Well, the supposed benefit of chocolate milk is it's 3:1 ratio of carbs:protein, so a no sugar added version probably wouldn't fulfill that. Also, the pre-made stuff and Hershey's syrup are sugared with HFCS, so you might consider finding a "better" sugar source. However, it is cheap and if you have no other affordable alternative, it's probably better than nothing.
Why not just buy some regular milk and some -- a lot -- of high fructose corn syrup? If believing this bad advice. Heck, why not add the HFCS to every meal? Carbs are good, you know.
Do you really want about 50 grams of HFCS per quart of milk? That is supposed to be an improvement? Yes, almost any idiotic idea can be found touted somewhere on the Internet, sometimes in many places, and the theory that milk is improved by addition of a ton of high-fructose corn syrup is one of those ideas. That doesn't detract from the error.
If you want to add sugar, the thing to do is to buy dextrose, which probably is sold at your health food store. Or if not, is available at a low price over the Internet.
I'm somewhat a newb to this site, but I've read Arnold's book and have been reading this site for about a year, and I think the science is pretty clear that Surge is better because the proteins are faster (whey hydrosolite much faster than cassein, which is mostly what milk is) and the carbs are faster (maltodextrin, dextrose although the sugars in chocolate milk are probably pretty fast). [And, I can't spell any of this crap]. Plus all the BCAA's and Leucine and all that stuff in Surge.
With that being said, you are still getting plenty of protein and fast acting carbs in chocolate milk. Surge is certainly more optimal, but chocolate milk will get the job done while you wait.
Hell, a lot of guys just have a protein shake and eat a pop-tart or a snickers bar. I'd assume that chocolate milk would be better since its liquid and will get in your system better.
Simple dextrose? Alright. Accompanied with what, 24 g of protein or so I assume? Hell, I don't even really need to drink milk.
EDIT: Yeah, Snewbold, I realize all the benefits of Surge. I love it, because I don't have to put any thought into my PWO shake. Again... I have to pinch many pennies for a while, so I'm looking for economic feasibility.
If budget is a concern, which i have encountered before, I always use Gatorade powder (not the beverages cause again those have HFCS) and than some whey concentrate, which you can get for around $4 a pound at some places. You could also do BCAA's if you have the money for it
I suggest googling "chocolate milk after workout" I found a ton of helpful stuff, obviously it's not going to be as good as Surge because it's engineered to be a optimal post recovery drink. When I was working as a medic at motocross races they say to drink chocolate milk because after a crash you have a drop in blood sugar, chocolate milk has high carbs which refuels you, and is a fair source of protein for the recommended amount along with the calcium and other nutrients and Hell it just tastes amazing. Don't expect major results but it can't hurt, stuff yourself with some tuna or unsalted trail mix and your protein source should be right up there.