During the 2019-20 school year, nearly 300 high school sports teams across Michigan had chocolate milk as their post-workout drink thanks to Michigan’s dairy farmers and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. So it’s not surprise to have seen so many students posing with chocolate milk mustaches and bottles of their milk in their hands.
“Michigan’s dairy farmers support this program because chocolate milk is a nutritious choice that students can make at home or school to meet the Dietary Guidelines recommendation to include three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk in their diet every day,” says Sharon Toth, UDIM CEO and a registered dietitian. Several studies over the past 10 to 15 years have supported the likelihood that chocolate milk is a powerful recovery beverage for athletes.
The Michigan program awarded grants to high school sports teams, which allowed them to purchase and provide low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk to help their student-athletes get the nutrition they need after practices, games, and competitions.
“What’s great about chocolate milk is that it packs a powerful nutrient punch, it’s affordable and it tastes great,” says Melissa Gerharter, MS, RDN, CSSD, UDIM. “Chocolate milk has the carbs, vitamins and natural protein to help repair, rebuild and refuel muscles.”
Participating teams in the chocolate milk grant program reported excitement in their district, bringing awareness to the many benefits of chocolate milk. The athletes looked forward to drinking the milk every day, running to the cooler after every practice.
“Since the grant program began in 2011, UDIM has awarded over 2,000 grants to high school sports teams across Michigan,” says Gerharter. “We’re happy to see the impact it has had on the overall nutrition of many student-athletes already. We hope it will continue to gain momentum.”
Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are now being accepted. Deadlines for that school year are:
- Fall sports — May 22, 2020
- Winter sports — October 2, 2020
- Spring sports — January 22, 2021