Eagles refreshing with chocolate milk

Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Got milk — chocolate milk that is for Uniontown High’s volleyball team this season. Seniors Jessica Schaaf, Abbie Smith and Candice Clayton drink up after a practice session Friday. The UHS volleyball team received a Recover with Chocolate Milk Grant which provides bottles of chocolate milk as their sports drink after practices and matches.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
CHEERS. Uniontown High Eagle volleyball players share a cheers before downing their after-practice bottles of chocolate milk. The UHS volleyball team received a grant from the Midwest Dairy Council to provide chocolate milk after practices and matches.

UNIONTOWN — Cold chocolate milk does a body good. Just ask the Uniontown High volleyball players.
Since last Tuesday, the Eagles end each practice by twisting the tops off of plastic bottles of chocolate milk. When match play begins, they’ll be drinking chocolate milk after each match.
It all comes from the Recover with Chocolate Milk Grant program funded by the Midwest Dairy Council. The grant program was launched this year to promote better nutrition in high school athletes by encouraging the consumption of 16 ounces of chocolate milk within 30 minutes after practice, workouts and competitions.
“The grant program came to the attention of our athletic director, Jim Mason. He filled out the paperwork and sent it in,” said Jackie Hall, Uniontown head volleyball coach.
Mason said because Hall had always organized volleyball parents to help provide healthy snacks and food for the UHS players during the season, he thought the Eagle volleyball program worthy of the $3,000 grant. So did the Midwest Dairy Council. Uniontown is one of 28 schools in nine states to receive the Recover with Chocolate Milk grants.
States involved are Kansas, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and eastern Oklahoma. The winners included both male and female athletes representing football, basketball, baseball, softball, cross country, golf and volleyball teams.
For the past few years, research has been indicating that chocolate milk can help the body refuel and recover after a workout.
“We really like it. I just think it’s more filling than sports drinks,” said Abbie Smith, senior hitter. “A lot of us are hungry after practice and the chocolate milk hits the spot.”
Chocolate milk has been shown to have nine essential nutrients which help build strong bones and strengthen muscles, according to the Midwest Dairy Council. In addition, it’s 90 percent water, making it a nutrient-packed thirst quencher.
“High school athletes need to have a recovery beverage within half an hour after strenuous practice and competitions. Chocolate milk is a perfect solution for locker rooms and especially those long bus rides home,” said Stephanie Cundith, nutrition communications program manager for Midwest Dairy Council.
“We’re excited about being a part of the program,” Hall said. “We have our own cooler for the milk right here by the locker room and the girls have looked forward to drinking the chocolate milk this week.
“They were really excited that it was in the plastic bottles instead of the cartons like they have at lunch.”
Hall said the chocolate milk is made available to the girls after practices. She said there were several players who “don’t care for chocolate milk” and they are not forced to drink it.
A study of young adult athletes found that chocolate milk was almost twice as effective as commercial sports drinks in refueling tired muscles. Researchers believe the unique combination of protein and carbohydrates in chocolate milk helped supply the athletes with necessary nutrients for recovery; protein for muscle repair and carbohydrates for replenishing energy stores.
“Putting the volleyball team in for the grant seemed like a perfect fit,” Mason said. “Coach Hall was already stressing nutrition to her players and parents. I just wrote about it and the Midwest Dairy Council seemed to agree with me and give us the grant for the girls.”
The grant money is purchasing the chocolate milk and the cooler as well as shirts and posters promoting the recover with chocolate milk program.
Members of the UHS volleyball team are Candice Clayton, Jessica Schaaf, Abbie Smith, Jessica Harrison, Jessie Camac, Tiffany Poyner, Caitlin Jackson, Megan Schnichels, Jacy Ermel, Tayler Shook, Jessica Murrow, Ashley Nietfeld, Hope Jurgensen, Kelsey Mathis, Lauren Rockhold, Aubri Manbeck, Hayden Rathbun, Paige Stainbrook, Shelby Newman, Abby Dixon, Raylene Crystal and Dakota Isaac.