Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Does chocolate milk really do a body good?

I was lactose intolerant as a kid.  If I ingested milk or ate a lot of cheese or ice cream, I would have horrible stomach pains - alleviated by bouts of horrible things that happen in bathrooms that no one ever wants to admit to.

Fun kid, huh?

Anyway, back when I was a youngun' there was no such thing as Lactaid or milk substitutes...not really.  Know what I had on my Cheerios as a kid?  FORMULA.

I'm not kidding.  And in case you're wondering, it tasted as awful as you think it would.  Scratch that.  It tasted worse.

The thing that I admired most about the little Shannon in in my homeroom class (besides her shiny white blonde hair and the fact that her sandwiches had their crusts already cut off) was that she got to drink chocolate milk every day for lunch.

I LOOOVED chocolate milk, but because of reasons stated above, I knew I couldn't have it.

As I've gotten older throughout the years, I've been able to tolerate more and more milk in one sitting.  To where the only time I would ever get "sick" on it, would be if I really overdid it with a milk product. That was pretty rare with milk though...because I never really drank milk by itself when I was a kid, I don't really enjoy it now. 

I still love me some chocolate milk...but while I can overdo it on ice cream, cheese, milkshakes, or other products, I can't really ever overdo it on chocolate milk.  Something about it satisfies me more than just about anything else.

But like I mentioned in my POM juice post, I choose not to consume my calories in liquid form.  This means that I probably have never had a carton of chocolate milk in my house...until I started living with Joe.

This past weekend, we slept in...and when I woke up, I was famished.  Joe encouraged me to have a glass of chocolate milk, promising that it would help satiate me quicker than anything else I could reach for.

Turns out, he was right. I drank a small glass of chocolate milk and felt better in no time.  It took the edge off my hunger so that when we ate breakfast out (as we love to do), I wasn't so hungry that I was eating the tablecloth.

I harnessed the power of the internets and found this interesting article by the Eat This, Not That guy.  And he goes into a lot of information about why chocolate milk is the perfect before and after work out snack.  Surprisingly, he states that you're better off drinking 1% versus fat-free versions so that your body can get the vitamins that it needs.

And he's not alone in touting the health benefits.  Various sources on the internet claim that chocolate milk is a better and healthier for you than energy drinks.  One site lists information like:

•Nutritional analysis indicates chocolate milk is just as nutritious as regular milk.
•Chocolate milk contains about the same amount of sugar as an equal amount of unsweetened fruit juice. In fact, it has only one third more calories than white milk. The difference is equal to the calories in half a banana or pear.
•Just like white milk - chocolate milk is healthy for your teeth, since the cocoa, milk fat, calcium and phosphorus in chocolate milk can help to protect against cavities.
•Chocolate milk hydrates your body and quenches your thirst because milk is 87 per cent water. After physical activity chocolate milk helps to replenish your body's energy stores, and build and repair muscle.
•One cup of chocolate milk contains about the same amount of caffeine as decaffeinated coffee.

Obviously, I'm not a doctor (nor do I play one on this blog), but all of this information is prompting me to do my own study - on myself.

I've been looking for something to consume in the morning before I leave for work.  I'm typically not hungry enough to eat breakfast, but if I wait to long to eat (which usually happens when I get to work and the to-do list is overflowing at my desk), I'm famished and sometimes can't seem to catch up during the day.

So a quick glass of chocolate milk may actually be a winning combo for me - breaking my fast (from dinner the night before until when I drink the milk), and giving my body some much needed energy to at least start my day.

Having a cup before a run and after my run may also be a great way to fuel and re-fuel myself...and that's something that would be pretty exciting.  I can't eat or drink much before a race because I puke when my body starts getting active.  In the past, I've relied on energy chews (like fruit snacks, only ickier) to fuel my longer runs.  Now I don't have to endure that any longer....and those were in 100 calorie packs, so it's not like I'm going to be consuming many more calories.

I don't think that an all chocolate milk diet would be a good thing, but I feel like it might be a good addition to my daily consumption.

Have any of you all tried chocolate milk as a regular healthy addition to your life?  If so, what was your experience?


Jams said...

Let me add - Milk (and by default chocolate milk) is the only liquid that our bodies register as a "food."

I love me some chocolate milk! And it's great as a re-fueling drink after a tough workout! :) Drink on!

Ginger said...

when i am in the mood for a sweet fix i usually go for the chocolate milk. key word: usually :)

Katy said...

I'm very lactose intollerant and all of the things you mentioned happen to me....sooooooo, I avoid milk like the plague, but I love it! Sometimes I'll get some soy chocolate milk. I think it could be a great addition. It fills you up and it's so rich that you don't crave tons of it. I say give it a try!

beerab said...

Milk has a lot of essential vitamins and nutrients and fat as well. This is why even though children should have milk at every meal ped's recommend if your child is not eating their food and only drinking milk that you cut down their milk consumption. My coworker would give her daughter cups of milk at each meal but she's now going to be 4 and weighs like 30 lbs. Her ped told the mom don't give her more than 1 cup of milk per meal and now she's eating more food.

I don't crave milk often but when I do it's so satisfyingly yummy :)

Meg said...

I don't like to drink my calories either, and I'm not a milk drinker. My mom skipped breakfast and didn't drink milk when I was growing up...gee, wonder where I got those habits? ;)

Anyway, I keep hearing about how great chocolate milk is as a pre and post workout drink and I think I might be convinced. I don't like to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning, but at the same time, I don't like to chow down, either.

Debbie said...

I love Chocolate milk myself and I would drink it every day, but it has to many points for Weight Watchers. I like it ice cold though with little shivers of ice in it. Okay now I have to have some...

Lanie Painie said...

I personally think milk is over-rated and the dairy council must be in the pockets of the FDA or something.

What other animal drinks milk from other animals? Nobody. Just humans. Isn't that kind of weird? How did that start, do you think?

There's been a whole new craze in "raw milk" lately and it's got me thinking about it even more.

Karen@WaistingTime said...

I have not had it in years. I am not much of a milk drinker. But I have read that drinking milk helps you lose weight. Something about calcium in that form I think? My hubby is lactose intolerant but only realized it as an adult. Chocolate is a double whammy for him.

karen said...

I love a good ice cold chocolate milk and John absolutely loves the stuff! We even bought a case of sugar-free chocolate syrup because we kept running out so often :)

kristi said...

I often say that milk is my favorite beverage. I was the opposite of you as a kid because I always felt sick in the morning before school and milk is the only thing that made me feel better. I'm pretty sure I had an ulcer. Anyway, with my new healthier lifestyle I had cut out milk (don't want to drink the calories), until I read about how good it is for building muscle and hydration! Hooray for milk! I haven't gotten any chocolate milk recently, but I do buy 1% again.

Mark and Joella said...

I love chocolate milk! Though I usually use it as more of a treat or dessert than a staple in my diet. I usually use ovaltine...I like the malty flavor :)

KyokoCake said...

I haven't had chocolate milk in years! Hmmm...this is making me want some now!

TinaM said...

Ah, I LOVE chocolate milk, but I can't stop at just one glass. So I try to keep it out of the house. Maybe after I get my eating under control better I could try it... and I'll say "But HappyFunpants told me too!!!" :)

lafngirl said...

Wow...I never would have thought about chocolate milk in that way although it does make sense. I love milk...always have..and this is a good thing to read. Something new to try especially before and after workouts. Thank you for the heads up!! :)