Strawberry milk vs chocolate milk: the ultimate debate!
It’s a battle of flavors, nutrition, and preferences that have intrigued us for ages. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the health benefits, compare popular brands, discuss the controversy surrounding flavored milk in schools, and consider the positive impact of milk on athletes’ recovery.
Join us as we uncover the truth behind the strawberry vs chocolate milk rivalry and determine which one reigns supreme. Get ready for a flavorful journey that will leave you craving a tall glass of your favorite childhood delight.
Table of Contents
Health benefits of milk
Milk consumption continues to be a controversial topic; however, whether chocolate or strawberry, it is packed with nutrients.
For those who enjoy the taste of milk and can tolerate milk without issues, drink up!
1 cup (8oz) of whole milk contains (1):
- Calories: 152
- Protein: 8 grams
- Fat: 8 grams
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
Milk is also an excellent source of calcium, riboflavin (B2), phosphorus, and B12. And the calcium in milk is more easily absorbed than calcium found in other foods (2). Say hello to strong bones!
Beyond those nutrients, milk is packed with protein and often fortified with vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D together work to build strong bones.
Whether milk is right for everyone remains up for debate, those who cannot tolerate lactose may do better with lactose-free milk or dairy alternatives.
Keep reading to find out if you should drink strawberry vs chocolate milk.
This flavor is made by adding either chocolate syrup or cocoa powder into plain milk giving it a sweet and chocolatey taste!
It can be served cold, over ice, or even hot, often referred to as hot cocoa or hot chocolate.
It is often recommended for athletes as one of the best grab-and-go, post-workout recovery drinks due to its high carbohydrate and protein content.
But, is it better than strawberry milk?
Because of the name some believe strawberry milk is vegan! If the base is not plant-based milk, strawberry milk is not vegan.
It is plain milk with added strawberry flavoring.
Strawberry milk comes in a bubble gum pink color and offers a fun flavorful option for those who aren’t chocolate lovers! Strawberry milk can be good for those who don’t like plain milk or athletes looking to refuel with carbs after a workout!
We are here to clear up some of the confusion around strawberry milk.
Strawberry milk vs chocolate milk comparison
Depending on the brand you select, chocolate and strawberry milk vary in nutritional value. As you can see below some strawberry milk has more protein than chocolate milk and some has less.
Some strawberry milk brands have more sugar than their chocolate milk counterparts, some have less. Therefore, we cannot say that all strawberry milk tastes sweeter than chocolate milk or has more sugar. Nor can we say one is healthier than the other.
Dive into our in-depth nutrition review below for more information on which may be the better-flavored milk for you.
Nesquick strawberry milk vs chocolate milk
|Nesquik Chocolate Milk (14 fl oz)||Nesquik Strawberry Milk (14 fl oz)|
|Protein||14 g||14 g|
|Fat||4 g||4 g|
|Carbohydrates||41 g||40 g|
|Sugars||39 g||38 g|
|Sodium||240 mg||180 mg|
|Calcium||730 mg (50% of the DV)||730 mg (50% of the DV)|
|Potassium||720 mg (15% of the DV)||560 mg (10% of the DV)|
|Vitamin D||4.3 mcg (20% of the DV)||4.3 mcg (20% of the DV)|
|Vitamin A||260 mcg (20% of the DV)||260 mcg (20% of the DV)|
*DV= Daily Value
The nutrition content of the chocolate milk and strawberry milk produced by Nesquik is comparable. However, the chocolate Nesquik milk does have more potassium, sodium, and 1 more gram of carbohydrate which may make it a better option for refueling post-practice!
The difference is small, so if you prefer strawberry milk stick with strawberry!
Darigold strawberry milk vs chocolate milk
|Darigold Chocolate Milk (14 fl oz)||Darigold Strawberry Milk (14 fl oz)|
|Protein||18 g||16 g|
|Fat||5 g||4.5 g|
|Carbohydrates||55 g||61 g|
|Sugars||52 g||60 g|
|Sodium||370 mg||240 mg|
|Calcium||609 mg (45% of the DV)||586 mg (45% of the DV)|
|Potassium||982 mg (20% of the DV)||783 mg (15% of the DV)|
|Vitamin D||5 mcg (25% of the DV)||5 mcg (25% of the DV)|
|Vitamin A||318 mcg (35% of the DV)||298 mcg (35% of the DV)|
*DV= Daily Value
The Darigold brand strawberry milk has more sugar and less protein. We found Darigold strawberry-flavored milk tastes much sweeter than the chocolate flavor! If you do not like your milk overly sweet, stick with Darigold chocolate-flavored milk.
Lucerne strawberry milk vs chocolate milk
|Lucerne Chocolate Milk (12 fl oz)||Lucerne Strawberry Milk (12 fl oz)|
|Protein||16 g||19 g|
|Fat||7 g||3.5 g|
|Carbohydrates||50 g||53 g|
|Sugars||46 g||52 g|
|Sodium||390 mg||290 mg|
|Calcium||570 mg (45% of the DV)||680 mg (50% of the DV)|
|Potassium||900 mg (20% of the DV)||910 mg (20% of the DV)|
|Vitamin D||4 mcg (20% of the DV)||4 mcg (20% of the DV)|
|Vitamin A||213 mcg (25% of the DV)||210 mcg (25% of the DV)|
*DV= Daily Value
The Lucerne brand strawberry milk has more protein and 3 extra grams of carbohydrates than the chocolate-flavored milk but less sodium. Both flavors have perks- go with your preferred flavor!
Make your own
If you want to save money and have the time, make your own chocolate or strawberry milk at home! This option can also allow you to add more or less flavor depending on how chocolatey or strawberry-like you enjoy your flavored milk.
You could even mix chocolate and strawberry to make chocolate-strawberry-flavored milk!
To make your own chocolate milk you can use:
- Chocolate syrup
- Chocolate milk powder or cocoa powder
**If you have celiac disease be aware that some chocolate powders like Ovaltine contain malt which is not safe for those with celiac disease.
To make your own strawberry milk you can use:
- Strawberry syrup
- Fresh strawberries (blend with milk for fresh strawberry-tasting milk, doing this adds vitamin C!)
- Strawberry powder
- Blend up dehydrated strawberries to make your own strawberry powder!
Dairy-free chocolate or strawberry milk
Instead of using cows’ milk, you can use dairy-free milk alternatives such as:
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Oat milk
- Pea milk
- Hemp milk
And many more!
Should flavored milk be banned from school lunches?
The decision to ban flavored milk from school lunches, specifically elementary schools, has been a hot topic in recent years.
Some states are pushing to make this ban on flavored milk a part of their new standards for the 2024-25 school year.
Let’s consider some of the potential arguments on both sides:
Arguments for banning flavored milk:
- Health concerns: Flavored milk often contains added sugars and artificial flavors. Some believe the calorie intake for these dairy-based beverages in children’s diets is contributing to “childhood obesity” and health issues.
- Nutritional balance: Some argue that flavored milk can overshadow the consumption of plain milk, which provides essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. By removing flavored options, students may be more likely to choose plain milk or other healthier beverage options.
- Allergies and intolerances: Flavored milk may contain allergens such as artificial additives or lactose. Banning flavored milk can help reduce the risk of allergic reactions among students with specific dietary requirements.
Arguments against banning flavored milk:
- Nutrient intake: Flavored milk can be a source of important nutrients like calcium and protein. Some argue that removing flavored milk options may result in reduced milk consumption overall, leading to potential nutrient deficiencies among students.
- Student preferences: Flavored milk is often more appealing to students, and banning it could lead to decreased milk consumption. If students enjoy flavored milk more than the taste of plain milk, removing it may discourage them from choosing milk as a beverage altogether.
- Moderation and alternatives: Rather than an outright ban, some argue for promoting moderation and offering healthier alternatives. Schools can focus on reducing the sugar content in flavored milk or introducing flavored options with natural sweeteners or lower-calorie alternatives.
Our hot take
Ultimately, the decision to ban flavored milk from school lunches should involve careful consideration of the potential impact on students’ health, nutritional needs, and preferences. Some think banning flavored milk can promote healthier dietary habits among students.
We do not believe banning foods or beverages from schools will have positive impacts on children’s diets.
All kids have varying nutritional needs. Nutrition is nuanced.
For a child who relies heavily on school meals to meet their daily nutrtion requirements; calcium, carb, protein, fats, and other vitamins from flavored milk are better than none. The kid who only likes chocolate milk will benefit from some calcium and vitamin D at school instead of none!
Chocolate and strawberry milk for post-workout recovery
Enjoy the tasty flavors of chocolate or strawberry milk to give your body the post-workout boost it deserves.
These milk-based beverages go beyond just satisfying your taste buds – they provide a winning combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and electrolytes.
The carbohydrates in flavored milk help replenish your glycogen stores, providing a quick dose of energy for tired muscles. The proteins help muscles repair and grow, ensuring you bounce back better than ever.
But that’s not all. Unlike white milk, flavored milk contains more electrolytes like sodium and potassium. These electrolytes help restore your body’s hydration levels and proper muscle function.
Refueling with chocolate or strawberry milk post-workout helps prevent post-workout fatigue and cramping, allowing you to perform at your best during your next workout session.
But wait, there’s more! Flavored milk is a more affordable choice when compared to many specialized post-workout drinks on the market. So, you can save both your muscles and your wallet.
In the debate between strawberry milk vs chocolate milk, the winner ultimately depends on personal preference.
Both dairy-based beverages offer unique flavors and valuable nutrients. Strawberry milk provides a fruity and fun twist, while chocolate milk satisfies chocolate cravings!
Making flavored milk at home allows for customization and control over ingredients while the nutrient content of strawberry milk vs chocolate milk varies from brand to brand.
Whether you’re a fan of sweet strawberry milk or rich chocolate milk, indulge in a glass of your favorite to optimize your recovery and satisfy your taste buds.
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Katie Schimmelpfenning RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, USA Swim Coach, and former Division 1 swimmer. She helps competitive swimmers fuel and train to optimize performance, recover faster, and prevent injury! She is passionate about spreading evidence-based nutrtion tips to help swimmers across the globe.