Whole milk used to be the go-to choice for exercisers aiming to build strength. However, more recent studies on milk recommend avoiding or limiting the intake of milk containing saturated fatty acids. In fact, even skim milk has faced harsh criticism. Despite the negative press, I urge people not to be misled: Skim milk is an excellent option for fitness enthusiasts looking to build muscle mass. It’s readily available, affordable, high in protein, rich in vitamins and minerals, and tastes great.
Milk Protein Energy: When you’re done training and relaxing on the couch, you might think your muscles are growing, right? If you’re trying to build a muscular body, you may be doing as many biceps curls as possible, but without protein and other nutrients, your muscles won’t grow since muscle growth breaks down during training.
Milk contains a significant amount of protein – each cup (approximately 200 grams) has 9 grams of protein, including 8 essential amino acids for the human body. This means the body can easily absorb and utilize these amino acids to repair and grow muscles. For professional bodybuilders who train intensely and need protein every three hours, milk is an incredibly affordable option. Drinking high-quality, inexpensive milk can easily provide 30 grams of protein per day.
Replenishing Electrolytes: For men, the most valuable mineral in milk is calcium. A study in the American Journal of Medicine showed that American men have not yet reached the recommended daily calcium intake of 1,200 mg. More active individuals lose more calcium through sweat, making their situation even worse. But calcium isn’t only beneficial for bone and tooth health. Researchers at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) discovered that consuming two servings per day of a low-fat, high-calcium meal suppresses the production of a hormone that causes the body to store fat. A glass of skim milk contains about 300 mg of calcium, which can help you achieve a lean figure.
“If a person can tolerate and fully digest milk, it means they are lactose tolerant. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating and abdominal pain after drinking milk or consuming dairy products. Skim milk is the best source of protein,” says Wayne, president of an online nutrition consulting service for bodybuilders and other athletes.
In fact, the key to the issue is consuming the right amount of milk. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to carefully consider every calorie in your food. In this regard, other food sources can provide protein without the added carbohydrates. Milk should not be your primary source of protein, but rather one of many.
How much milk should I drink?
“It’s difficult to make broad and general recommendations about how much milk you should drink each day,” Wayne said. “I suggest you estimate your protein needs and use milk as one of the various sources of protein in your diet.” If you are relatively lean and want to build muscle through hard work, you should drink at least four cups of fat-free milk every day. Spread these four cups of milk evenly throughout the day, and drink an extra cup with a scoop of protein powder after training for better results.