Welcome to Take My Money, a column where we geek out about our favorite products.
This is an incredibly vulnerable story about my emotional attachment to chocolate milk; or, how I’ve finally taken the first step down the path of growing the hell up.
Thanks to a soccer coach hell-bent on imbuing his players with, I don’t know, stronger bones, if I have a hard workout my brain is hardwired to seek out chocolate milk. The sugar. The fat. The protein. The absurdly delicious taste. It’s all there. But as the years separate youth from adulthood, I recognize my metabolism and capacity to down 300-plus calories in a flash are dwindling. Enter Slate Milk, a new-ish company making what I will henceforth call chocolate milk for adults.
What Is Slate Milk, and Why Do I Love It?
Slate Milk first made news as a failed Shark Tank pitch (they’ve since reformulated the product) and later for being seeded a few million dollars. I hadn’t heard of it until I was served about a dozen Instagram ads in a row which, frankly, usually leads to me loathing a product more often than not.
Slate Milk is a low-calorie (100), high-protein (20g) chocolate milk that’s lactose-free and has zero grams of sugar in it. The milk is “ultra-filtered” to remove lactose sugars and some of the water content, which is then blended with stuff like allulose and monk fruit. Here’s what’s rad about it.
It’s the perfect post-workout splurge
Whether you lift heavy, push through tough HITT sessions, or go out on lengthy bike rides, nutritional recovery—AKA being hungry as hell—is a near-constant battle. You get home and your body demands food of some kind, and you’re (read: I’m) way too impatient to put together something that’s both nutrient-dense and not terrible for you. For me, this is Slate Milk’s role.
I keep a 12-pack of the dark chocolate variety in my fridge for days I hit the gym in the afternoon and have to make a meeting minutes after getting home. Sure, you could say I should meal prep this, or pre-portion that, but truth be told I don’t particularly like leftovers, and chocolate milk is better than most things in life anyway. The combo of high-protein, low-calorie, and a decent chunk of carbs is perfect for replenishing a nutritionally depleted body very quickly, which allows you to get on with your day.
Slate Milk tastes surprisingly good
I have tried an inordinate number of drinks like this. Truly, I cannot type them all out without busting a key on my laptop. Without fail, most are too sugary, carry an odd chemical aftertaste, or share more with the texturally disturbing concoctions meatheads at the gym drink all day than they do chocolate milk.
Slate Milk, especially the dark chocolate variety, hits the bullseye in this regard. The texture is creamy and rich, and there is a bit of sweetness running through it, but it’s not cloyingly sweet. And though the texture isn’t a one-to-one for good old milk, it is markedly closer to it than the likes of Muscle Milk or other popular alternatives. There also isn’t a significant aftertaste at all, which is something of a rarity in this niche world of protein heavy milk-based drinks.
HEALTHIER UNHEALTHY FOOD
It’s simply better than Muscle Milk (and others like it)
Muscle Milk, the wildly popular recovery drink that dominates the milk-based protein drink category, is outclassed by Slate. Beyond taste, which I can hardly convince you is better without mailing you a can of each, it’s just as good as a functional drink for most people.
Below, you’ll find a nutritional comparison between the two most popular Muscle Milk varieties (classic and the Zero variety), but it’s worth noting that both use artificial sweeteners known to promote weight gain and insulin resistance (sucralose and acesulfame potassium), where Slate Milk uses neither.
|Per 11 fl. oz.||Protein||Fat||Carbs||Sugar||Calories|
|Muscle Milk ZERO||20g||1g||7g||0g||100|
It’s clear that Slate Milk is most closely aligned with Muscle Milk’s ZERO line, which is a bit lighter than traditional Muscle Milk. The key differences between the two are carb level—Slate Milk carries more than double the carbs—and ingredients. Again, Muscle Milk opts for artificial sweeteners to keep the sugar count at zero while Slate Milk uses monk fruit, which has been eaten and widely consumed by humans for hundreds of years.
So in the end Slate Milk tastes better than Muscle Milk, the dominant player in the protein milk drink game, and compares favorably comparable to it as well.
The Bottom Line
Slate Milk is an easy-to-drink, protein-rich, low-calorie can of functional nostalgia. I crack one when I get back from the gym but am short on time to make a full meal. They’re well worth the $3 per can you pay for them.