Aug. 27 2014 08:58 AM

4-H members promote chocolate milk in winning presentation.

Hand out the research, spend money on television ads and speak about healthy food choices, but there is something special about hearing the same information from youth. We seem to be more attentive to what they are saying and in the case of their peers, more believable.

Two young California 4-H members and athletes combined their activities into their 4-H presentation, "The big lift that lasts." Lauren Dutra is a soccer player and cross country runner, while Hannah Costa is a soccer and softball player. They are not from dairy farms, but have family or friends who have dairy cows.

They were quite successful with their speech, earning a gold seal at the county level and advancing to the section competition. At this level, they gave their skit to 28 different groups of third grade students. After earning gold at sections, they moved onto the state contest at University of California-Davis. They claimed gold there, too.

Here is their presentation:

Even without recognition on the line, the girls continue to spread the word on the value of chocolate milk and always have chocolate milk after their sporting events to refuel. Lauren and Hannah also plan to keep abreast of any new research on chocolate milk so they can continue to tout "The big lift that lasts."

Hannah's softball team (12-year-old girls) competed in 17 tournaments this season. Here they pose with their favorite drink.

The promotion of chocolate milk is not limited to youth. An Ironman triathlon was held this past week. Guess what was waiting at the finish line for the athletes? Yep, chocolate milk! After 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and running a marathon (26.2 miles), they certainly need to refuel and replenish.

And why is chocolate milk so beneficial? In an article in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, drinking plain water after exercise replaces sweat losses – and that's it. "Chocolate milk provides carbohydrate replenishment to your muscles - something they can metabolize," said Jason Karp, MS, a researcher for the study. "There's nothing to metabolize in water."

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The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.