Potential Health Benefits Of Chocolate Milk
Bone health. Milk is naturally rich in calcium, an essential nutrient for your bones and teeth. In addition, most of the milk available in the U.S. and many other countries is fortified with vitamin D. This combination of nutrients makes milk a bone-health powerhouse.
U.S. dairy producers began adding vitamin D to milk in the 1930s to help eliminate rickets, a bone-weakening disease. Rickets, which at the time was common in children, is caused by vitamin D deficiency and makes bones softer and weaker than they should be.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, a softening of the bones that increases the risk of fractures. Both diseases can be prevented by eating foods high in vitamin D and thats where milk, including chocolate milk, comes in.
Muscle mass and endurance. Chocolate milk is rich in protein, which helps build muscle mass. Several studies have also found that drinking chocolate milk significantly increases endurance, which helps you keep exercising longer.
As a result, chocolate milk can help you build muscle mass directly, by providing protein, and indirectly, by enabling you to exercise longer. Some evidence also suggests that it may be even more effective than sports drinks for increasing endurance and reducing post-workout exhaustion.
Is Chocolate Milk Better Than White Milk
While chocolate milk has more grams of carbohydrates per serving than white milk, both offer the same nine essential nutrients, and either one can be an excellent choice post-workout. Milk, both white and chocolate, contains two types of high-quality protein whey and casein which aid in muscle recovery and repair.
What Is Almond Milk Protein
Pure almond milk is ground almonds and water.
Some people make their almond milk by blending almonds and water. After fusing into a minced almond consistency, it’s necessary to strain the resulting mixture to produce smooth almond milk.
Most people purchase almond milk at the grocery or health food store. These products are more convenient. However, commercially available almond milk products contain additional ingredients. These include preservatives, thickeners, and flavorings.
Preservatives lengthen the product’s shelf-life, while thickeners improve its texture. Some consumers find sweetened and flavored almond milk to be more palatable. However, unsweetened and unflavored almond milk remains the most natural choice.
Don’t Miss: Nature Valley Protein Bars Bodybuilding
The Best Milk Alternatives For Toddlers
Many cows milk alternatives are lower in fat, protein, and other vitamins like B12, vitamin D, and calcium than cows milk. Youll want to introduce each of them separately a few days apart to ensure your child doesnt have an allergic reaction to any of the alternatives.
First, lets take a look at the nutrient composition of whole milk from a cow.
How To Choose The Best Almond Milk
Most local grocery stores offer a variety of almond milks.
When choosing a product, be sure to look for an unsweetened variety. You can also select a type without added gums or emulsifiers if these ingredients are a concern to you.
Finally, if you follow a restricted diet, such as veganism or vegetarianism, and are concerned about your nutrient intake, choose almond milk that is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Homemade and some local options may not contain these nutrients.
To reap the most benefits, choose almond milk that is unsweetened, unflavored, and fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
To make your own almond milk, follow this simple recipe.
- 2 cups of soaked almonds
- 4 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Soak the almonds in water overnight and drain before use. Add the almonds, water, and vanilla to a blender and pulse for 12 minutes until the water is cloudy and the almonds are finely ground.
Pour the mixture into a mesh strainer that is placed over a bowl and lined with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Be sure to press down to extract as much liquid as possible. You should get approximately 4 cups of almond milk.
Place the liquid into a serving container and store it in your refrigerator for 45 days.
To make your own almond milk, add soaked almonds, water, and vanilla extract to a blender. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth and mesh strainer. Store the remaining liquid in your refrigerator for 45 days.
Recommended Reading: Protein Headache
Potassium Vitamin D And Vitamin E
Cow’s milk offers the most potassium per serving of all alternative milk products. Soy milk is next with approximately 8% of the recommended DV. Almond milk comes in last with only 4% of the DV.
Cow’s milk also provides the most Vitamin D at 25% of the recommended DV.
Almond milk provides about a third of this amount or 8% of the recommended DV. In terms of Vitamin D, almond milk is a better milk substitute than soy milk, which offers none.
Finally, with a whopping 110% of the recommended DV, almond milk offers the most Vitamin E of any milk product. As with Vitamin D, soy milk contains no appreciable Vitamin E. Meanwhile, cow’s milk provides only 1% of the recommended DV.
The Environmental Impact Of Non
One final aspect you might care about is the environmental impact of these milks, since people who care about animals have a significant impact with people who care about the environment.
This graphic from the BBC clearly compares the environmental impact of the most popular plant milks to dairy milk.
Its clear that all non-dairy milks have lower emissions, land use, and water use than dairy milk.
So regardless of which ones you drink regularly, its still a good thing.
Almond milk is a special case since the majority of almonds are grown in California, which is partly a desert. They are relatively water intensive compared to other plant milks. In addition, growing almonds requires some bee exploitation, so some even question if almond milk is vegan.
Pea milk was not included in the above graph because its not that common. However, it has a similar amount of environmental impact to soy milk .
Recommended Reading: Shakeology Vs Whey Protein
What Is Skim Milk
Skim milk is simply milk that has had most of the butterfat removed and some vitamins added by fortification.
We will examine the full nutritional content a little later on, but skim milk usually has between 0% and 0.1% fat content.
Depending on where you live, you may know this type of milk by different names:
- Skim Milk
- Skimmed Milk : This milk typically comes in red packaging or has a red top.
It is also common to hear people call it non-fat or fat-free milk.
The main difference in the nutrition profile of whole milk and skim milk is the calories and fat content.
As skim milk contains no fat, the total amount of calories is much lower.
Almond Soy Rice And Other Milks: The Nutrition Comparison
With just 30 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per cup, unsweetened almond milk is a great option if you are trying to cut calories. Also, since almonds actually contain calcium, it is one of the best calcium-containing alternatives, boasting 45% of the daily value per cup. It also naturally provides vitamin E. However, the protein content still ranks low with just 1 gram per cup.
With 6 grams of protein per cup, soy milk comes the closest to cows milk in protein content. Plus, like cows milk, it also provides potassium and has just 100 calories with 3.5 grams of fat and 0.5g saturated fat per cup. Look for enriched versions to ensure that you also get the other important nutrients, such as calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin D.
This milk doesn’t win out on the calorie-to-protein ratio due to its 130 calories and only 1 gram of protein per cup. However, it has just 2.5 grams of fat and no saturated fat per cup, and enriched rice milk has calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins added. Look for unsweetened varieties to avoid 12 grams of sugar per cup.
With 4 grams of saturated fat per serving coconut milk is an alternative that ranks highly in fat. Coconut milk has also traditionally been high in calories, but some unsweetened versions have just 45 calories per cup.
Usually very high in sugar and somewhat high in calories , oat milk has more protein than some alternatives, providing 4 grams per 1 cup serving.
Also Check: Lack Of Protein Headache
Are Plant Milks Worth The Money
While the price of plant-based milks can range widely from $3 or more for a half-gallon regular milk is often much cheaper. A gallon of whole, on average, costs $3.58.
Cows milk is going to be the least expensive, said Ms. Majumdar, of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. But it has the most nutrients, so you are getting more bang for your buck.
Christopher Gardner, a nutrition scientist and professor of medicine at Stanford Prevention Research Center, however, said that for him, the higher price of plant milks is worth it for animal welfare and environmental reasons. Ive never met a belching soybean or pea, he said, referring to cows emissions of methane gas. If you are an eco-warrior, it could be worth the cost.
Not all plant milks are eco-friendly, though. It requires an estimated 15 gallons of water to grow just 16 almonds and most are grown in drought-stricken California.
How To Make It
Oat milk is easy to make at home and potentially even cheaper than store-bought options.
Whats more, making your own allows you to choose the ingredients and avoid the additives or thickeners that are found in some commercial products. You can also make it gluten-free by using certified gluten-free oats.
Heres how to make homemade oat milk in just a few minutes:
To enhance the flavor, try adding either a pinch of salt, a little vanilla or cinnamon extract, a few dates, maple syrup, or honey before blending.
You can safely store the oat milk in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To avoid a slimy result, use cold water, refrain from squeezing the cheesecloth too hard when draining the remaining liquid, dont soak your oats beforehand, and dont blend them for longer than 30 seconds.
You can make your own oat milk by blending 1 cup of oats with 3 cups of water and pouring the mixture over cheesecloth into a bottle or jar. It keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Oat milk is an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
One cup of unsweetened, enriched oat milk by Oatly contains (
Also Check: Protein Powder High Cholesterol
What Else Should Be In A Post
Whats often overlooked in our post-workout recovery equation is carbohydrates. Working out also depletes your bodys glycogen, which is essentially stored energy. Eating carbs replenishes glycogen, and also helps cell maintenance and repair.
So, an optimal post-workout recovery drink would have a good mixture of both carbs and protein, with some electrolytes thrown in. Electrolytes are minerals like calcium, sodium and potassium that keep you hydrated and help balance your bodys pH.
Protein shakes are best if you dont consume dairy.
Read Also: 21 Day Fix Shakeology Alternatives
Top Chocolate Milk Drinks For Post
Chocolate milk has long been touted as the ideal recovery drink. The combination of fluid, protein and carbohydrate is just what your body needs to refuel post run while its calcium and vitamin D supports bone health. A study from Southern Connecticut State University compared the performance of runners who refuelled using either chocolate milk or a carbohydrate-only drink over two separate trials. Results showed that both drinks effectively replenished muscle glycogen but those who drank chocolate milk also had markers of increased muscle synthesis indicating better recovery. To prove the point, in the second trial, individuals who drank the chocolate milk lasted significantly longer in the endurance test.
But not all chocolate milks are created equal. Different products can offer varying benefits for runners so choose one that meets your needs.
Best for after a long run: For Goodness Shakes Recovery
For Goodness Shakes Recovery is made from a combination of semi skimmed and skimmed milk and contains a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein. It is specifically designed to support muscle health and restore energy after longer runs. Due to its higher carb content, save this for runs of an hour plus.
Tasting notes: An intensely chocolatey flavour and the sweetest of all brands tested.
£1.75 per 475ml bottle from Ocado.
Per 475ml: 299 cals, 50g carbs and 16g protein.
Best for when you dont have a fridge: BAM
Tasting notes: A subtle chocolate flavour with a lighter, milky consistency.
Read Also: Headache From Lack Of Protein
Bone And Dental Health
A cup of milk contains almost 30 percent of the daily requirement of calcium for adults. Milk also contains potassium and magnesium. These minerals are important for healthy bones and teeth.
Dairy provides almost of the calcium in a typical American diet.
Most milk has added vitamin D. A cup of fortified milk contains about of the recommended daily amount. Vitamin D is an important vitamin that plays many roles in the body, including promoting calcium absorption and bone mineralization.
What Other Almond Milk Nutrition Facts Should I Know
Besides calories and protein, almond milk provides other nutrients.
These nutrients include:
- 24% of the recommended daily value of calcium
- 4% of the DV of potassium
- 8% of the DV of Vitamin D
- 110% of the DV of Vitamin E
Comparing these facts for almond milk vs. milk and other milk alternatives reveals some interesting observations.
Recommended Reading: Does Special K Protein Bars Make You Gain Weight
Compared To 1 Cup Of Whole Fat Cow Milk:
- Oat milk has almost as many calories as cow milk . Almond, rice, coconut, hemp, and cashew milk are lower in calories.
- Most have 25-63% of the fat of cow milk, with the exception of Hemp
- All are lower in sugar except for Oat and Hazelnut
- All are lower in protein except Soybean, Pea, and Flaxseed
- All have comparable sodium except coconut, which is much lower
- Pea protein milk has more potassium than cow milk soy is comparable
- Almond, pea, and flaxseed milk have more calcium than cow milk
Dairy-alternative milks tend to have fewer calories, less fat , more water content , less protein . Some are fortified with other vitamins and nutrients.
While having less fat, protein, and calories in a milk alternative may be a perk for adult consumers, for children, these may be important limitations for parents to consider.
The Choice Is Yours White Or Chocolate
Improve your post-exercise game plan by refueling within 30-60 minutes after exercise. Plan ahead and try these tips to get the most nutrition:
- For most athletes, 8 to 14 ounces of chocolate milk will provide the right amount of carbohydrates and protein to refuel after exercise.
- If your choice is white milk, pair it with a banana or other carbohydrate-rich snack, or enjoy cereal, granola or oatmeal topped with milk.
- Blend together milk, yogurt, fruit and ice to satisfy post-workout hunger with a nutrient-rich smoothie. Try one of our many smoothie recipes or get inspired and make your own.
Don’t Miss: Bulk Supplements Protein
What Is Ultrafiltered Milk
Ultrafiltered milk starts with real milk, but through filtration can change the milk to decrease the lactose or increase the protein, for example. How does this happen?
Borrowing from water purification techniques, ultrafiltration of milk is the process of passing milk over a specialized semi-porous membrane. Depending on the size, shape or affinity for the membrane, some milk components will pass through the membrane and others will be retained. The permeate is what passes through the membrane while the retentate is what is left behind.
If a dairy processor wants to make a milk that has no lactose, for example, they might use a membrane that allows the lactose to pass through the membrane. Or, if they want a milk that is higher in protein, they would use a membrane that retains the protein. The processor would then recombine the components to add in or leave out the components they want in their milk.
Milk can also be microfiltered to separate out bacteria that could eventually cause spoilage, resulting in a milk with an especially long shelf life. Microfiltration uses a slightly more open membrane than is used with ultrafiltration.
A processor might want to produce a milk with more than one of these characteristics, so the milk might pass over a series of membranes.
How To Make Homemade Almond Milk Cheaper Than Store
The advantage of making your own almond milk at home is that YOU get to determine the ingredients. There are no added sweeteners or fillers in this homemade version! That also means that you can decide how many almonds to use in this recipe.
For the creamiest almond milk, I recommend using the ratio noted in the printable recipe card below, but you can save money by using less almonds to water. Ill often use only 1/2 cup of almonds in 4 cups of water when Im making almond milk to use in cereal or in smoothies, which makes this homemade version much more affordable. I also think it tastes better than anything Ive ever bought at the store! I hope youll think so, too.
You May Like: Shakeology Vs Premier Protein