Chocolate Milk Nutrition Facts
Chocolate milk is a childhood favorite. While it does contain added sugars and is higher in calories than plain milk, you might be surprised how healthy it is as a treat or post-workout beverage. Like plain milk, chocolate milk may be purchased according to its fat content and the choices include whole fat, reduced-fat (2% milk fat), low-fat (1% milk fat) and non-fat or skim. Since the fat in dairy products is primarily saturated, low-fat or skim chocolate milk are the best choices for heart health and calorie control. In general, milk is a nutrient-rich beverage and chocolate milk contains the same amount of fat, protein, vitamins and minerals as plain milk but more carbohydrate. The calorie and nutrient breakdown for one cup (250 grams) whole-fat, 2%, 1% and skim chocolate milk are as follows:
- Whole chocolate milk: 208 calories, 8 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 24 g sugar, 2 g dietary fiber, 30 mg cholesterol and 150 mg sodium
- Reduced-fat chocolate milk: 190 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 7 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 24 g sugar, 20 mg cholesterol and 165 mg sodium
- Low-fat chocolate milk: 157 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 25 g sugar, 8 mg cholesterol and 152 mg sodium
- Skim chocolate milk: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 8 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 25 g sugar, 10 mg cholesterol and 90 mg sodium
The exact nutrition content may vary slightly for different brands. It may seem as though chocolate milk is high in sugar. Keep in mind that approximately half the sugar content is from natural sugar, which is found in plain skim milk and yogurt as well (lactose). Plain and chocolate milk are vitamin A and D fortified and are a rich source of many minerals, such as calcium. One cup, depending upon the brand and fat content, meets 27 to 30% of the Recommended Daily Value (DV) for calcium, or 270 to 300 mg. One cup of chocolate milk is also an excellent source (meeting 20% or more of the DV) of other vitamins and minerals, including: phosphorus, vitamin D and riboflavin (vitamin B2). A cup of chocolate milk is a good source (meeting 10 to 19% of the DV) of other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, potassium and manganese.
Calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and manganese are all essential for building and maintaining strong, healthy bones and teeth. The B vitamins aid in energy metabolism and vitamin A is crucial for healthy eyesight and growth and development. Vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells from free radical damage. Potassium is important for maintaining acid-base and fluid balance in your body and helps to reduce blood pressure, along with calcium and magnesium. Low-fat chocolate milk is a perfect post-workout recovery drink. It offers twice the amount of protein and carbohydrate as water and sports drinks and more carb than plain milk, which helps replenish tired muscles. It replaces fluid and sodium lost through sweat for optimum hydration and electrolyte balance. Its calcium may ease muscle soreness and the added sugar helps a recovering athlete regain energy and replace glycogen stores.