In this article we will discuss drinking milk as bodybuilders. Is it good for our muscles, beneficial, healthy or maybe it’s harmful and should be avoided.
There are two different kinds of milk. First is raw milk – straight from the cow, unprocessed, not from the shop. Second is from supermarket, processed in a milk-diary factory. Please note that these are two different products and differ pretty much from one another.
Cow milk is packed with loads of very important nutrients essential in bodybuilding and in general life. It contains:
Besides raw milk has many living microorganisms, bacteria and enzymes in it which are extremely healthy for human body. Raw milk is a living substance.
Milk from the supermarket is processed in a factory. It is pasteurized what means that it is boiled in very high temperatures to make it last longer on a shop shelve. Unfortunately boiling milk this way kills many if not most of good bacteria and enzymes in it. As a result we drink fluid with dead, floating microorganisms. Besides, this process destroys digestive enzyme called lactase what might cause problems with its digestion. This type of milk is dead. But this is only half of the story.
Cows in most modern western farms are locked in small cages 24 hours a day. They can’t really move or turn around, never mind walking on a fresh air. Most of them don’t see the day light ever in their life and in most farms in America and many in Europe are fed with corn rather than grass.
But it’s only getting better. To make cows grow quicker and bigger some companies feed them with steroids, growth hormone or many other chemicals. It improves the production of milk.
Their owners can’t allow for a single cow to be sick because rest of them will get infected so they feed all of them with antibiotics anyway.
There are no studies available to tell whether milk from these cows has any impact on human well-being however for me it doesn’t sound healthy.
Milk in bodybuilding
If we forget about health site of milk theoretically we have a great product for building muscle mass. Milk contains all essential macronutrients in nearly perfect proportions for gaining size, strength and of course general development.
About 85% of milk is water, the most needed substance in our body, crucial for rehydration.
Whey and casein supplements you can get in a shop are made from milk. It has BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) which are taken in a form of supplements by most bodybuilders.
Full fat milk is rich in calories which is helpful for anybody trying to gain weight. Electrolytes, minerals and vitamins in it speed up the recovery and replenish any deficiencies.
Carbohydrates (lactose) in it provide us with energy for lifting weights and promote growth. Unfortunately, probably because pasteurization, not everybody can digest lactose these days and this is the main problem of this product.
Old time bodybuilders and weight lifters performed lots of squats and drunk gallons of milk to gain weight. It was their trick to get big fast. They were an inspiration for programs like GetStrong workout which is based on squat and GOMAD method what stands for Gallon Of Milk A Day. However milk was likely much healthier then than it is now.
So should we drink milk or not?
Theoretically milk has a great potential to be an ultimate product for bodybuilders or any other athletes. Unfortunately modern production destroys it and makes it even harmful for human health. It’s very difficult to get raw milk these days – straight from the cow. In some countries it is even forbidden.
I can’t give you the straight answer whether to drink milk or not. Some people swear by it, love it and consume it every day, often as post workout nutrition. Many can’t digest it and simply stay away from it. I drink it, however in moderation. Professional bodybuilders don’t consume much diary at all especially when they cut.
At the end of a day everybody is different so you have to try it yourself. Drink it and see if you don’t have any unusual side effects, not gaining too much fat or have any other issues. Get it from a farmer if you can and if you buy milk from the shop make sure it is good quality from grass fed cows.