Is Chocolate Milk a Good Post-Workout Drink?

A man drinking at the gym

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Imagine setting a new PR on your deadlift or finally finishing a half-marathon. These feats are incredible, and you should be proud of them. High levels of energy require adequate recovery afterward. How else do you expect to get the gains? There’s no set way to get these gains. You can turn to what some see as unconventional sources, such as chocolate milk. Is chocolate milk a good post-workout drink?

When you think of gains, you may think of meat like chicken and steak. Though, you can get some excellent benefits from chocolate milk. Here’s a guide on your post-workout recovery and why chocolate milk is a good post-workout drink.

What Do You Need After a Workout?

After a workout, you probably need a nap. On the other hand, you may feel more energized than ever. When you complete strength training, you need food to re-energize yourself, especially protein. 

Increasing your protein intake repairs your torn muscles and builds your strength. Research shows you need between 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight to maintain your muscles. Building muscle requires between 1.4 and 2.0 g/kg. 

Any workout burns energy, whether you run, lift, play pickleball, throw frisbees or any other fun activity. Physical activity requires carbs, and your post-workout nutrition should include carbohydrates to replenish yourself. These foods may include fruit like bananas, oatmeal, rice, bread and more. 

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention your hydration. Imagine running five miles and being out of breath. You definitely need something to drink. Cold beverages reduce the risk of heat stress and keep your performance high. You might not want to drink chocolate milk during your workout, but it’s a good option for your post-workout nutrition. 

Is Chocolate Milk a Good Post-Workout Drink? 

Yes, chocolate milk is a good post-workout drink. First, think about the practicality. You may want a small meal when you return from the gym. Scarfing down chicken and rice may be challenging. Chocolate milk, though, is a liquid. It’s much easier to ingest. The best time to get your workout nutrition in is within an hour or so of your exercise. Drinking a glass of chocolate milk takes only a few minutes. 


Next, think about what chocolate milk is. It’s milk, so it has protein. The protein content depends on the brand you get. According to WebMD, chocolate milk averages about 7g per serving. Chocolate milk also gives you high-quality protein and calcium that are vital for your body. You might not realize it, but the quality of your protein matters. Milk is a protein from animal sources that gives you the best nutrition.


WebMD’s estimate shows chocolate milk has about 30g of carbs per serving. 24g of these carbs come from sugar. Again, it’ll depend on the brand of chocolate milk you purchase. There are low-sugar options on the market to support a low-carb diet. Removing sugar also removes calories, so it’s suitable for weight-conscious folks. 


Hearing electrolytes makes you think about Gatorade. What if we told you there’s plenty of that in chocolate milk? The primary electrolytes in chocolate milk include magnesium, calcium and potassium. You need electrolytes to maintain fluid levels and control the muscle contractions in your body. Imagine you spend an hour in the pool working on your abs before swimming a few laps. Yeah, you’ll need electrolytes.

What Do the Experts Say? 

We can tell you about the merits of chocolate milk, but let’s hear from the experts on why chocolate milk is a good post-workout drink. 

Let’s start with a study from the University of Brasilia in Brazil. The researchers examine how athletes respond to cow’s milk with cocoa. The study contains 100 people who are either triathletes or runners. The researchers found that the milk and cocoa combination favors athletes without dietary restrictions.

A 2020 study published in the Atlantis Press studies the difference between chocolate and white milk for hydration. The results show chocolate milk improves hydration significantly more than white milk does. 

A recent study in India studies college-aged males and how chocolate milk affects them. Specifically, the researchers want to see the subjects’ resting heart rates and VO2 or oxygen consumption. The study concludes that chocolate milk positively affects the participants and benefits athletic performance. 

What Chocolate Milk Is a Good Post-Workout Drink?

So, let’s get it out of the way. Chocolate milk is good for post-workout recovery. Now, let’s look at the ones that optimize your gains. There are numerous options on the market you can try. Consider these drinks for high protein: 

  • Muscle Milk: It’s in the name. This milk builds your muscles, and that’s why you call it Muscle Milk. The iconic brand has 25g of protein and sugar-free options. They even have a 40g protein option with only one gram of sugar. Hey, if it’s good enough for Candace Parker, it’s good enough for all of us.
  • Fairlife: Fairlife protein drinks are a solid option for your post-workout nutrition. They have flavors like chocolate and vanilla — or you can stick with the strawberry milk mob. Regardless, it’s a solid chocolate milk option.
  • TruMoo: A third option on the market is TruMoo’s high-protein beverage. Each bottle gives you 25g of protein with low-fat content. There are numerous high-protein chocolate milk drinks on the shelves. Find the one you think tastes the best. Chocolate milk is sacred to every guy out there. 

What Are Alternatives to Chocolate Milk?

Some people can’t drink chocolate milk because of dietary restrictions. They may be vegan and abstain from consuming animal products. There are still options you can select for a high-protein option. 

For example, look at non-dairy milk. Almonds, cashews and peas create terrific alternatives for vegans. Silk has a chocolate almond and cashew flavor with 10g of protein per serving. Brands like Ripple have chocolate milk protein shakes with 20g of protein despite no dairy inside. The vegan market is growing, so it’s worth checking out the dairy-free options. 

Chocolate Milk Is a Good Post-Workout Drink

The jury’s verdict is here: drink chocolate milk after your workout. If you don’t like to eat immediately, you should drink chocolate milk because it’s easy to digest. Plus, you’ll do anything for the gains, so maximize them with a glass of your favorite drink from childhood. 

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