Did you know that 7% of American adults believe chocolate skim milk comes from brown cows?
No wonder people have such whimsical ideas about this brown beverage. Most of us have enjoyed its sweet, refreshing flavor after a long day at school, and some of us continue to indulge long into our adulthood. But have you ever considered that it doesn’t just have to be a guilty pleasure? Yep, you read that right. Chocolate milk (or at least its skimmed version) can be surprisingly good for your health.
In this article, we’ll talk about what chocolate skim milk is, what’s in it, how it’s great for your health, how to make it at home, and some concerns to look out for.
What is it?
Chocolate milk is simply milk that has been sweetened with chocolate. You can get it anywhere. Your local supermarket should carry a variety of brands of the stuff, or you could buy chocolate syrup and add it to milk. If you’re more into DIY, you could also blend cocoa powder with milk (plus a little sweetener to satisfy your sweet tooth), and you’ve got homemade chocolate milk. Serve cold for a delicious thirst quencher. Both kids and adults love a glass of choccy milk!
But we’re here to talk about chocolate skim milk. What’s that? Skim milk is what you get when you remove all the milkfat from whole milk. It contains less than 0.3% fat (1).
So on one hand, you have delicious and refreshing chocolate milk. On the other, you have light and healthy skim milk. What do you get when you put them together?
Chocolate Skim Milk
It really does seem like you’re getting the best of both worlds here. Before we go further into why you should consider adding chocolate skim milk to your diet, here’s a rundown of what’s in a cup of brown goodness:
Nutrition facts of chocolate skim milk (2):
· Serving size: 1 cup
· Total calories: 140 (7%)
· Total fat: 0.7g (1%)
· Total carbs: 27.22g (10%)
· Cholesterol: 5mg (2%)
· Protein: 8.55g
· Sodium: 98mg (4%)
(Note: The number in parenthesis is the percentage contribution towards your daily recommended intake.)
Health Benefits of Chocolate Skim Milk
Not only is chocolate skim milk great for your taste buds, but it’s also great for your health. Here’s how the brown beverage stacks up when it comes to health benefits.
1. Low in calories
There’s a reason why many schools are switching to our titular dairy product in student lunches. A 2005 study found that kids were served an estimated 5,960 fewer calories and 619 fewer grams of fat per year when they were served chocolate skim milk.
Now, that’s not a lot. At least not when it happens over a year. But as you’ll see, chocolate milk does wonders for your body, so you might as well scarf down fewer calories while you’re enjoying the health benefits of chocolate skim milk.
2. Effective and cheap workout drink
Here’s where things get really interesting.
A bit of background first: when you hit the gym or go for a jog, your body needs both carbohydrates and proteins to recover from the exertion. The carbs are what refuel your muscles. Proteins build and repair them. That’s why top athletes seem to survive on a diet of protein shakes and nutrient bars – they need both these nutrients and they need a lot of it.
Here’s the clincher: chocolate skim milk has both. If you’re a run-of-the-mill fitness enthusiast or gym rat, you’ll love the balanced carb-to-protein ratio of this beverage. The average person needs a recommended daily protein intake between 10 and 20 grams to build muscle and lose weight. Check our nutrition facts table up top – one cup of the good stuff contains right around 8.55g of protein. Take one cup before your workout session, one after, and voila. You’ve hit your protein intake sweet spot.
Also, it’s a great post-workout energy drink. Chocolate skim milk will boost your recovery after intense sessions at the gym, so chug away (3).
And last but not least, the best part: it’s cheap! Much cheaper than your regular post-workout pick-me-ups. Chocolate skim milk is just as effective as your garden-variety carbohydrate energy drinks, but is a fair bit lighter on your wallet (4).
3. Vitamin D and calcium for lowered fat absorption
You’ve probably heard since grade school how calcium makes your bones and teeth stronger. But milk’s most popular nutrient is now known for an even more impressive health benefit. Calcium has been shown to slow down fat absorption (5)!
That’s just half of the equation, though. Drinking calcium-fortified milk isn’t enough. Your body needs a particular vitamin to properly absorb calcium, namely vitamin D. And sure, the famous “sunlight vitamin” helps strengthen your muscles, keeps your bones strong, and improves your mental health, but what’s important to us right now is the calcium thing.
Chocolate skim milk has perfectly balanced amounts of both calcium and vitamin D. Which means you can get in a healthy one-two combo in your fight against body fat. Round one goes to chocolate skim milk.
4. Fights inflammation
Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria. Sounds helpful, right? Here’s the thing. Your immune system doesn’t always get it right. Sometimes there can be a false alarm, and you’re left with redness, heat, swelling, or worse. You just want it to go away.
Enter chocolate milk. Long story short, it has been shown to reduce inflammation. Long story longer, daily consumption of skim milk with cocoa rich in flavonoids may reduce inflammation. It’ll also slow or even prevent atherosclerosis, the scarier older brother of inflammation which causes your blood vessels to narrow and harden.
Drink plenty of chocolate skim milk and you won’t have to worry about either.
Chocolate Skim Milk – health concerns
Sadly, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. While yes, everyone’s favorite chocolate-flavored dairy product is healthy for the most part, some studies do advise a smidge of caution.
For example, on relatively recent study shows that school kids who drank skim milk (1% fat) showed higher BMI values than kids who chugged whole milk during recess (6). That study goes on to conclude that children who drank skim milk had a higher likelihood of being overweight. For obese children, whole milk might actually be better.
Before you close this article, here’s some silver lining. Read that last paragraph. Skim milk increases your likelihood of being overweight, and that too has only reliably been shown in kids. If you aren’t a kid, and if you put more than a passing thought into staying fit, you should be able to enjoy all the benefits of chocolate skim milk with none of the stress.
How to make Chocolate Skim Milk at home
It’s surprisingly easy to make chocolate skim milk at home. You just need three ingredients and a couple of minutes.
Ingredients for one cup
- Skim milk – 1 cup
- Ice – 1 cup
- Cocoa powder – 2 heaping tablespoons
- Maple syrup – 1 tablespoon
- Toss everything into your blender. Blend on a high-speed setting until the ice is crushed and your chocolate milk looks to be smooth and pourable.
- Serve with a straw and enjoy your healthy fat-fighting beverage!
People think they have to make a choice when it comes to healthy eating. You can either eat good food that tastes like garbage, or you can pig out on food that’ll leave you sicker than a dog. The worst thing – this is generally true. (Have you tried bitter melons? They’re apparently great for you. But they taste, you guessed it, bitter.)
In a world where you have to pick between food that tastes good and food that does good, it’s refreshing to find something like chocolate skim milk. It truly is the best of both worlds. It tastes pretty much like any other flavored milk. Which is to say, amazing. But at the same time, it’s surprisingly good for you. If you’re someone who’s into fitness and working out, you’ll love chocolate skim milk as a cheap and effective workout drink.
Turns out, you can have your cake and eat it too. Make delicious and healthy chocolate skim milk part of your diet today!