A well-known cooking fact is that salt “brings out the flavour” of foods. This not only applies to meats and vegetables, but also unlikely foods and drinks such as brownies, watermelons, coffee and chocolate milk.
Salt (sodium chloride) will dissolve in water to form sodium and chloride ions. Sodium ions interfere with the way your taste buds sense flavour, suppressing bitterness. This is why adding a dash of salt to coffee and chocolate milk will make it taste fuller and smoother.
Furthermore, the sodium ions enhance flavour by making taste buds more sensitive for other flavours such as sweet, sour and umami (savoury). Lastly, in the case of chocolate milk, the slight salty taste gives a greater contrast for the sweet flavour, making the drink taste slightly sweeter.