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Workout Refuel: Flavored Milk Hits the Mark

Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, FAND

I’ve been a chocolate milk lover for years and drink it when I work out, particularly after a long walk. I was dismayed to discover it would be included in the sugar-sweetened beverage taxes that are becoming popular with politicians. Sure it’s sweet, but it’s also great for you. Here are six nutritional reasons you don’t want to miss out on flavored milk’s makeover reveal:

• 8-ounce glass: below 150 calories, average: 134
• Part of the sugar is naturally occurring called lactose
• Part of the sugar in milk is “added sugar”
• 38% less added sugar
• Added sugar decreased from 16.7 grams to 10.4 grams or 2.5 teaspoons
• 22 grams total sugar (10 grams or 2.5 teaspoons which is added, the rest is naturally in milk)

Still concerned about added sugar? Check out this eye opening facts:

• We are eating 22% (458 calories) more per day than in prior years. Fats, oils and grains make up the majority of these additional calories, not added sugars, as hype would have you believe.

• Your cold glass of flavored milk contains the same nine essential nutrients found in white milk and is the #1 food source for three of four nutrients the Dietary Guidelines of America (DGA) say consume more of: vitamin D, calcium & potassium. (Nine nutrients for a small amount of added sugar is a trade off I can easily live with!

• Research also shows that milk drinkers (including flavored) have higher intakes of calcium, vitamin A, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium than non-drinkers.

Be aware that you could be paying more at the grocery soon for this protein-packed flavored milk under a soda tax- despite all of the amazing qualities of flavored milks and poor correlation between beverage calories and obesity rates. I prefer to empower people with nutrition knowledge that can be used daily versus singling out one source of calories to tax. Education, not regulation, is the way to lower obesity rates.

Packed with nutrition and lower in added sugars, pour me a glass please.

Registered dietitian nutritionist, Dr. Susan Mitchell is host of the podcast, Breaking Down Nutrition: Your Digest for What Works, What Doesn’t. She also shares her passion for nutrition at where you’ll find the food you love, how to be fit for life and fabulous every day. 



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