Milk and milk’s high quality protein has been shown to help athletes gain more lean muscle and lose fat when compared to drinking a carb-only beverage, as part of a regular workout and recovery routine.
In a study of healthy, untrained men, those who consumed fat free milk after exercise gained more muscle and lost more body fat at the end of a 12-week training program than those who drank a soy protein beverage or a carb-only beverage. All three beverages had the same amount of calories.1
Another similar study in women found that including fat free milk in a recovery routine during a 12-week training program, resulted in greater muscle mass, strength gains, fat loss, and even a potential protective effect on bone health, compared to a carb-only sports drink with the same calories. The researchers suggested that”milk is an effective drink to support favorable body composition changes in women with resistance training.”2
In another University of Texas at Austin study, 32 healthy but untrained cyclists who recovered with lowfat chocolate milkgained more muscle and lost more fat during training, with a 3-pound lean muscle advantage, compared to athletes who recovered with a carbohydrate drink.3
Hartman JW, Tang JE, Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Lawrence RL, Fullerton AV, Phillips SM. Consumption of fat free fluid milk following resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than soy or carbohydrate consumption in young novice male weightlifters. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2007;86:373-381. 2. Josse AR, Tang JE, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Body composition and strength changes in women with milk and resistance exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2010;42:1122-1130. 3. McCleave EL, Ferguson-Stegall L, Ding Z, Doerner PG, Liu Y, Kammer L, Wang B, Wang W, Hwang J, Ivy JL. Effects of aerobic training and nutritional supplementation on body composition, immune cells and inflammatory markers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011; 23:442.