Side Effects of Chocolate Soy Milk

You may find chocolate soy milk to be a refreshing and sweet drink, as well as a healthy one. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that soy milk contains lots of protein and may have positive health benefits like reducing cholesterol levels and helping to alleviate symptoms of menopause. But chocolate soy milk can also present several health risks and negative side effects.

A glass of iced chocolate soy milk. Credit: Tatomm/iStock/Getty Images

Gastrointestinal Distress

Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort or distress after drinking chocolate soy milk, especially if they drink a large quantity all at once. Soy-related gastrointestinal side effects often include diarrhea, stomach aches or cramps, and constipation, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Carbohydrate- and Calorie-Related Effects

A cup of average chocolate soy milk contains approximately 24 grams of carbohydrates, much of it sugar, and 153 calories, according to NutritionData's analysis. This may lead to weight gain if you consume more sugars and calories than you expend on a daily basis. Additionally, the high amount of sugar may influence blood sugar levels, an issue of critical importance for diabetics.

Allergic Reactions

Though rare, some people have soy allergies. If you're allergic to soy and drink chocolate soy milk, you may experience a skin rash or difficulty breathing, warns the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Cancer Risks

The University of Maryland Medical Center expresses concern regarding increased breast cancer risks due to the consumption of soy milk and other soy products. This is because soy milk contains plant-based estrogen. Though research conflicts regarding the seriousness of this issue, the center suggests that women with breast cancer should avoid drinking soy milk and eating soy products of any sort.

Gout Risks

Soy milk contains purine, a substance that may make your gout worse, according to the National Institutes of Health. They suggest avoiding soy consumption if you have gout.

Kidney Disease Risks

A cup of chocolate soy milk contains approximately 124 mg of phosphorous, or 12 percent of your recommended daily intake. The University of Maryland Medical Center says this is much higher than what's found in other food sources, like poultry and meat. This may worsen your health condition if you have kidney disease, warns the center.

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