As little as a couple of cups of low-fat milk per day can double weight loss, research suggests.
Those in the study who drank milk lost double the amount of fat in comparison to those drinking a non-milk equivalent.
Calcium and vitamin D are both present in milk and both have been linked by multiple studies to weight loss.
Calcium deficiencies are thought to affect around half of people who are obese.
When calcium levels are depleted, the body craves more food so that it can replenish levels of the essential mineral.
This is why some think that providing the body with calcium can help to reduce the desire for food — which leads to weight loss.
Vitamin D is crucial as one of its main functions is to help the body absorb calcium.
In one 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 current study involved 56 men on a weight-lifting programme.
The results showed that men who drank milk lost two pounds of fat in comparison to only one pound in the non-milk 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.
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).