3 reasons to drink chocolate milk after a workout

3 reasons to drink chocolate milk after a workout

Chocolate milk is often called nature’s recovery beverage, and many athletes grab a bottle after their workouts.

“How you refuel after strenuous exercise can make a difference in your next workout,” says Marissa Strehlow, athletic trainer at Aurora Sports Health in Mequon, WI. “Drinking low-fat chocolate after exercising has shown to be beneficial for recovery.

Here’s why. After a workout or anytime, chocolate milk provides a natural source of:

  1. High-quality protein to help build lean muscle.
  2. A balance of carbs and protein to help refuel exhausted muscles after a workout.
  3. Electrolytes – including calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium – and fluid to rehydrate and replenish critical nutrients lost in sweat.

Plus, milk has 9 essential nutrients essential for growth and development, especially in younger athletes. And research has shown that flavored milk consumption is not associated with weight gain or increased daily sugar intake among children.

Working out to lose weight in the New Year? Take this short quiz to find out your ideal range.

Read more:

Related Posts



  1. Cows milk has been linked to many diseases including obesity and osteoporosis. Not sure what research is being used but chocolate milk is absolutely linked to childhood obesity. Dissapointed

  2. My son drinks milk almost every day for years. He loves cereal and chocolate milk. He was so skinny fir years I was worried. Now, he is almost a teenager and slim.
    I would not link obesity to milk but junk food and irregular eating.

  3. Go back and read the article. Chocolate milk is being recommended as a good source of nutrients after a workout. You seem to have missed the workout part. Of course if you are sitting on a couch all day watching tv eating junk food and drinking chocolate milk you will become obese.

  4. Knowledge Seeker January 20, 2020 at 2:46 pm · Reply

    Interesting video about dairy from Dr. Mark Hyman:

  5. MilkPEP (the massive company representing the dairy industry) is pouring millions of dollars into their Built With Chocolate Milk campaign, which uses faulty scientific studies to back up claims that chocolate milk is healthy. In fact, water is used as the control drink in one of these studies in the sports of judo and rock climbing, rather than nutrient dense non-dairy drinks or even an electrolyte mix, producing unreliable data. Don’t fall for their false advertising. There are plenty of healthy recovery drinks that don’t have the negative impacts of sugar-filled chocolate breast milk from a cow.
    Just a few of the deleterious effects of cow’s breast milk on human beings:
    • Milk proteins are an allergen —> impaired breathing (asthma, respiratory symptoms, runny nose), GI distress (stomach cramps, bloating and gas)
    • Lactose Intolerance (65% of the world population) —> GI distress, discomfort
    • D-galactose- sugar in cow’s milk Implicated in alzheimers
    • IGF-1 stimulation- Implicated in cancer, specifically breast, ovarian and prostate
    • Bovine estrogens – Implicated in hormone-dependant cancers
    • Pesticides, herbicides, bovine leukemia virus and pus cells- Obviously not good
    • It’s inflammatory (milk proteins, saturated fat potentially), which is known to inhibit recovery – When a person exercises, they are already in an inflammatory state. It is best not to add to this inflammation.

  6. I’m sorry if this comes off as a bit too brash, but those who consider chocolate milk a health food are probably under the same assumption that it comes from brown cows. The dairy industry is feeding us these myths about its product and many people blindly accept it without question. Most people can’t even digest lactose, and those who can (about 35% of the global population) are still susceptible to the inflammation-causing properties of cows’ milk. There’s a reason why so many professional athletes are ditching dairy—because they recover and perform better without it.

  7. I truly do not understand the hype about chocolate milk. People talk about it as if it is the only food source with nutrients. Why not just drink Soylent then? Longterm health is obtained through a variety of foods—not just one beverage. With so many other high-quality options out there, why drink something that contains another species’ hormones, cholesterol, and IGF-1? A balanced snack or meal after a workout—or even soy milk in a quick fix—is a far better way to get the nutrients in without sacrificing one’s health.

  8. It’s outrageous to me that the dairy industry is targeting kids, yet again, to try to boost sales. This chocolate milk nonsense preys on some of the most vulnerable people in our society, our children, the same way that the sugary soda companies do, and the vaping industry is (with their flavored products). Chocolate milk is just sugary milk, and milk is unhealthy! The majority of people in the US and around the world are lactose intolerant. Why would we want to make our kids sick?

  9. I find it sad that chocolate milk is still being promoted as a health food to kids and families. The reality is that this substance does far more harm than good. Sure, it contains macro and micronutrients, but so does every other whole food. Why not just eat a balanced diet full of antioxidant-rich plants instead of forcing your body to deal with another species’ breast milk? Cows’ milk—chocolate or otherwise—contains natural cow hormones such as estrogen, cortisol, and IGF-1. This is why cows’ milk is linked to hormone-dependent cancers including breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer. It can also cause an inflammatory response—which inhibits recovery. Chocolate milk—or any milk from another species—is simply not the health food the industry wants us to believe it to be.

  10. Marisella Pacheco January 21, 2020 at 9:47 pm · Reply

    I was disappointed to read this article, though not surprised. Chocolate milk is unhealthy for both children and adults for various reasons. Sure, kids may get a boost from the sugar and protein in it after a game or workout, but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. (Sugary sodas give people a burst of energy, too, and those are far from healthy). Milk, chocolate or otherwise, is overall bad for kids. It can exacerbate acne, cause stomach upset, and contribute to type 2 diabetes.

  11. Are u kiddong me. Do mot drink milk! Some poor cow was inseminated… Her baby is taken away and crying so someone can drink chocolate milk???? Well how about you take dogs milk or cats milk than, well that doesnt sound alright. Cows milk is for baby cows now humans

  12. This is horrible advice. Dairy, especially chocolate milk is not healthy in almost any circumstance. All propaganda.

  13. Cows milk is a poor choice not only post workout but in your overall diet.

  14. Dairy is marketing, not a health food. Studies that tout chocolate milk as a recovery drink most often are comparing chocolate milk to water. So yeah it has more protein than water lol. Dairy is garbage for your body. Don’t fall for this marketing BS.

  15. An eight ounce glass of chocolate milk contains about 24 grams of sugar, about twice the amount of sugar as white milk. The difference in the sugar content between the two is entirely due to the added sugar in chocolate milk. The idea that chocolate milk is some sort of healthy beverage to replenish nutrients lost during excercise is not the sort idea health enews should be promoting.

  16. Kids drink more milk when flavored because what kid does not like chocolate milk? and they should be in schools.

  17. I recommend True Moo or Lamers chocolate milk post work out. It also helps to prevent bonking while you are cooling down and is delicious.

About the Author

Mary Arens
Mary Arens

Mary Arens, health enews contributor, is a senior content specialist at Advocate Aurora Health in Milwaukee. She has 20+ years of experience in communications plus a degree in microbiology. Outside of work, Mary makes healthy happen with hiking, yoga, gardening and walks with her dog, Chester.