Chocolate milk

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Chocolate milk
New chocolate milk.JPG
A glass of chocolate milk
TypeChocolate beverage
Country of originJamaica
Ingredients Milk, chocolate syrup or chocolate powder, sweetener (such as sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup)
A glass of pasteurized chocolate milk made from water buffalo's milk produced by the Philippine Carabao Center Chocomilkjf.JPG
A glass of pasteurized chocolate milk made from water buffalo's milk produced by the Philippine Carabao Center

Chocolate milk is a sweetened chocolate-flavored milk. It can be made by mixing chocolate syrup (or chocolate powder) with milk (from cows, goats, soy, rice, etc.). It can be purchased pre-mixed with milk or made at home by blending milk with cocoa powder and a sweetener (such as sugar or a sugar substitute), melted chocolate, chocolate syrup, or a pre-made powdered chocolate milk mix. Other ingredients, such as starch, salt, carrageenan, vanilla, or artificial flavoring are sometimes added. To add nutritional value to the product, sometimes some minerals like zinc oxide or iron are added.


The carrageenan is used at very low concentrations to form an imperceptible weak gel that prevents the large, dense particles of chocolate from sedimentation. Chocolate milk should be refrigerated like unflavored milk, with the exception of some ultra high temperature (UHT) pasteurized drinks, which can be stored at room temperature. Chocolate milk was first created in Jamaica by Irish physician Hans Sloane during the late 1700s, [1] [2] and is generally served cold. The nutritional qualities of chocolate milk are the subject of debate: while some studies criticize the high sugar content of chocolate milk, other studies suggest that chocolate milk is nutritionally superior to white milk.


At or below room temperature, chocolate is a solid, which does not dissolve, but instead remains powdered solid suspended in milk. The suspension must be stabilized, otherwise, the powder will settle. Separation can be slowed by any of the following: [3]

Scientific studies and research

Cartons of chocolate milk 20111019-FNS-RBN-1752 - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg
Cartons of chocolate milk

Some nutritionists have criticized chocolate milk for its high sugar content and its relationship to childhood obesity. [4] [5] In New York City, school food officials report that nearly 60 percent of the 100 million cartons served each year contain fat-free chocolate milk. [6] Because chocolate milk can contain twice as much sugar as plain low-fat milk from added sugars, some school districts have stopped serving the product altogether, including some areas in California and Washington, D.C. [6]

Nutritional studies

A number of studies have been issued in regard to chocolate milk nutrition. A 2005 study by the New York City (NYC) Department of Education found that by removing whole milk and replacing it with low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk, students were served an estimated 5,960 fewer calories and 619 fewer grams of fat per year. [7] However, more recent studies show that fat-free and low-fat milk may actually increase body fat and contribute to obesity. Whole milk may in fact be healthier for obese children than low-fat or non-fat milk. [8]

In a study conducted in 2006, researchers stated that the benefits of drinking chocolate milk were likely due to its ratio of carbohydrates to protein, among other nutritional properties. [9] However, this study was small in scale as it was conducted on only nine athletes and was partially funded by the dairy industry. Furthermore, the study compared chocolate milk to two energy drinks and unflavored milk was not used as a comparison, so it is unknown if chocolate milk is superior to unflavored milk as a recovery drink. [10]

An April 2007 study from Loughborough University indicated that chocolate milk can boost recovery when taken after athletic workouts. The study found that milk was an effective rehydration drink. [11]

A November 2009 study conducted by scientists in Barcelona, Spain suggests that regularly consuming skimmed milk with cocoa rich in flavonoids may reduce inflammation and slow or prevent the development of atherosclerosis. However, the study notes that its effects are not as pronounced as seen in consumption of red wine. [12]

A study published in 2009 compared chocolate milk to a commercial recovery beverage (matched for carbohydrate and protein content) administered to cyclists after intense workouts. The researchers found no difference in post-workout plasma creatine kinase levels and muscle soreness, nor in cycling time to exhaustion. However, being that chocolate milk is usually less expensive than commercial recovery beverages, the researchers concluded that chocolate milk "serves as a more convenient, cheaper...recovery beverage option for many athletes". [13]

A May 2010 sports nutrition study concluded that "exercise recovery during short-term periods of heavy soccer training appears to be similar when isocaloric CM (Chocolate Milk) and CHO (Carbohydrate) beverages are consumed post-exercise". [14]

Yet another study in 2011 at Kean University in New Jersey concluded similar results in male soccer players discovering that there was an increase in time to fatigue when chocolate milk was consumed. The Kean University study also viewed chocolate milk's effects on female soccer players undergoing morning and afternoon practices during preseason. They were either given the carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage or chocolate milk between morning and afternoon preseason practices. Following every afternoon practice, each athlete completed a shuttle run to fatigue. The study concluded that chocolate milk is just as beneficial as the carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage in promoting recovery in women. [15]

Nutritional values

There are 5 milligrams of caffeine in each mini carton of chocolate milk. Chocolate has oxalic acid, which reacts with the calcium in the milk producing calcium oxalate, thus preventing the calcium from being absorbed in the intestine. However, it is present in small enough amounts that the effect on calcium absorption is negligible. [16] As chocolate contains relatively small amounts of oxalate, it is unclear to what extent chocolate consumption affects healthy people with calcium-rich diets.

In a 2008 study, participants who consumed one or more servings of chocolate on a daily basis had lower bone density and strength than those participants who ate a serving of chocolate six times a week or less. Researchers believe this may be due to oxalate inhibiting calcium absorption – but it could also be due to sugar content in chocolate, which may increase calcium excretion. It is clear however, that consuming foods high in oxalate – and in turn their effect on calcium absorption – is a more significant concern for people with oxalate kidney stones, which occur when there is too much oxalate in the urine. These people especially should reduce their oxalate intake and increase their calcium intake. [17] However, the high magnesium content in chocolate is likely to reduce the risk of stone formation, because like citrate, magnesium is also an inhibitor of urinary crystal formation. [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

Chocolate Food produced from the seed of Theobroma cacao

Chocolate is a preparation of roasted and ground cacao seeds that is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, which may also be used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. The earliest signs of use are associated with Olmec sites suggesting consumption of chocolate beverages, dating from the 19th century BC. The majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs.

Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated way to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight, or to prevent and treat diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Dieting to lose weight is recommended for people with weight-related health problems, but not otherwise healthy people. As weight loss depends on calorie intake, different kinds of calorie-reduced diets, such as those emphasising particular macronutrients, have been shown to be no more effective than one another. As weight regain is common, diet success is best predicted by long-term adherence. Regardless, the outcome of a diet can vary widely depending on the individual.

Nutella is a brand of sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread. Nutella is manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero and was first introduced in 1964, although its first iteration dates to 1963.

Food pyramid (nutrition)

A food pyramid is a representation of the optimal number of servings to be eaten each day from each of the basic food groups. The first pyramid was published in Sweden in 1974. The 1992 pyramid introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was called the "Food Guide Pyramid" or "Eating Right Pyramid". It was updated in 2005 to "MyPyramid", and then it was replaced by "MyPlate" in 2011.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) (;) is a number from 0 to 100 assigned to a food, with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food. The GI of a specific food depends primarily on the quantity and type of carbohydrate it contains; but also is affected by the amount of entrapment of the carbohydrate molecules within the food, the fat and protein content of the food, the amount of organic acids in the food, and whether it is cooked and, if so, how it is cooked. GI tables are available that list many types of foods with their GIs. A food is considered to have a low GI if it is 55 or less; high GI if 70 or more; and mid-range GI if 56 to 69.

Low-carbohydrate diet Diets restricting carbohydrate consumption

Low-carbohydrate diets restrict carbohydrate consumption relative to the average diet. Foods high in carbohydrates are limited, and replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of fat and protein, as well as low carbohydrate foods.

Rice milk

Rice milk is a plant milk made from rice. Commercial rice milk is typically manufactured using brown rice and brown rice syrup, and may be sweetened using sugar or sugar substitutes, and flavored by common ingredients, such as vanilla. It is commonly fortified with protein and micronutrients, such as vitamin B12, calcium, iron, or vitamin D.

Chocoholic Person who craves chocolate

A chocoholic is a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate. The word "chocoholic" was first used in 1968, according to Merriam-Webster. It is a portmanteau of "chocolate" and "alcoholic". The term is used loosely or humorously to describe a person who is inordinately fond of chocolate; however, there is medical evidence to support the existence of actual addiction to chocolate. Psychoactive constituents of chocolate that trigger a ‘feel-good’ reaction for the consumer include tryptophan and phenylethylamine, which may contribute to cravings and addiction-like responses, particularly in people with specific genetic alleles. The quantity of sugar used in chocolate confections also impacts the psychoactive effects of chocolate.

Healthy diet Diet that helps maintain or improve general health

A healthy diet is a diet that helps maintain or improve overall health. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate food energy.

Isomaltulose Chemical compound

Isomaltulose is a disaccharide carbohydrate composed of glucose and fructose. The glucose and fructose are linked by an alpha-1,6-glycosidic bond. Isomaltulose is present in honey and sugarcane extracts. It tastes similar to sucrose with half the sweetness. Isomaltulose, also known by the trade name Palatinose, is manufactured by enzymatic rearrangement (isomerization) of sucrose from beet sugar. The enzyme and its source were discovered in Germany in 1950, and since then its physiological role and physical properties have been studied extensively. Isomaltulose has been used as an alternative to sugar in foods in Japan since 1985, in the EU since 2005, in the US since 2006, and in Australia and New Zealand since 2007, besides other countries worldwide. Analytical methods for characterization and assay of commercial isomaltulose are laid down, for example, in the Food Chemicals Codex. Its physical properties closely resemble those of sucrose, making it easy to use in existing recipes and processes.

Sports nutrition

Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet with regards to improving anyone's athletic performance. Nutrition is an important part of many sports training regimens, being popular in strength sports and endurance sports. Sports nutrition focuses its studies on the type, as well as the quantity of fluids and food taken by an athlete. In addition, it deals with the consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, supplements and organic substances that include carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Among guideline recommendations including the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Diabetes UK, there is no consensus that one specific diet is better than others. This is due to a lack of long term high quality studies on this subject matter.

Fat content of milk

The fat content of milk is the proportion of milk, by weight, made up by butterfat. The fat content, particularly of cow's milk, is modified to make a variety of products. The fat content of milk is usually stated on the container, and the color of the label or milk bottle top varied to enable quick recognition.


Antinutrients are natural or synthetic compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Nutrition studies focus on antinutrients commonly found in food sources and beverages. Antinutrients may take the form of drugs, chemicals that naturally occur in food sources, proteins, or overconsumption of nutrients themselves. Antinutrients may act by binding to vitamins and minerals, preventing their uptake, or inhibiting enzymes.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to chocolate:

Weight management

Weight management is the phrase used to describe both the techniques and underlying physiological processes that contribute to a person's ability to attain and maintain a certain weight. Most weight management techniques encompass long-term lifestyle strategies that promote healthy eating and daily physical activity. Moreover, weight management involves developing meaningful ways to track weight over time and to identify ideal body weights for different individuals.

Health effects of chocolate The possible positive and negative effects on health of eating chocolate

The health effects of chocolate are the possible positive and negative effects on health of eating chocolate.

Sweetened beverage

A sweetened beverage is any beverage with added sugar. It has been described as "liquid candy". Consumption of sweetened beverages has been linked to weight gain, obesity, and associated health risks. According to the CDC, consumption of sweetened beverages is also associated with unhealthy behaviors like smoking, not getting enough sleep and exercise, and eating fast food often and not enough fruits regularly.

Fairlife, stylized as fa!rlife, is a brand of ultrafiltered milk distributed in Canada and the United States by The Coca-Cola Company. The milk comes in five varieties: reduced fat, chocolate, strawberry, fat-free, and whole milk.

Dark chocolate Chocolate with high cocoa solids content

Dark chocolate is a form of chocolate containing cocoa solids and cocoa butter, without the milk or butter found in milk chocolate. Government and industry standards of what products may be labeled "Dark chocolate" vary by country and market.


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  2. "About Sir Hans Sloane – Natural History Museum" . Retrieved 12 January 2017.
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  6. 1 2 Severson, Kim (24 August 2010). "A School Fight Over Chocolate Milk". The New York Times. p. 3. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
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  10. "" (PDF). Retrieved 12 January 2017.
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  17. Katherine Zeratsky, "Chocolate: Does it impair calcium absorption?",
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