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Chocolate is a sweet treat made from cocoa which is liked by all ages, kids typically love to eat, and it is available in solid, liquid, and powdered form. Eating chocolate can increase heart health, balance the immune system, fight diabetes and boost energy reserve.
When chocolate is combined with milk, which is rich in calcium, riboflavin, and vitamins like vitamin D, and vitamin A (added while processing), it proves to be a healthy drink, and we call it Chocolate Milk. Let us quickly dive into the health benefits of chocolate milk.
1. Nutritional Facts
One cup (240 mL) of chocolate milk is filled with the following nutritional values.
- Calories: 180-211
- Carbohydrates: 26-32 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Sugar Content: 11-17 g
- Fat Content: 2.5-9 g
- Calcium: 28% of the daily value
- Vitamin D: 25% of the daily value
- Potassium: 12% of the daily value
- Phosphorous: 25% of the daily value
Also, chocolate milk contains a trace amount of minerals like zinc, selenium, iodine, and magnesium and vitamins like A, B1, B6, and B12.
2. Health Benefits Of Chocolate Milk
2.1. Improves Bone Health
Chocolate milk is rich in calcium, the main mineral in the bone, at about 99% in the form of calcium-phosphate complexes. It plays an important role in maintaining bone health and the structure of our body.
The primary sources of dietary calcium are milk and dairy products which tend to get absorbed quickly. Studies suggest that this may be the reason for the development of strong bones in children and women.
2.1.1. Role Of Vitamin D
One of the essential vitamins to our body is Vitamin D, which plays a major role in maintaining the balance of calcium in our body. Vitamin d deficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, especially in women, and diseases like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
To meet the daily needs of Vitamin D in our diet, chocolate milk is fortified with Vitamin D and other nutrients like proteins and phosphorous, which promote healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D aids calcium absorption and prevents osteomalacia (a condition in which bone can’t absorb enough calcium and becomes soft and fragile, in children, it is called rickets).
Consumption of chocolate milk may lower the risk of fractures and bone diseases, like hypocalcemia and osteoporosis, especially in older adults.
2.2. Best Companion For Athletes
Chocolate milk may help in exercise recovery and weight gain in athletes, as this drink is rich in carbohydrates and protein, they improvise muscle growth and replenish the electrolyte lost during the grueling workout.
Is chocolate milk good for athletes? Let’s find out.
2.2.1. Boosts Athletic Performance
low-fat chocolate milk enhances athletes’ performance more effectively than a commercial drink. Studies suggest drinking chocolate milk after a strenuous workout could increase endurance and fitness compared to other carbohydrate drinks.
Chocolate milk contains a healthy amount of carbs that can regenerate the body’s energy reserve quickly.
2.2.2. Replenishes The Electrolytes
Electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium are naturally present in chocolate milk which can replenish the lost electrolytes from the body due to excessive workouts and dehydration.
These electrolytes help our body to gain much need energy and prevent dehydration during strenuous workouts, and drinking chocolate milk can help in quick rehydration and prevents dehydration.
2.2.3. Helps In Gaining Muscle
The proteins which are available in chocolate milk support recovery by gaining more muscle after a hard workout. Generally, the muscles are torn or strained due to wrong workout or unadvised equipment practice.
Chocolate milk is really helpful in repairing, building, and strengthening the muscles and satisfying your tummy.
In a study conducted by the University of Texas, 32 healthy individuals who were untrained cyclists consumed one of three drinks: chocolate milk, a carbohydrate replacement, or a fluid replacement beverage. The study concluded that cyclists who drank chocolate milk gained more muscle mass and lost fat than the professional cyclist who recovered with sports drinks such as carbohydrate or fluid replacement beverages.
This drink is relatively less effective than the other protein-rich drinks at enhancing post-exercise recovery markers but is still a good choice for newbies to workouts.
2.3. Prevents Heart Disease
Chocolate milk is made from cocoa powder which contains flavanols that prevent heart diseases like heart attack and heart failure.
The blood vessels, especially arteries, lose flexibility and the property to expand and contract. Hence, the blood flows at a constant rate throughout the body, leading to high blood pressure and hypertension.
Studies published in the journal Age and the British Journal of Nutrition reveal that consuming flavanols (present in chocolate milk) for about 4 weeks has significantly increased flow-mediated vasodilation by 21 percent.
The healthy amounts of potassium, which is more than 10%, also contribute to lowering high blood pressure, subsequently increasing heart health.
2.4. Eases Skin Care
Research shows chocolate milk is densely packed with antioxidants (the quantity may sound less than powdered cocoa). This is due to the cocoa added to milk, which has a high free radical absorption capacity.
Let us see the health benefits of chocolate milk to our skin.
2.4.1. Acts As Sun-shield
Skin, when exposed to the sun, gets tanned easily. This is due to the harmful UV rays which penetrate through the topmost layer of skin, called the epidermis, and stimulate melanocytes which are the cells that produce melanin (a brown pigment that causes skin tanning).
Chocolate milk contains flavonoids that have the property to reflect back the UV radiation that falls on the skin and also prevent sunburn and skin cancer.
2.4.2. Has Anti-ageing Property
The main benefit of chocolate milk is that it stops the skin damage that occurs as we grow older and older. Since vitamin A is present in chocolate milk, it keeps the skin hydrated and prevents dry skin, which causes cracks and the appearance of fine lines.
Healthy blood circulation is maintained by flavanols through the dilation of blood vessels, thus making the skin glow naturally rather than using artificial creams that may have side effects. Also, drinking chocolate milk may help reduce dark spots and pigmentation.
2.4.3. Heals Skin
The flavanols in chocolate milk help reduce chronic inflammation and skin allergies like psoriasis and eczema. The drink is rich in vitamins and minerals that constitute the fundamental process of tissue repair and growth. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc help repair tissue damage prevent infection, and keep the skin fresh.
It also lightens the skin scars and stretch marks on the skin.
3. You Can Make Your Own Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is made by mixing cow’s milk and chocolate powder, which is easy to make. We need real cocoa powder and the required amount of sugar for sweetness rather than buying chocolate powder or syrup (which may contain high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners); it is far more natural and healthy.
- Unsweetened milk (350 mL).
- Cocoa powder (30 g).
- Sugar content (needed amount).
- Ice cubes (if required).
- Water (100 mL).
- Add 30 g of unflavoured cocoa powder and sugar (approximately 15 g) in a container, then whisk it for a while to mix.
- Pour water and keep the container on the stove at med-low heat. Stir it continuously until it becomes smooth and reaches the desired thickness.
- Check for the sweetness; if it is not enough, then add a little more sugar and continue stirring until the added sugar is dissolved.
- Switch off the stove and pour the thick chocolate syrup into a separate container to cool it down.
- Once the chocolate syrup is cooled, pour milk into the container. Whenever there is a notion about milk, we can use any kind of milk, but regular cow’s milk is a better choice. Stir it until the mixture becomes dark brown in color.
- Drop a few ice cubes according to your preference.
- Now, delicious chocolate milk is ready to serve.
Although chocolate milk has many health benefits, it has some negative effects too.
4. Is Chocolate Milk Good For Everyone?
Chocolate milk is not always a good choice since it has some complications, they are:
4.1. Linked With Cavities In Children
Since chocolate milk is sweet, the children must be closely monitored their daily intake. They can quickly develop cavities and may lead to tooth loss.
4.2. May Increase The Risk Of Diabetes
Chocolate milk is rich in added sugars since some brands use high fructose corn syrup which sweetens the drink more than usual. This may be linked to diabetes and obesity in adults.
4.3. Causes Lactose Intolerance
Generally, milk contains lactose, which everyone cannot digest. If you are experiencing a digestion problem, check out: “How Long Does It Take to Digest Food? 5 Best Ways to Have Healthy Digestion“. The symptoms of lactose intolerance include diarrhea, nausea, and sometimes vomiting.
Chocolate milk is rich in nutrients and minerals, which can benefit us in many ways, like strengthening the bones and gaining muscle. On the other hand, it may be the reason for diseases and disabilities.
A limited approach is the best way to avoid any kind of discomfort. So, consuming chocolate milk occasionally is a healthy practice.