Chocolate Milk is known by many as the poor man’s protein shake. It is a popular drink for post-workout because it has the protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates that your body needs after a workout. Recent studies have shown that drinking chocolate milk after exercising is advantageous because of its protein content. Every cup of chocolate milk contains between eight and 11 grams of protein. Experts say that ideally you will want to consume between 15g and 25g of protein after a workout, which equals between 500ml and 750ml of chocolate milk.
Compared to plain milk, water or most sports drinks, it contains double the carbohydrate content, ideal for tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost from sweating and assists in preventing dehydration. In addition, it gives the body calcium, vitamin D, sodium and sugar, which help you retain water and regain energy. Milk also contains key nutrients that sports drinks cannot match.
Before you make the switch to chocolate milk, examine your workout routine. Chocolate milk is most helpful for athletes who need high levels of calories, carbohydrates and proteins to maintain their level of play.
Chocolate Milk Nutrition
People seem to think that it is a good replacement for a protein shake or that it is even better than a protein shake because of the simple carbohydrate to protein ratio. There is nothing special about the ratio of carbs to protein in chocolate milk. I do think it tastes great, but the added high fructose corn syrup, cocoa, and possible artificial flavors in your milk aren’t going to give you any sort of special nutritional value. Chocolate milk is nutritious, but no more nutritious than regular milk. You get about 11 grams per cup of slow burning casein protein, lots of calcium, vitamin d,and other nutrients whether you’re drinking chocolate milk or regular milk.
Benefits of Chocolate Milk
Many say chocolate milk is good because it spikes your insulin levels and after a workout high insulin levels will decrease cortisol and increase nutrient absorption. Chocolate milk will do these things but it is not the only your only option. In general, you’ll want as little sugar as possible in your diet if your trying to burn fat. The only time it may be a good idea to have a little sugar is after a workout. Plain milk does have the carbs and simple sugars that you need after a workout making it a great postworkout drink on its own. I think the main benefit of drinking chocolate milk as opposed to regular milk is that it tastes better.
Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Drink
Overall, I think chocolate milk is good as a post-workout drink but there are better options. If you want chocolate milk with more protein, just add chocolate protein powder to milk and you’ll have all of the benefits of chocolate milk with more protein which you need after a workout.
Chocolate milk is primarily aimed at cardio workouts more than any other type of workout. If you’re lifting weights you’re going to need more than the 11 or so grams that you’ll get from a cup of chocolate milk.