Over the past few years theirs been a lot of craze about how chocolate milk as the "gold standard" of recovery drinks. This is one of those, "drink wine every night and you wont have a heart attack," statements. It makes you happy, but there's a little more to it.
There has been extensive research on the benefits of chocolate milk as a post-workout recovery drink. And many of these studies have concluded that it's more effective than your sugary sports drinks. However, most of this research was done on serious athletes with serious training regimens. As far as I've seen, there has been no research done on the benefits of chocolate milk for the average person looking to lose weight or just maintain their fitness.
Chocolate milk has earned the reputation as a great recovery drink because of it's protein to carbohydrate ratio. In very simple terms, this ratio is important for refueling glycogen stores and providing protein for damaged muscles.
So the question is if you're not an serious athlete should you use this delicious option as a recovery drink? If you are training at high intensities for multiple days in a row or more than one workout per day, yes. If you're training regimen consists of less intense exercise and you are watching your calories closely, then probably not. Though one cup (8 oz) of chocolate milk packs a nice little protein punch, it also contains anywhere from 130-170 calories depending on the brand.
If you are going to use chocolate milk I really like the Fairlife brand. The reduced fat product contains 140 calories, 12 grams of protein,15 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fat per serving.