Is Ovaltine Good For You? (The Good & The Bad!)

Ovaltine is made up of milk, eggs, malt, cocoa, and barley malt extract. It contains calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin A, C, E, D, and B6 with B12. But Denmark has ordered this product off their shelves because food authorities never confirmed its claim to be a rich vitamin B source. Containing added sugars, diabetic patients should avoid this drink. But, overall, having a cup or two every now and then will unlikely cause any harm.

Who doesn’t like a big glass of chocolate malt? As kids, we often love everything that is chocolaty. And for most parents adding chocolate to milk is the only way they can get their kids to drink a big glass of milk. Marketed as a healthy drink containing a lot of nutrients, Ovaltine has come a long way.

But is it really all that healthy? Or is it just another way to market it in a way to get more people to buy it? Does it really fulfill the nutritional need of your child? Let’s take a look at what Ovaltine really is and if there are any actual benefits to this powdery substance.

What is Ovaltine?

Ovaltine has been around for a really long time now.

Started as a nutritional supplement for those in need of more rounded diets, it was made in hopes of fighting this world’s battle against malnutrition. It can be consumed both as a hot and cold beverage when mixed in a glass of milk.

What does Ovaltine consist of?

A young girl is sitting at the dining table, drinking her Ovaltine.

When it originated in the 19th century, it was basically invented as a cheap processed harvest malt extract, a syrup derived from malted barley commonly used by beer brewers. After going through an extensive process, it converts into a thick sweet goo. Finally, vitamin D and phosphorous are added.

The original formula was made with milk, eggs, malt, and cocoa. Over time, many versions have been introduced and preferred by many families as a nighttime drink for their children, like Ovaltine Classic Malt, Rich Chocolate Mix, and Chocolate Malt Mix. Egg-free versions are also available for people.

Several nutrients Ovaltine consists of:

  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E

Is Ovaltine good or bad?

A young man is drinking Ovaltine, wondering if it's good or bad for him.

Ovaltine is indeed the tastiest way to get your child to drink their milk, as it tastes so good. A recent study suggests that three out of four Americans don’t get enough vitamin D, which is vital for bone health and our immune system. So it’s definitely a healthier way to satisfy chocolate cravings as well rather than having candy.

When consumed with a glass of fat-free milk in moderate quantity, Ovaltine is supposed to be a great vitamin D and calcium source for your body. It gives you 170 calories per serving and 35% of your calcium for the day, along with a boost of vitamin A, C, E, iron.

While it’s also said to be rich in vitamin B6 and B12, countries like Denmark have ordered this product off their shelves because food authorities have never confirmed claims that it is a rich source of vitamin B.

Ovaltine high in sugar

Another aspect that people don’t consider is how sugary this powdery substance is and how it can affect one’s health. Very high in sugar, around five teaspoons per serving, nearly a quarter of the recommended daily amount. So, the downside includes added sugars.

The American Heart Association recommends that women and children limit their daily sugar intake to 25 grams. This product has ingredients that put you at risk for diabetes, weight gain, insulin resistance, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Should I avoid Ovaltine?

Hearing both the good and bad of Ovaltine, only one conclusion can be drawn: drinking a cup of two every now and then is unlikely to cause you any harm. But, like everything, this food item should also be consumed in moderation.

Suppose you’re suffering from overweight or diabetes. In that case, you should avoid consuming such a sugary drink instead of finding alternatives for this drink.

Options such as raw cacao, stevia, and low-fat milk or hot water make your own chocolate drink. You can add other ingredients to make it more flavored according to your personal taste.

Does Ovaltine help sleep?

A toddler girl is sleeping in her bed after drinking her Ovaltine.

Often parents mix products like Ovaltine to their children’s daily milk requirements to make it more exciting and flavored for them to consume. But does this drink actually help them sleep?

On their website, Ovaltine says that it helps relax muscles if you drink it before going to bed. But if you read carefully, they also say that vitamins may give you a kickstart to stay awake if you have it in the morning. So, not entirely trustable as a nighttime drink.

The reality is that these drinks don’t help much in aiding your child’s sleep. The real reason why they can sleep is because of the warm milk you give them. Drinking anything warm, be it a glass of milk or a cup of tea, helps relax our muscles and nerves. They indeed help in calming you down and enables you to sleep much better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Ovaltine have a lot of sugar?

Ovaltine original has about 50 percent of sugar levels. Yes, it is a sugary drink which is why when you add it to a glass of milk, the resulted drink is sweet and chocolaty to taste. This is why it is recommended to consume this drink in moderation and not consume it if you have diabetes or other weight issues.

Is Ovaltine good for high blood pressure?

Ovaltine is found to have a modest increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. So, in simple terms, it does show an increase in blood pressure if you consume it.

Is there caffeine in Ovaltine?

Ovaltine is caffeine-free. So, you can give it to your child without any second doubt over it. Its chocolaty taste will surely make your child finish their drink, and children do love how it tastes.

Is Ovaltine good with water?

Ovaltine does not go that great with water. So for optimum results, people prefer to take it with a warm glass of milk. But you can try and test to see if it works for you.

Does Ovaltine make you lose weight?

As a powder processed substance, Ovaltine is not proved to result in any weight loss. In fact, Ovaltine contains added sugar. This makes the product high in calories, and it is recommended to consume it in moderation. In addition, diabetes patients and people with weight problems are recommended not to intake such products.

Is Ovaltine gluten-free?

Ovaltine malted milk powder contains malted wheat and malted barley extracts, rendering it most definitely not gluten-free. The classic powdered flavoring of Ovaltine is made with barley malt extract.

To summarize

When talking about Ovaltine as a drink, overall, it is an excellent chocolatey drink for kids to consume. In addition, it makes it easier for parents to get their kids to drink their everyday share of milk without creating any fuss.

Ovaltine does contain some vitamins and is made with barley malt extract. But it also has added sugar in it. Definitely, this drink does not help someone who is trying to lose weight.

However, if consumed in moderation, this drink is an excellent way to add some flavor to your glass of milk. But if someone has diabetes, then it is best to avoid this drink altogether.

Nothing beats a warm glass of chocolatey drink to put you to sleep, especially during winter nights. So, if you really like the chocolate flavors, most definitely enjoy this drink but in moderation.

But suppose you are trying to lose weight or are suffering from other body ailments. In that case, it is better to go through the ingredients and avoid it if you don’t want to consume many calories.