Recent studies have noted that the New York City public school system switch from whole milk to low-fat milk in 2005 has "resulted in 5,960 fewer calories (consumed) and 619 fewer grams of fat in 2009 compared to 2004." Whole milk contains about 150 calories with 8 grams of fat (5 of which are saturated) per serving. Meanwhile, low-fat milk contains about 120 calories with 3 grams of fat per serving (2 of which are saturated). This translates to saving 30 calories and 5 grams of fat for each carton of milk consumed. Due to the success schools are even making the push to get rid of chocolate milk, because of the sugar content.
Children may be saying goodbye to chocolate milk due to the school systems control over the supply, but should you follow suit? The answer is an astounding no. Next time you consider sport drinks, consider stirring up some of your favorite chocolate syrup into a glass of milk. Studies suggest that chocolate milk is a great substitute for sports drinks after or between work-outs. The reason for this is the drink's combination of carbohydrates and proteins at 8 to 11 grams of protein (about 80% casein to 20% whey protein ratio) and 20 to 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving, which seems to be the optimal mix for muscle recovery. After a workout your body is low on glucose which was used for energy; the sugar in the chocolate milk causes an insulin spike delivering glucose into the muscles. The whey proteins are quickly digested and broken down into amino acids and delivered for much needed muscle recovery while casein protein is digested slowly over time extending the delivery of amino acids.
What sets chocolate milk apart from other similar drinks is its unique sugars and other key nutrients. The sugars in milk are broken down easier in the body allowing for optimal and quick delivery of nutrients. Milk also offers large quantities of calcium and vitamin D which not only aid in bone growth and repair but calcium is a large part of muscle contraction. Supplying your body with calcium will ensure optimal muscle performance.
For an ideal chocolate milk drink try two servings of low-fat or skim milk (16 ounces) with a low sugar chocolate syrup like Hershey's sugar free chocolate syrup, or a pre-made chocolate milk drink like Organic Valley organic 1% low-fat chocolate milk.