5 Ways Chocolate Milk Wins Against the Competition

You’ve heard it said, “milk does a body good,” but did you know this stands true for chocolate milk, too? A glass of chocolate milk is not only beneficial for healthy bones and teeth – thanks to its calcium, vitamin D, protein and phosphorus – but is also great for our muscles, rivaling post-exercise recovery beverages in nutrients and taste. Regardless of the type of athlete you are or sport you play, chocolate milk provides the same great benefits.

  1. Rehydrate and Replenish. When you exercise, you lose fluid in the form of sweat. Did you know that milk is nearly 90 percent water, which is why it functions as a great post-exercise drink? Milk also replenishes your body with natural electrolytes, including calcium, potassium and magnesium, which are lost through sweat.
  2. Repair and Recover. While muscle breakdown is an expected outcome of physical activity, future athletic performance is largely dependent on how well our muscles rebuild and resynthesize new muscle fibers. Milk’s high-quality protein, eight grams per 8-ounce glass, jump-starts your body’s muscle repair and aids in muscle recovery. Additionally, milk provides both the quickly digested whey protein and the more slowly digested casein protein. Working in harmony, they provide building blocks for muscle repair over an extended period of time.
  3. Refuel. Stored muscle glycogen is often depleted after exercise and needs to be replaced in the form of dietary carbohydrates. While chocolate milk has more grams of carbohydrate per serving than white milk, thanks to the added sugar, those extra grams of sugar help create the ideal carbs-to-protein ratio (3:1 or 4:1 carbs-to-protein) and help to refuel muscle glucose stores.
  4. Real Deal. Chocolate milk weighs in at a fraction of the cost of most sports products. At less than 25 cents per 8-ounce serving, milk is a nutritional bargain when you think of all of the liquid assets inside.  
  5. Taste the Results. Not only does chocolate milk taste great, research indicates when enjoyed by high school athletes as a recovery beverage, it has a greater impact on exercise performance than regular sports beverages. Similar results have been found in the numerous studies in adult athletes.

Learn more about milk as an exercise recovery beverage and how to eat for peak athletic performance

By Jenna Allen, MS, RDN

Jenna is a registered dietitian with a passion for communicating science in an approachable way. She has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2008. When she isn't working, Jenna is trying out new recipes with her three kids and working on her food photography. Learn more about Jenna.