Post Workout Q & A: Chocolate Milk?

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October 11, 2012 by Imprint Fitness

This question comes from Brenden, awesome friend and kick-ass snowboarder;

Keep hearing anecdotes that Lowfat chocolate milk is a great thing to drink after a workout for recovery. Fact or Fiction?


Awesome question Brenden!

Theory: Post workout your body needs protein and carbs to work together to replenish glycogen stores and drive nutrients into muscle tissue. As a post workout drink, chocolate milk certainly addresses these needs. The question is really, To what extent and for whom is this best utilized?

First, chocolate milk is comprised of fat, fast acting carbohydrates, whey (quick absorption), and casein (slower absorption) protein. Sounds like the perfect storm right? Not so fast.

If you are looking to fuel your body for your workouts you can do much better! If you drank between 500 & 750ml of chocolate milk you would be getting 15-25g of protein and 5-31g of carbs, depending on which prepared drink you choose.

Back to basics!

You could also brew your own “carton of great nutrition” and again the results would vary depending on your choices.

So, you could easily choose hastily and end up with little protein and even less carbs, not the turbo recovery fuel you were promised!

Solution: Invest in a good whey isolate protein powder, mix it with water and have post workout with some fruit, 1 scoop of whey and a medium banana would yield about 24-28g of protein and 35-40g carbs at the same cost per serving. This should be followed closely with a well balanced meal of whole food proteins, carbs, and healthy fat sources.

You can get an idea of what to look for in a protein powder here;

We have had several people ask about protein powder recommendations lately, so we put together a list for all of you!

 Here are links to our favorite, affordable protein powders : 


(any whey protein by Dymatize is good, gluten-free, high protein content -tasty)

2. (great tasting, many flavors, digestion improving blend)

3. (very popular, easy to find, decent protein, many flavors)

 All of these can also be found at Vitamin Shoppe or GNC, Vitamin World. 

 If these are too expensive, it’s most important to use a protein with a short ingredient list, at least 21 grams of protein per scoop, under 9 carbs, low fat and made with whey protein isolate or hydrolysate as one of the first few ingredients (if you ONLY see protein concentrate, that is a cheaper, slower digesting formulation.) 

 The blender bottle is great because you can mix your protein on the go and it will not clump because of the whisk it comes with. Here is a link: can find these at a lot of grocery stores also). Although, it is not necessary if you plan on being home within 30-60s mins after your workout.

 Pre-workout: 1 scoop protein powder (can be mixed with milk, almond milk, water, you can add your own natural sweetener if it’s not sweet enough for you)

Post-workout: 1-2 scoops protein powder mixed with any liquid and a “quick” carb source. Examples of quick carbs: fruit, yogurt, white potato/yawm, white rice, dextrose. Try to avoid quick carbs before your weight training session. 

 Happy training!

Rebecca and Scott


Who benefits most from this post workout miracle in a glass?

Calorie burner!!

A drink like chocolate milk is most useful to a cyclist, swimmer, or long-distance runner. These sports stress high endurance levels and constant, sustained movement. Competing athletes need high levels of calories, carbs, and protein to sustain that level of performance.






NOT this guy!

So, to answer the question;

Lowfat chocolate milk is a great thing to drink after a workout for recovery. Fact or Fiction?

Fact: In certain circumstances, chocolate milk can be of benefit in immediate post recovery nutrition, provided good choices are made in selecting the sources of your elixir.

Fiction: It is not the best option for all athletes on all levels as is often suggested.


On a personal level, the only dairy I consume is whey protein. I would also recommend that if you decide to utilize chocolate milk in your post workout routine, you adhere to the following;

1. Lowfat Milk is highly processed and as such harder for the body to handle, use full fat milk and fit it into your daily macronutrient needs.

2. Use raw milk if possible

3. Use a chocolate syrup that does not contain corn syrup, high fructose or otherwise.

4. Must be high protein and high carb to gain “benefits”


You may have guessed that I am not the strongest advocate of this line of thinking, I believe there are better post workout drinks and much better options and sources of recovery nutrition. The choice is yours but put a little knowledge behind what goes into your body, you care enough about your workouts to ask; do yourself right!


Hope this helps and thank you for asking,


Imprint Fitness

Stronger. Every. Day.


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