In the last couple of years, there have been a number of campaigns and even press that seems to promote the notion that chocolate is an excellent post-workout nutritional option. This particular notion has primarily been pushed by various dairy associations in an effort to sell more of their product, which is why they exist. However, as much as I encourage the consumption of dairy and milk in one’s eating plan, it’s important to note that chocolate milk is not a healthy option.
The primary concern that myself and others have with chocolate milk is the abundance of sugar. In just an 8 oz cup, you are consuming 29g of sugar. In a 16 oz bottle, that’s 58g of sugar. To put that into perspective, a 12 oz can of Coke has 39g of sugar.
Now, I’ve often said that post-workout, it’s important to consume whey protein and simple carbs as soon as you can. Technically, chocolate milk does have both, but there are many, many better options to meet your nutritional needs to help you recover from your workout. In particular, there are many options that don’t have the abundance of sugar that chocolate milk contains, not to mention the fat.
So on one hand, if you have no other option for post-workout, then chocolate milk is certainly better than nothing. In saying that, it’s far from the best option and will limit your ability to reach your goals due to the abundance of sugar.