohydrate-only sports drinks.

Of course, not everyone is sold on the idea of chocolate milk being the ultimate recovery beverage. A nutrition professor at New York University says, "I'd never recommend drinking a sweetened drink," but a chief science officer for Anytime Fitness, "I recommend chocolate milk to athletes I work with."

Indeed, our own kelph has covered this topic before -- chocolate milk not only gives you the important post-workout carbs, but also the protein your body craves.

Personally, I added chocolate milk to my routine a couple years ago and I've found it does help my recovery, although I suppose it could just be me buying into the hype. But then again, worst-case scenario, I get a tasty glass of chocolate milk.

Do you make chocolate milk part of your workout plan?