When we delve into a sports routine, we are usually taught that the best beverages for us would be some sort of protein shake or simply water. Sports life might intimidate amateurs because it is so focused on the number of calories intake without getting at least a little pleasure from delicious food and drinks. But what if I told you that you are welcome to indulge in chocolate beverages, more specifically chocolate milk which is loaded with nutrients that will help build muscle and even restore your muscle strength? If you consume chocolate milk post workout in moderation, your body will get beneficial components that can enhance recovery and simultaneously bring you pleasure from the sweet taste. Moreover, chocolate milk benefits those people who do endurance workouts, like swimming, or running. Even though the consumption of chocolate milk has its benefits, it also includes a few downsides you need to pay attention to. This article is devoted to chocolate milk after a workout, its advantages and disadvantages, and how to prepare this drink on your own. Post workout chocolate milk – regain muscle power by enjoying the sweet beverages.
Is Chocolate Milk Good For You?
No one would ever guess that chocolate milk is not just some sweet beverage that only ravenous kids can chug but it is also a source of quality protein and other essential components. These components can boost power after strenuous exercises and help restore lean muscle. This post workout drink is definitely good for you, although it’s important to be aware of the added sugar. At first, we are going to concentrate on the benefits of chocolate milk and then move to a couple of downsides.
Chocolate Milk Benefits:
- May improve bone health. When we take a closer look at the nutrients we can notice that chocolate milk is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D (6). Calcium is an important mineral for our bones. Because calcium in dairy absorbs easily, dairy consumption is thought to be connected to the development of stronger bones, especially in children and adolescents (4). Moreover, most of the milk produced in the USA is fortified with vitamin D which makes chocolate milk a perfect bone-health protector. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the foods you eat. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia which means the softening of bones and may increase the risk of fractures (6).
- Can help you manage your weight. Non-skim chocolate milk also contains fat which gives you a sense of fullness after drinking the post workout drink. The combination of fat and protein can help you to stay satiated for a longer period of time and therefore consume fewer calories. It has been suggested that a diet high in protein, vitamin D, and lower calories can help you lose weight (6).
- Helps recover from workouts. It is important to note that food and/or beverages rich in protein and carbs replaces the electrolytes, glycogen, and fluids lost after a rigorous workout. The protein also provides the building blocks for muscle building and repair. Hence, chocolate milk can be thought of as a good recovery drink.
More about the muscle benefits of chocolate milk will be presented further in this article.
Read More: How Many Carbs Are In Almond Milk?
Chocolate Milk Downsides:
- It is high in added sugar. The point is that many of the carbs in chocolate milk are usually taken from added sugar. There are brands that use high-fructose corn syrup which, along with other types of added sugar can negatively affect our weight which may lead to obesity and associated chronic diseases (5). That is why the American Heart Association recommends women and children consume less than 100 calories of added sugar per day while men should take less than 150 calories (1).
- Not good for everyone. Unfortunately, some people cannot digest lactose and end up with diarrhea, constipation, or other unpleasant experiences when they drink milk. Therefore, chocolate milk is not a great option for them. Those who have lactose intolerance can substitute regular chocolate milk with lactose-free chocolate milk options.
Is Chocolate Milk Good After Lifting Weights?
Chocolate milk after lifting is considered by some to be one of the best beverages for muscle recovery. Compared to carbohydrate-based sports drinks, chocolate milk also repairs and rebuilds muscles. Consuming low-fat chocolate milk after lifting weights may help your muscles recover so they can work better during further exercises (3).
So, why chocolate milk?
- Chocolate milk for post workout contains carbs to replace your energy stores and protein which provides essential building blocks of muscle tissue. By drinking chocolate milk you may help strengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of injuries during strenuous exercises.
- When we sweat we lose not only water but electrolytes and minerals like sodium and calcium (8). Here’s where chocolate milk comes in – it is rich in calcium, sodium, and potassium.
Therefore, you can include chocolate milk after lifting weights workouts since this beverage will supply your muscles with several essential nutrients. Plus, it will provide energy to keep you invigorated during the day.
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Is Milk Or Chocolate Milk Better After A Workout?
Both of these beverages are essential strengthening elements after the workout. Their similarities are as follows:
- Chocolate and plain milk both consist of 90% of water. They are both rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium which may benefit muscle recovery. They both rehydrate the body and replenish the things that were lost with sweat.
- Carbohydrates in both types of milk refuel the body and refill energy stores.
- Both chocolate and plain milk provide two types of protein – casein and whey that may benefit muscle recovery and repair.
However, some people prefer to select chocolate over plain milk after endurance workouts because it contains more carbohydrates to help replace the glycogen stores which have been depleted. Long distance runners, for example, may opt for chocolate milk for this reason.
- Low fat chocolate milk after a workout provides more carbohydrates which help to replenish energy in your body and make your training more effective and lasting.
- Chocolate milk is good for post workout and reduces muscle damage and enhances muscle recovery.
For those who do other types of workouts or shorter ones which don’t deplete their glycogen stores as fully, they may choose plain milk over chocolate because it doesn’t have the added sugar. It still contains some natural carbohydrates (lactose) which are enough to refuel them after their workout.
Some people may choose either chocolate or plain milk over the other because they simply prefer that taste – which is also totally fine. They both make great post-workout recovery drinks.
How Is Chocolate Milk Made?
Not everybody trusts chocolate milk from the grocery stores which is common and sometimes understandable. So, why not prepare homemade nutritious post workout chocolate beverages for your muscle strength and stamina? Here is a quick-easy recipe you can take advantage of while preparing this delicious drink:
- low-fat milk
- 1 cup of water
- pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- Mix water and sugar in a medium saucepan until it starts boiling.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add cocoa and salt to it.
- Stir until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Add vanilla extract and stir.
- Store it in an airtight container.
- Add 1 tablespoon of syrup to every 8 ounces of milk. Stir and enjoy the beverage!
You can make a low-sugar option by using less sweetener with dark, chocolate flavor (7).
What Kind Of Nutrients Does Chocolate Milk Have?
Drinking chocolate post workout is a great idea for athletes and amateurs because the number of nutrients in this beverage is impressive. Well, each 8-ounce serving of 2% chocolate milk contains approximately:
- 190 calories
- 5 grams of fat
- 7 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fiber
- 30 grams of carbohydrates
- 24 grams of sugar (6).
Fat, protein, carbs, and fiber may all benefit muscle strength and recovery. Proper recovery after a workout may help reduce injuries and improve your training overall.
On top of that, chocolate milk post workout is a great source of:
- Calcium (plays a key role in bone health and maintains muscle function).
- Potassium (a mineral that is involved in fluid regulation and muscle contraction).
- Vitamin D (helps you absorb calcium, among many other functions).
- Magnesium (regulates blood pressure and keeps the bones strong).
- Phosphorus (keeps your teeth and bones strong).
Obviously, chocolate milk is a great drink after a workout that may boost power and give you energy for different activities.
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The Bottom Line
Chocolate milk is a delicious and nutritious beverage you can add to your sports routine. It is rich in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients which aid body recovery and keep you satiated for a longer period of time. Low-fat chocolate milk after a workout may help improve bone health, manage healthy weight, and restore lean muscles.
Essential nutrients are a benefit you get by consuming this beverage after weightlifting and other enduring workouts. As compared to plain milk, chocolate milk has more carbohydrates that replenish energy storage, but it is high in added sugar. Post workout chocolate milk – regain muscle power by enjoying a sweet beverage.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Chocolate Milk Refuels Muscles After Workout (2010, webmd.com)
- Drinking Chocolate Milk After A Workout Offers Advantages For Post-Exercise Performance And Muscle Repair (2010, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Effects of Dairy Consumption on Body Composition and Bone Properties in Youth: A Systematic Review (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose on the pharmacokinetics of fructose and acute metabolic and hemodynamic responses in healthy subjects (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Health Benefits of Chocolate Milk (webmd.com)
- MyFoodDiary (2022, myfooddiary.com)
- Physiology of sweat gland function: The roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)