Milk: The Best Muscle-Builder?
Milk Helps Build More Muscle After Exercise Than Soy, Carb Drinks, Researchers Say
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."
GeniSoy Food Company in Tulsa, Okla., which makes the soy drink used in the
research, had no immediate comment on the study results.
But spokesman Jordan Gilsleider notes that the company web site has a
protein calculator to help exercisers calculate how much protein to eat, based
on their exercise goals and weight.
An Exercise Physiologist's View
For building more muscle, "milk may be worth a try," says Richard
Cotton, a spokesman for the American Council on Exercise in San Diego, and
chief exercise physiologist for myexerciseplan.com. He is familiar with the
study but not involved in it.
"There may be something about the type of protein in milk vs. soy,"
Cotton says. He advises people to pay attention to overall protein intake.
But he doesn't think it's crucial to eat protein immediately after a
workout. He advises drinking plenty of water to replace fluids immediately
after exercise. "But if you are craving protein after a workout, go for
it," he says.
- Is milk a part of your diet plan? Talk with others on the Dieting
Club: 25 - 50 Lbs. to Lose board.