Drinking milk can double the rate at which body fat is lost, research finds.
Two cups of skimmed milk helped study participants shed double the fat and build 63 percent more muscle mass.
Drinking milk boosts vitamin D levels, which around 50 percent of people are deficient in.
It also increases calcium levels: in the region of 50 percent of obese people have a calcium deficiency.
Low calcium levels may prompt the brain to increase food intake to get more of this mineral.
In a different study, involving people trying to lose weight, those who drank two-thirds of a glass of milk per day lost twice as much weight as low milk drinkers.
The present study involved 56 men who were involved in a 12-week program of weight-lifting.
After working out, they drank either two cups of skimmed milk, a soy equivalent, or a carbohydrate drink.
All had roughly the same amount of calories in them.
The results showed that the milk drinkers lost twice as much fat (two pounds versus one pound).
Dr Stuart Phillips, study co-author, said:
“The loss of fat mass, while expected, was much larger than we thought it would be.
I think the practical implications of these results are obvious: if you want to gain muscle and lose fat as a result of working out, drink milk.”
Milk drinker also put on two-thirds more muscle than those consuming the carbohydrate drink.
Milk drinkers put on 40 percent more muscle than those drinking soy.
Dr Phillips said:
“I think the evidence is beginning to mount.
Milk may be best known for its calcium content in supporting bone health, but our research, and that of others, continually supports milk’s ability to aid in muscle growth and also promote body fat loss.
To my mind – with milk being a source of nine essential nutrients – it’s a no brainer: milk is the ideal post-workout drink for recreational exercisers and athletes alike.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Hartman et al., 2007).