Is Yazoo milkshake healthy?

Yazoo milkshake is considered the no. 1 flavoured milk drink in the UK. It is promoted as a drink full of goodness: packed with calcium, protein and rich in B vitamins. But how healthy is this drink really? We have investigated…

Yazoo milk drinks (chocolate and strawberry)

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Ingredients in Yazoo milkshake

The brand is proud to claim that Yazoo milk drinks contain no artificial flavours and sweeteners… but what is actually inside them?

There are actually a few different variations of a Yazoo milkshake. First of all, we have the standard flavoured milk with the following flavours: Strawberry, Banana, Vanilla, Chocolate and Choc Mint. The ingredients vary slightly, depending on the flavour.

Then, there is the no added sugar version intended for kids. The table below shows the ingredients in all of these different versions.

Yazoo flavourIngredients
StrawberrySemi-skimmed MILK, skimmed MILK, sugar (4.5%), strawberry juice from concentrate (1%), natural flavouring, stabiliser: gellan gum; colour: beta-carotene
BananaSemi-skimmed MILK, skimmed MILK, sugar (4.5%), banana juice from concentrate (1%), stabiliser: gellan gum; natural flavouring, colour: carotenes
VanillaSemi-skimmed MILK, skimmed MILK, sugar (4.7%), flavouring, stabiliser: gellan gum
ChocolateSemi skimmed MILK, Sugar, fat reduced cocoa powder (1%), stabilisers: cellulose, cellulose gum and carrageenan, natural flavouring.
Choc MintSemi skimmed MILK, Sugar, fat reduced cocoa powder (1%), stabilisers: cellulose, cellulose gum and carrageenan, natural flavouring.
Choc Caramel (limited edition)Semi Skimmed Milk, Sugar, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder (1%), Natural Flavouring, Stabilisers: Cellulose, Cellulose Gum and Carrageenan
Yazoo Kids BananaSemi skimmed MILK, skimmed MILK, banana juice from concentrate (1%), natural flavouring, stabiliser:gellan gum, colour: carotenes.
Yazoo Kids StrawberrySemi-skimmed MILK, skimmed MILK, strawberry juice from concentrate (1%), natural flavouring, stabiliser, gellan gum, colour:beta-carotene
Yazoo Kids ChocolateSemi skimmed MILK, skimmed MILK, natural flavouring, stabiliser: gellan gum.

As you can see from the table above, the main ingredients in Yazoo milkshakes are:

  • semi-skimmed milk
  • sugar (but not in Yazoo Kids)
  • flavourings (natural and from juice)
  • stabilisers
  • colour: carotenes

In the chocolate flavoured Yazoo drinks, you will also find fat reduced cocoa powder and some flavours also contain carrageenan, a thickener made from red seaweed.

Yazoo Kids drinks don’t contain any sugar, instead only juices from concentrate are used to create slight sweetness and in the case of Yazoo Kids Chocolate, they only use ‘natural flavouring’ but they don’t disclose the origins of this ingredient.

The ingredients’ lists of Yazoo drinks are not long but to see how healthy Yazoo drinks really are, we need to look at their nutritional information.

Nutritional values of Yazoo milk drinks

The main Yazoo flavours have the following nutritional values per 100 ml:

NutritionStrawberryVanillaBananaKids BananaKids Strawberry
Fat1.2 g1.2 g1.2 g1.2g1.2g
– Saturated Fat0.9 g0.9 g0.9 g0.9 g0.9 g
Carbohydrates9.6 g9.6 g9.6 g4.6 g4.6 g
– Sugar9.6 g9.6 g9.6 g4.6 g4.6 g
Protein3 g3 g3 g3 g3 g
Salt0.1 g0.1 g0.1 g0.1 g0.1 g
Calcium120 mg120 mg120 mg105mg105mg
Riboflavin0.1 mg0.1 mg0.1 mg0.1 mg0.1 mg
Calories60 kcal60 kcal60 kcal46 kcal46 kcal

It’s interesting to see that the standard Yazoo flavours have exactly the same nutritional values despite tasting different. So in a typical Yazoo drink you will find the following per 100 ml:

  • 1. 2 g fat
  • 9.6 g carbs (all sugar)
  • 3 g protein
  • 0.1 g salt
  • 120 mg of calcium
  • 0.1 mg riboflavin

Keep in mind that if you buy a bottle of Yazoo you will not normally drink only 100 ml so if you drink the whole Yazoo bottle (400 ml), you will consume 240 kcal, 38.4 g carbs, 12 g of protein and 0.4 g of salt. You will also get 480 mg of calcium and 0.4 mg of riboflavin.

Drinking 240 kcal in one go certainly doesn’t sound good. Just think about it. An average person needs around 2000 kcal in one day and 240 kcal represents 12% of all daily calories. The problem is that this is a drink, not food so it will digest quite quickly and you will need to eat something after having it very soon to feel satisfied.

Now, if you drink only half of a 400 ml bottle, that’s 120 kcal which is not too bad and this may be a good choice after exercise when you need extra protein and sugar to help your muscles recover faster.

Vitamins and minerals in Yazoo drinks

Yazoo milk drinks are rich in calcium since their main ingredient is milk. Calcium is a mineral essential for healthy bones and for regulating muscle contractions.

Yazoo also contains riboflavin (vitamin B2) which helps in red blood production and in release of energy from protein.

How much protein is in Yazoo milkshake?

In a 400 ml Yazoo bottle, you will find 12 g of protein which is quite a decent amount. However, this is not the best type of protein to consume since you are also drinking all that extra sugar with it.

How much sugar is in Yazoo milkshake?

There is 38.4 g of sugar in a 400 ml bottle of Yazoo milk drink. This represents 9.5 teaspoons of sugar. Some of this sugar comes from milk (lactose), some of it is from juices but a big part of it is added sugar, with no nutritional value.

Just for a comparison, if you were going to drink 400 ml of semi-skimmed milk with nothing added to it, you would consume 19.2 g of natural sugars (lactose).

If you consider that adults should have no more than 30 g of added sugar a day, Yazoo milkshake is very high in sugar and if you want to be healthy you should avoid it. Although you could still choose to drink only a small portion at a time to avoid consuming too much sugar in one day.

Yazoo Kids milkshakes are on the other hand much lower in sugar since they don’t contain added sugar. They still contain natural sugars from milk and juices though. These sugars come at 9.2g per 200 ml bottle which is slightly more than 2 teaspoons.

Is Yazoo good for building muscle?

To build muscle you need to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet containing lots of protein. Yazoo drinks have a good amount of protein (3 g protein per 100 ml) but this comes with added sugar which has no nutritional value.

If you want to build muscles, Yazoo drinks are best consumed after a workout when your body needs a combination of protein and carbs. This helps you recover faster and builds muscles. However, keep in mind that there are better quality protein milkshakes on the market today. It’s better if you buy a shake designed especially for building muscle as it will have the right proportion of protein and carbs with no added sugar.

Is Yazoo milkshake safe in pregnancy?

Yazoo milkshake doesn’t contain any concerning ingredients for pregnant women. It is pasteurised and contains no raw ingredients. It is essentially like drinking flavoured milk with some added sugar (and some extra ingredients). Although it is safe to consume in pregnancy, this doesn’t mean you should drink Yazoo milkshake in excess as it is quite high in sugar. All that extra sugar may contribute towards unnecessary weight gain if consumed every day.

Is Yazoo milkshake fattening?

Yes, a Yazoo milkshake can be fattening if you drink it every day in excessive amounts as it is high in sugar and that extra sugar will contribute towards weight gain.

Are Yazoo milkshakes good or bad for you? – Conclusion

Although Yazoo milkshakes don’t contain a long list of ingredients, they have quite high sugar content therefore we cannot say they are good for you and we don’t recommend consuming them regularly. These milk drinks are best consumed after a hard workout as their protein and sugar content will help with muscle recovery.

In the case of Yazoo Kids flavoured milk drinks, these don’t contain added sugar, just natural sugars found in milk and juices. For this reason, these are pretty healthy, especially when you compare them to other kids drinks. We are happy to recommend these as a part of a healthy and balanced diet.