Is there a chocolate milk that is no sugar?

Chocolate milk is a popular beverage enjoyed by many, especially children. It provides a sweet, chocolatey flavor that tastes great and makes milk more fun to drink. However, traditional chocolate milk can contain high amounts of added sugar, which has raised health concerns. This has led some people to wonder: is there a chocolate milk option that has no added sugar?

What is chocolate milk?

Chocolate milk is simply milk that has been flavored with cocoa powder and sweetened with some type of sugar. Traditional chocolate milk recipes call for the addition of refined white sugar or other sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. The chocolate or cocoa powder provides the characteristic chocolate taste, while the added sugar enhances the sweetness.

Chocolate milk provides nutrients from both the milk and the cocoa powder. Milk is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients. Cocoa powder contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which may offer health benefits such as improved blood flow and lower blood pressure. However, the added sugars in chocolate milk counteract some of these potential benefits.

Concerns over added sugars

Most health organizations recommend limiting added sugar intake, as eating too much added sugar can contribute to problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams) for men.

One cup of chocolate milk can contain over 20 grams of added sugar – already nearly the daily limit! For kids who may drink two cups a day, that’s a significant source of added sugar without any nutritional benefit.

So while chocolate milk can be enjoyed in moderation, there are valid concerns over the high amounts of added sugar in traditional chocolate milk options. This is why finding a no sugar added chocolate milk is appealing for health-conscious consumers.

Low sugar and no sugar options

Thankfully, there are now several chocolate milk options available with reduced, low, or no added sugar:

Low-sugar chocolate milk

Some brands have worked to reduce the amount of added sugar in their chocolate milks. For example, Nesquik Lowfat Chocolate Milk contains 12g of sugar per 8oz serving, compared to 24g of sugar in regular Nesquik chocolate milk. Similarly, TruMoo’s Lowfat Chocolate Milk has 18g of added sugar per 8oz.

While these low sugar options are an improvement, they can still contain around half the maximum daily added sugar intake in just one glass.

No sugar added chocolate milk

Even better are chocolate milk options with no added sugar at all. Brands like Organic Valley, Clover, and Maple Hill Creamery offer chocolate milks flavored using non-GMO cocoa powder, with no added table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

These no sugar added chocolate milks rely on the innate sweetness of the milk (from the lactose sugar) to provide a sweet flavor. They may have around 1-3g of sugar per serving, but this is naturally occurring milk sugar rather than added sugar.

Here is a nutrition comparison of 8oz servings of regular, low sugar, and no sugar added chocolate milk:

Chocolate Milk Type Calories Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
Regular (Nesquik) 160 2.5g 8g 125mg 24g
Low sugar (Nesquik) 150 2.5g 8g 120mg 12g
No sugar added (Maple Hill) 150 5g 8g 100mg 1g

As you can see, the no sugar added chocolate milk is very comparable to regular chocolate milk in nutrients, but contains minimal added sugar.

Taste and availability of no sugar chocolate milk

The taste of no sugar added chocolate milk is minimally sweet. Since there is no added sugar, you won’t get an overly sweet, sugary taste like traditional chocolate milk. However, many people still find it satisfying.

The chocolate flavor usually comes through nicely. No sugar added chocolate milk has been described as tasting like chocolate almond milk or a more subtly sweet hot chocolate. Keep in mind the chocolate taste may be milder than expected at first sip if you’re used to regular chocolate milk. But the more subtle sweetness can be refreshing.

No sugar chocolate milk is becoming more widely available, though it still may take some searching. Your best bets are health food stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts, or the dairy section of well-stocked supermarkets. Organic Valley and Clover brand no sugar chocolate milks are commonly found. Smaller dairy brands like Maple Hill Creamery also offer sugar-free chocolate milk options sold online and at select retailers.

You may have to do some looking around, but there should be some no sugar added chocolate milk options in your area. Call ahead to stores in your region to check availability if needed.

How no sugar chocolate milk is made

No sugar added chocolate milks get their flavoring from non-alkalized cocoa powder, which provides a dark, bitter chocolate taste. Cocoa powder on its own is quite bitter, which is why sugar is normally added to balance the flavor in chocolate milk.

To get good chocolate flavor without the added sugar, high quality cocoa powder is typically used. Brands advertise using single origin cocoa powder made from fairly traded cocoa beans for optimal flavor.

Unsweetened cocoa powder combined with regular milk provides a lightly sweetened chocolate product thanks to the lactose, or milk sugar. No other sugars are added to the ingredient list.

Some brands use milk that is locally sourced from grass-fed cows. Grass-fed milk tends to have a richer, creamier taste that enhances the chocolate flavor. Ultra-pasteurized milk with longer shelf stability is also sometimes used.

So in summary, no sugar chocolate milk is made with three basic ingredients: high quality unsweetened cocoa powder + milk + zero added sugar. This simple combo provides a naturally sweetened chocolate milk taste.

Benefits of no sugar chocolate milk

Drinking no sugar chocolate milk provides several benefits:

Fewer calories

With no added sugar, no sugar chocolate milk has around 1/4 fewer calories than regular chocolate milk. This equates to around 50 fewer calories per 8oz serving.

Less sugar

You’ll avoid 20+ grams of added sugar that are in regular chocolate milk. This fits better into a low sugar diet.

More nutrients

Since no sugar chocolate milk doesn’t need to use skim milk or skim milk powder to reduce fat and calories, it can contain more nutrient-dense whole milk.

May be organic

Many no sugar chocolate milk brands use organic ingredients, which is reassuring for people wanting to avoid pesticides and hormones.


The chocolatey flavor makes it perfect as a healthy treat for kids. You don’t have to feel guilty about all the added sugar they’ll consume.

Supports small businesses

No sugar chocolate milk is often made by small dairy farms and food producers, so you can support local businesses.

Potential downsides

While no sugar chocolate milk has some benefits, there are a few potential downsides to consider:

Higher price

With specialty ingredients like organic cocoa and milk sourced from smaller producers, no sugar chocolate milk tends to cost more than regular chocolate milk. Expect to pay $1-2 more per half gallon.

Reduced sweetness

If you’re accustomed to regular chocolate milk, the taste may seem bland at first. Kids used to sugary chocolate milk may complain it doesn’t taste sweet enough.

Less availability

Since it’s a specialty item, no sugar chocolate milk can be harder to find than regular chocolate milk. You may have to visit multiple stores to track it down.

Contains lactose

Those with lactose intolerance need to avoid no sugar chocolate milk, like other dairy products. Plant-based milk won’t provide the same nutrition.

Lower shelf life

The lack of preservatives and stabilizers may mean no sugar chocolate milk has a shorter shelf life after opening. Be sure to follow storage guidelines.

Can be high in saturated fat

If made with whole milk, no sugar chocolate milk contains more saturated fat than low-fat chocolate milk. This is something to consider if limiting saturated fat intake.

No sugar chocolate milk recipes

Want to try making your own no sugar chocolate milk at home? Here are a couple easy homemade recipes to whip up:

Basic No Sugar Chocolate Milk

– 4 cups cold milk
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds.
2. Pour into glasses and enjoy! Stir before drinking as cocoa powder can settle.

Creamy No Sugar Chocolate Milk

– 2 cups cold milk
– 2 cups cold heavy cream
– 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 tbsp vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.
2. Pour into bottles or glasses. Shake or stir before drinking to combine.
3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

These easy homemade recipes let you control the ingredients. Feel free to tweak them to your tastes by adding more or less cocoa powder until you achieve the perfect chocolate richness.


While it does take some searching, there are chocolate milk options available with no added sugar for people wanting to reduce their sugar intake. Brands like Organic Valley, Clover, and Maple Hill offer pre-made no sugar chocolate milks using just milk and unsweetened cocoa.

The taste takes some adjustment, as no sugar chocolate milk isn’t overly sweet. But many people find it provides plenty of chocolate flavor, especially once you get used to it. No sugar chocolate milk provides a kid-friendly treat with fewer calories and less sugar than traditional options. It’s also possible to make your own no sugar chocolate milk at home.

Overall, no sugar chocolate milk is a tasty, healthier alternative to enjoy the chocolatey taste without all the added sugar. Try some if you get the craving for chocolate milk but want to avoid the excess sugar!

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