Love It, Like It, Hate It: Chocolate Milk

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Chocolate milk is promoted as the ideal all-natural sports drink, perfect for muscle recovery after a tough workout, but the reality is that most of us just don’t need so much sugar. Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on why chocolate milk is touted as great option for athletes, and which varieties are really best for you.

Why regular chocolate milk enhances recovery after intense and/or extended endurance workout:

  • ~ 4:1 carb:protein ratio, effective in replenishing glycogen stores
  • Good source of electrolyte potassium, calcium, sodium

Per 8 ounces chocolate milk:

  • 400 mg potassium (approximately same as banana; 13x potassium of sports drink)
  • 300 mg calcium (compared to none in most regular sports drinks)
  • 140 mg sodium (compared to 108 mg in most regular sports drinks)
  • 26-32 grams carbs (mostly sugar) & 8 grams protein

The issue: Most of us aren’t working out long enough (90-120+ minutes) or intensely enough to need so much sugar, so we’re essentially adding three-quarters of a day’s worth of sugar in every cup!

The solution: Lower-sugar alternatives that still provide a chocolate-y flavor without the sugary calories.



Blue Diamond Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk (on grocery aisle, not refrigerated dairy case)

Per cup: 45 calories – 3 grams carbs – 0 sugar – 2 protein



So Delicious Coconut Milk (on grocery aisle, not refrigerated dairy case) – sweetened with stevia

Per cup: 100 calories – 12 grams carbs – 10 grams sugar – 1 gram protein (only 10% DV calcium)


Hood Calorie Countdown Chocolate Dairy Beverage – artificially sweetened

Per cup: 80 calories – 6 grams carbs – 3 grams sugar – 6 grams protein



HATE IT! {Note: All of these ‘Hate it’ options are ‘Love it’ options when needed for recovery}


Silk Chocolate Soymilk: Per cup: 120 calories – 19 grams carbs – 17 grams sugar – 5 grams protein

(even “Light” Silk Soymilk still has 14 grams sugar per serving)

Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Milk: 120 calories – 22 grams carbs – 20 grams sugar – 1 gram protein

Pacific Chocolate Hemp Non-Dairy Beverage: 190 cals – 35 grams carbs – 23 grams sugar – 3 grams protein

Regular chocolate cow’s milk: 160 calories – 26-32 grams carbs – 26 grams sugar – 8 grams protein

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