Many people have heard that drinking milk is a great way to gain mass but also to gain unwanted fat. What exactly is this true about drinking milk and let's
take a closer look at why?
Drinking low-fat and nonfat milk is a great way to infuse your body with protein: the essential component for gaining and sustaining muscle mass. According to The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, milk is "rich in high-quality protein ... a preeminent source of calcium ... and supplies vitamins A and D, riboflavin, other B vitamins, phosphorus and magnesium."
Milk is a cost-effective, abundant and easy-to-consume high-nutrient protein source. Just one cup of milk has up to nine grams of protein and 30% of the daily recommendation for calcium. Don't buy into the myth that whole milk is better for you. All nutrients are retained during the processing of low-fat and nonfat milk. Whole milk has a high fat content, deriving almost 50% of its calories from fat, most of which comes from the unhealthy saturated variety. So, reach for a carton of nonfat milk or, if you prefer the taste and don't mind a few grams of fat, low-fat (1%) milk.
Bodybuilders on precontest diets should be aware that one cup of nonfat milk has approximately 90 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates. As calorie and carb counting is an important part of a precontest diet, be sure to cut back on milk consumption then. However, the protein and calcium benefits outweigh the negatives of calories and carbs the rest of the time. Soy and rice drinks have been offered as alternatives to milk. On average, soy drinks have more calories, the same amount of carbs and only half the amount of protein of milk. Rice drinks have almost no protein. If lactose intolerance is a concern, bodybuilders should try lactose-reduced or lactose-free varieties before giving up on milk. Remember that drinking milk doesn't just help you maintain muscle mass by providing protein, it plays an essential role in your diet by providing an impressive amount of calcium for strong bones.
Drink low-fat or nonfat milk with a meal, add it to hot or cold cereal, or make milk protein shakes. Make a shake by adding one to three tablespoons of fat-free dry milk to one cup of milk. (Dry milk doesn't change the taste or texture of the milk, but it does add more protein.) Flavor the mixture by adding a few drops of almond or vanilla extract, or by blending in a cup of your favorite fruit. On hot days, blend in ice or freeze the mixture. For a bodybuilder trying to pack on size, this healthy protein shake is nutritious and easy on the wallet.