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My nutrition clients often ask me about whether chocolate milk would be a good choice to mix with whey protein, so I wanted to answer that in more detail.
Can you mix whey protein with chocolate milk? Yes, whey protein and chocolate milk are great around a workout, especially if you are on the go or can’t eat a whole meal directly after your workout. Since it’s higher in calories than other liquids, it’s best for those that are gaining mass (i.e. bulking), but not for those who are cutting.
With that said, before you start mixing whey protein powder with chocolate milk, you should know the pros and cons, and how to do it properly for optimal results.
In this article you will learn:
- Pros and cons of mixing whey protein with chocolate milk
- When to consume whey protein and chocolate milk
- Who should and SHOULD NOT mix whey protein and chocolate milk
- The best protein powders to mix with chocolate milk
Benefits of Mixing Whey Protein with Chocolate Milk
The benefits of mixing whey protein with chocolate milk are:
1. It Provides Additional Carbs Beneficial Around a Workout
Chocolate milk has more carbs, primarily from sugar, compared to regular milk which is beneficial around a workout to provide additional energy as well as recovery.
Per cup, chocolate milk has 160 calories and 25g of carbs compared to regular milk which has 102 calories and 12g of carbs. These carbs are primarily from sugar, which can be beneficial before a workout to provide additional energy.
These extra carbs are also helpful after a workout to start the recovery process. This can be particularly helpful for those on the go. Consuming chocolate milk with your protein powder on your way home from the gym is the perfect way to start the recovery process, giving you extra time before consuming your post-workout meal.
- Another milk alternative that is high in carbs is coconut milk. Want to learn more? Check out my other article on: Can You Mix Whey Protein With Coconut Milk?
2. It Adds Additional Calories to Your Protein Shake
Choosing chocolate milk instead of regular milk or water adds extra calories to your protein shake without any extra volume. This is helpful for anyone struggling to consume enough calories in a day.
For my clients that are bulking, a primary struggle many of them experience is difficulty consuming enough calories because they just aren’t hungry. When that is the case, liquid calories are always my first recommendation as it isn’t nearly as filling as consuming the same calories from food.
Chocolate milk is an even better alternative, not only is it liquid calories but it’s the same volume of liquid you would be otherwise consuming in your protein shake, it just has 60-160 more calories.
- Learn more about Protein Powder With Milk or Water
Drawbacks of Mixing Whey Protein with Chocolate Milk
The drawbacks of mixing whey protein with chocolate milk are:
1. It’s Higher in Calories Compared to Other Milk Options
Chocolate milk is higher in calories compared to water, milk or milk alternatives making it not a good option for someone looking to lose body fat.
When you’re losing body fat you are eating less than you are burning, which can often lead to more hunger. To try and combat this, it’s best to eat foods that are higher in volume (foods that make you feel satiated) and contain protein and fat.
Chocolate milk is quite the opposite, it’s a low volume food that’s high in carbs meaning you’re likely to feel hungry within an hour or two of consuming. Therefore, while you are in a phase of losing weight, it’s better to skip the chocolate milk and stick to using those calories for food instead.
- Want to know whether you should use regular milk vs chocolate milk, check out my article: Can You Mix Whey Protein With Milk?
Chocolate Milk & Protein Powder: When to Consume
Is Whey Protein & Chocolate Milk Good for Pre Workout?
Yes, chocolate milk and whey protein is good pre-workout as the sugar in the chocolate milk will give you a quick boost of energy for your training.
This shake is not a replacement for a full pre-workout meal, it’s instead something that you can add in 30-45 minutes before your workout to give you a bit of an extra boost of energy.
Fat and protein will slow down this process of using the carbs for energy so it’s best to ensure you are consuming a low fat milk like skim or 1% and stick to ½ – 1 scoop of protein powder.
Is Whey Protein & Chocolate Milk Good for Post Workout?
Yes, chocolate milk and whey protein are good post-workout as the carbs will kick start the muscle recovery and repair process.
Chocolate milk and whey is perfect to consume on the way home from the gym to get the protein and carbs needed to start the recovery process. It’s still important to eat a post-workout meal once you get home but this is an easy way to buy yourself a bit more time before you do so.
Is Whey Protein & Chocolate Milk Good for Breakfast?
No, chocolate milk and whey protein is not the best option for breakfast as the sugar in the chocolate milk is not the most filling option.
When we think about what to eat for breakfast, it’s important to prioritize food that will fill us up. This will make sure we aren’t hungry by 10 am and reach for those higher calorie snacks like a granola bar.
Fat and protein are slow-digesting, meaning they will keep us full for hours after eating. Carbs on the other hand are fast to digest so we are likely to feel that mid-morning crash. Chocolate milk does have some protein and fat but it is quite high in carbs so it’s not the best option to reach for.
Instead, opting for something like greek yogurt with your protein powder would be a better choice to keep you full for longer.
Is Whey Protein & Chocolate Milk Good for Before Bed?
No, chocolate milk and whey protein are not good for before bed as the sugar is likely to give you a boost of energy that could interfere with your sleep.
The sugar in chocolate milk is the perfect quick source of energy for our body, unfortunately, though this energy before bed is likely to keep you awake and interfere with your sleep. Chocolate milk and whey could be a good sweet treat after dinner but I recommend trying to consume it 1.5 – 2 hours before heading to sleep.
Additionally, we want to make sure we are prioritizing getting our calories during the day when we need the energy. If we are saving calories for the evening, we are likely to find ourselves hungry during the day and likely to reach for a high-calorie snack.
If you are someone that struggles to eat enough during the day, they could be a good option though to add in some low volume calories.
- Check out our guide How To Gain Weight Without Eating Sugar (Sample Meal Plan)
Who Should Mix Whey Protein with Chocolate Milk?
Those that are looking to put on mass (i.e. in a bulking phase) should be mixing protein with chocolate milk as it provides a low volume way to get in more calories.
For someone that is struggling to bulk but has a low appetite to get the sufficient amount of calories, this is a perfect way to eat more feeling overly full.
It’s particularly helpful because you aren’t adding in any additional food volume either. You would already be consuming a liquid along with protein powder, this is just a higher calories liquid.
Similar to regular milk, chocolate milk also boosts the protein in your shake which is helpful for those bulking as your daily protein requirement is likely quite high.
Who SHOULD NOT Mix Whey Protein With Chocolate Milk?
Anyone that is looking to lose body fat (i.e. in a cutting phase) SHOULD NOT be mixing whey protein with chocolate milk as there are more filling options that are better to prioritize.
When we are losing body fat we need to eat less than we are burning which usually leads to us feeling more hungry during the day. To reduce this, we want to focus on consuming foods that are slow to digest like fats and protein and keeping food that is quick to digest, like sugar, around a workout.
Since chocolate milk is high in sugar, we are better off limiting this and only consuming it around our workout. At other times during the day, we will be better off focusing on foods that are rich in protein and fat with our whey like greek yogurt or whole milk.
Will Protein Powder Dissolve in Chocolate Milk?
Yes, protein powder will dissolve in chocolate milk if you consume 1 scoop per 8oz of milk and mix using a shaker bottle or blender.
Using just a spoon is likely to leave you with a clumpy mess so I don’t recommend using that approach.
Best Types of Protein Powder To Mix With Chocolate Milk
The best type of protein powder to mix with chocolate milk is Legion Whey+ whey isolate as it will give the best macro profile as well as the best texture.
When we are using chocolate milk as our liquid of choice, we are already adding in a lot of carbs into our shake, therefore it’s helpful to use a whey isolate which is the most filtered whey protein and therefore primarily protein. Whey concentrates can be used but will add in additional carbs and fat that chocolate milk is already high in.
My favourite whey isolate is Legion Whey+, unflavoured is a good option if you prefer just the taste of chocolate milk. If you really want a super chocolatey shake, I recommend going with the dutch chocolate flavour.
For a most affordable whey isolate, Myprotein Impact Whey is another great choice that also comes in unflavoured or chocolate.
About The Author
Laura Semotiuk is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She works with athletes and active individuals looking to improve performance and develop healthy nutritional habits and behaviors. She has a passion for cooking, meal prepping, and creating simple and healthy recipes.
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