Is Chocolate Milk a Good Recovery Drink?

Chocolate milkThe chocolate milk surge/craze is a crest of the next wave of alternatives to the typical sports drink and muscle recovery drink. I started seeing studies about the use of low-fat chocolate milk for muscle recovery back in 2006. The ratio is usually close to the 4:1. Just take note of the non-fiber carbs and protein in the milk of your choice. Then, enter those carbs divided by the protein into a calculator to get the ratio. You are looking for a number close to 4 for a decent match.

This is definitely a more cost-effective way to satisfy that 60-minute window for recovery. Be aware that the little bit of fat you will be taking in is saturated, so go easy. The exact amount you should take depends on your intensity, but the safe rule is to go with around 20 grams of non-fiber carbohydrates and 5 grams of protein. Also, if you are getting a powder to mix with milk, like Carnation or Nestle, be sure that your calculations include the milk you will be adding based on the serving suggestion on the back of the mix.

For more information supporting the low-fat chocolate milk recovery drink alternative, check out some of the articles listed below.

Good luck and have fun!

Author: Matt

Matt is a dedicated computer programmer and gamer trying to balance time sitting in front of a video screen with enough exercise to combat “sitting disease“.

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5 Comments

  1. Would follow the serving size listed on the chocolate milk? For example, Dean’s low-fat chocolate milk has 30g carbohydrate and 8g protein (3.75 ratio) This is the closest that I have seen to 4. Anyways, the serving size is 1 cup so I am assuming that is what I would consume correct?

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    • Hi Jessica,

      Yes, 1 serving is a good amount for those numbers. I wish you luck and enjoy!

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  2. Hi. I am so glad I came acrossed this information. I found an old discussion board on FB while was searching for an alternative to the P90X recovery drink.
    Thank you!

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  3. I was so excited to find that Chocolate milk could be used as a recovery drink!! However, I just wanted to make sure that I have this right as well… 2tbs of Nestle chocolate powder has 26g of carbs and 0 protein. 8oz of 1% Milk has 16g of carbs and 10g of protein. If I am correct this would be a 4.2 ratio and would be ok, correct?

    Also, I was wondering about the sugar content… for this amount of Nestle powder it contains 24g of sugar. That seems like a lot, but the sugar free powder does not allow for enough carbs. I am new to all of this and would appreciate any help 🙂

    Thank you!

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    • Hi Sara,

      Your calculations are correct; the ratio is 4.2:1, and that is just fine. Yes, 24-26 grams of sugar is normally excessive. However, it works well for your recovery drink. Find a label on the back of any “official” recovery drink and you’ll see there are a ton of sugar carbs in them…and that’s okay.

      I wish you well!

      -Matt

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