Milk: The Best Muscle-Builder?
Milk Helps Build More Muscle After Exercise Than Soy, Carb Drinks, Researchers Say
WebMD News Archive
Study Details continued...
Those who drank milk also had more strength gains than the other two groups
in two kinds of individual exercises: knee extensions and hamstring curls.
The milk drinkers also lost more body fat. "They lost almost 2 pounds of
body fat," he says. "The soy group barely changed in terms of body fat.
It was about a third of a pound. In the control group (the carbohydrate
drinkers) it was about a pound of body fat lost."
Milk Protein for Muscle Building?
Exactly why the milk group did better is unknown, Phillips says. He
speculates that the proteins in the milk -- whey and caseins -- may account for
the better results.
"The calcium may allow your body to burn more fat," he
While the study included only men, Phillips also speculates the results
would apply to women.
The weight-trainers in the study were novices, so he says the results for
veteran weight-trainers who drink milk after working out may be less.
And yogurt or cottage cheese could possibly work as well as milk, he
The carbohydrate drink used in the study wasn't the same composition as
Gatorade, says Jeff Zachwieja, PhD, principal scientist at the Gatorade Sports
Science Institute in Barrington, Ill.
The study's carbohydrate drink was 9% maltodextrin. Gatorade is 6%
carbohydrate with a blend of glucose, sucrose, and fructose as well as the
electrolytes sodium, potassium, and chloride to restore minerals lost through
sweating, he says.
"They were trying to compare the protein in soy to the protein in
milk," he says. The carbohydrate drink served only as the control, to give
the researchers something to compare results to.
Gatorade Thirst Quencher's purpose is not to build muscle, Zachwieja tells
WebMD. "When you weight train, Gatorade is for replacing the fluid you are
losing through sweating and providing some carbohydrate energy during the
He notes that other Gatorade products -- such as the nutrition shake with
protein -- are meant to supply protein after weight training. "We
definitely recognize the importance of protein in recovery scenarios," he
says. "Protein helps the muscle to rebuild itself."