Photo Credit: ABC News
Cornell has something besides exercise equipment in their training room. Chocolate milk is now a prevailing sports recovery drink served to the Big Red athletes. Clint Wattenberg, the strength and conditioning coach, a two-time all-American wrestler for the Big Red from 1998 to 2003 and dietician, provides the drink to athletes due to the strict NCAA rules that prohibit large amounts of protein intake as well as many supplements.
His background in nutrition as well as his experience being a collegiate athlete helped him decided to serve the drink post work out to the athletes due it all its health benefits. Although chocolate milk is already a great post workout recovery drink, the ideal amount of calories, fat, protein and carbs was something Wattenberg wanted to improve. After all, a lineman needs more protein and carbs then a tennis player. He found a partner in former dairy plant manager, Jason Huck, and began the process of making chocolate milk even more beneficial.
Huck and Wattenberg created a smooth-tasting drink with 16 grams of protein and 230 calories per eight-ounce serving. In contrast, a similar serving of low-fat chocolate milk has 8 grams of protein and 160 calories. Athletes say that they feel a difference and are grateful to have the new "Big Red Refuel" on hand immediately after workouts.
“Bridging the fueling gaps throughout the day is really a critical component to an effective performance nutrition plan that student-athletes aren’t very well-suited to manage, especially their first year on campus,” Wattenberg told the New York Times.
“The insight and awareness around recovery and nutrition has adapted and really become part of the training plan,” Wattenberg said. “Fueling recovery is as important as the work you put in. This is part of our tool kit we can use to optimize our performance.”
Many more universities are looking into following Cornell and Wattenberg's footsteps with better refueling drinks.