Two cups of skimmed milk per day can help double weight loss, research finds.
People in the study lost twice as much fat and built up 63 per cent more muscle mass, the results showed.
Milk contains both calcium and vitamin D, which have both been linked to weight loss in multiple studies.
Around half of people who are obese have a calcium deficiency.
It is thought that low levels of calcium encourage the body to increase food intake to get more of the essential mineral.
Providing the body with enough calcium may reduce the desire for food.
For the study, 56 men took part in a 12-week weightlifting programme.
They were given either two cups of skimmed milk or a non-milk equivalent afterwards.
The men drinking milk lost two pounds of fat in comparison to only one pound in the non-milk equivalent group.
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.”
Drinking milk was also linked to putting on two-thirds more muscle.
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.
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).