Chocolate milk

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Chocolate milk
New chocolate milk.JPG
A glass of chocolate milk
TypeChocolate beverage
IngredientsMilk, chocolate syrup or chocolate powder
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Chocolate milk
New chocolate milk.JPG
A glass of chocolate milk
TypeChocolate beverage
IngredientsMilk, chocolate syrup or chocolate powder
A glass of pasteurized chocolate milk made from water buffalo's milk produced by the Philippine Carabao Center.

Chocolate milk is a sweetened, usually cold, cocoa-flavored milk drink. It is created when chocolate syrup (or chocolate powder) is mixed with milk (from cows, goats, soy, rice, etc.). It can be purchased pre-mixed or made at home with either cocoa powder and a sweetener (such as sugar or a sugar substitute), or with melted chocolate, chocolate syrup, or chocolate milk mix. Other ingredients, such as starch, salt, carrageenan, vanilla, or artificial flavoring may be added. The carrageenan is used at very low concentrations to form an imperceptible weak gel that prevents the large, dense particles of chocolate from sedimentation. Chocolate milk should be refrigerated like plain milk. It was invented by Hans Sloane in the late 1680s.[1]

Scientific Studies[edit]

Some nutritionists have criticized chocolate milk for its high sugar content and its relationship to childhood obesity.[2][3] In New York City, school food officials say nearly 60 percent of the 100 million cartons served each year are fat-free chocolate milk.[4] Because chocolate milk can contain twice as much sugar as plain low-fat milk from added sugars, some school districts have stopped serving it, including those in Berkeley, CA, and Washington, DC.[4] In the US, 32 percent of children and teens are overweight and at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and other issues related to obesity.[5]

A number of studies indicate that chocolate milk aids in recovery when taken after athletic workouts. A study at Loughborough University found that milk was an effective rehydration drink.[6] In a 2010 report it was studied with 13 male college soccer players with results in favor of chocolate milk workout supplementation.[7] A study in 2011 at Kean University in New Jersey concluded similar results in male soccer players discovering there was even an increased time to fatigue when chocolate milk was consumed. The Kean University study also viewed chocolate milk’s effects on women soccer players undergoing morning and afternoon practices during preseason. They were given either the carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage or chocolate milk between morning and afternoon pre-season practices. Following every afternoon practice, each athlete completed a shuttle run to fatigue. The study concluded that chocolate milk is just as beneficial as the carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage in promoting recovery in women.[8] In a 2006 study, authors believed the benefits were due to its ratio of carbohydrates to protein, among other nutritional properties.[9] However, this study was small in scale with only nine athletes and partially funded by the dairy industry. Furthermore, the study compared chocolate milk to two energy drinks and unflavored milk was not used as a comparison, so it is unknown if chocolate milk is superior to unflavored milk as a recovery drink.[10]

A 2005 study by the New York City (NYC) Department of Education found that by removing whole milk and replacing it with low-fat to fat-free chocolate milk, students were served an estimated 5,960 fewer calories and 619 fewer grams of fat per year.[11] There are also 5 milligrams of caffeine in each mini carton. Chocolate supplies oxalic acid, which reacts with the calcium in the milk producing calcium oxalate, thus preventing the calcium from being absorbed in the intestine. However, it is present in small enough amounts that the effect on calcium absorption is negligible.[12] As chocolate contains relatively small amounts of oxalate, it is unclear to what extent chocolate consumption affects healthy people who eat calcium-rich diets. In a 2008 study, participants who consumed one or more servings of chocolate on a daily basis had lower bone density and strength than those participants who ate a serving of chocolate six times a week or less. Researchers believe this may be due to oxalate inhibiting calcium absorption — but it could also be due to the chocolate's sugar content, which may increase calcium excretion. It is clear, however, that consuming foods high in oxalate — and in turn their effect on calcium absorption — is a more significant concern for people with oxalate kidney stones, which occur when there is too much oxalate in the urine. These people, especially, should reduce their oxalate intake and increase their calcium intake.[13] However, the high magnesium content in chocolate is likely to reduce the risk of stone formation somewhat, because like citrate, magnesium is also an inhibitor of urinary crystal formation.[14]

A November 2009 study conducted by scientists in Barcelona, Spain suggests that regularly consuming skim milk with cocoa rich in flavonoids may reduce inflammation and slow or prevent the development of atherosclerosis. However, the study notes that its effects are not as pronounced as seen in consumption of red wine.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rudd Centre for policy and obesity
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Severson, Kim (24 August 2010). "A School Fight Over Chocolate Milk". The New York Times. p. 3. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Neighmond, Patti (May 28, 2008). "U.S. Childhood Obesity Rates Level Off". NPR. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Milk as an effective post-exercise rehydration drink", Cambridge Journal of Nutrition, 26 April 2007
  7. ^ "Effects of chocolate milk consumption on markers of muscle recovery following soccer training: a randomized cross-over study", Springer Link, 18 May 2011
  8. ^ Spaccarotella, Kim J; Walter D Andzel (December 2011). "The Effects of Low Fat Chocolate Milk on Postexercise Recovery in Collegiate Athletes". Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25 (12): 3456–3560. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182163071. Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Chocolate Milk: The New Sports Drink?", Associated Press, 24 February 2006
  10. ^ Chocolate milk as a recovery post-recovery aide
  11. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). "Effects of Switching from Whole to Low-Fat/Fat-Free Milk in Public Schools". Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 59 (3): 70–73. PMID 20110934. 
  12. ^ Gilbert, Sue, MS. "Does putting chocolate in milk decrease calcium absorption?",
  13. ^ Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. "Chocolate: Does it impair calcium absorption?",
  14. ^ Johri, N; Cooper B, Robertson W, Choong S, Rickards D, Unwin R (2010). "An update and practical guide to renal stone management". Nephron Clinical Practice 116 (3): c159–71. doi:10.1159/000317196. PMID 20606476. 
  15. ^ "Vital Signs - Study Suggests Skim Milk with Cocoa May Reduce Inflammation", New York Times, 09 November 2009