Drinking Milk…”Still” Does a Body Good!

October 9, 2007

Somewhere along the way, milk and dairy got a bad reputation. Back in the 50’s and even as late as the 80’s milk and dairy was recommended as part of a healthy diet. The “trendy” thing right now is to point to studies and say how bad cow milk is for humans. There are several large groups who are anti-dairy almost to the point of obsession. I am going to point out a recent medical journal that examines the benefits of milk and dairy.
Milk Woman
[No need to share the same dish as your cat…bad Sheila! Bad, bad, bad girl!]

The Study on the Health Benefits of Milk

The link to the study on milk and dairy is located at this link:Major Scientific Advances with Dairy Foods in Nutrition and Health This study points out several health benefits of including dairy in your diet. It obviously is biased, since it was written by the National Dairy Council, but it has some great points. I’ll summarize the points below.

When Did Milk Get a Bad Reputation?

It really started as early as the 70’s with bodybuilders. You see when it comes to getting ready for a contest, the sodium in milk causes a bit of water retention. This water retention is minimal, but when someone is competing, any advantage will help. From this point, the effects of milk and water retention got greatly exaggerated and many people in fitness began to avoid milk and dairy when trying to get in shape. Note: Most bodybuilders still drink milk when gaining muscle, they just limit the intake closer to contest time.

What if You Are Allergic to Milk?

It has been shown in studies that only around 1-3% of the population is truly allergic to dairy. These people should avoid dairy. Lactose intolerance is a different story. It is a little more common, but can be overcome with lactose free dairy. Another alternative is Lactase pills which will help the body digest lactose.

Some of the Health Benefits of Milk

Dairy protein is an extremely high level of protein mixed which is a mix of both casein and whey protein. The whey protein is absorbed by the muscles quickly and the casein protein is a slow digesting protein…it is a great mix as far as maintaining or gaining muscle. The calcium in dairy is the easiest type of calcium for the body to absorb…much more bioavailable than calcium supplements. Calcium is required for strong bones and is especially important for women.

Did You Know Calcium Deficiency Can Slow Fat Loss?

In another study I read that if your body is deficient in calcium, you will have a tougher time losing body fat. It also pointed out that dairy calcium, in particular, assisted the body with fat loss. Typically this isn’t a problem, unless someone is on a super-strict diet of salad, chicken breasts, etc. It would be a good idea to include at least a little dairy to insure that your body stays efficient at burning body fat.

There Are Plenty of Nonfat Dairy Options

My dairy source of choice is nonfat vanilla yogurt. I buy it in the large containers and typically this is my dinner desert. The side benefit of yogurt is that it contains healthy cultures that aid in digestion of other food. I also include a little bit of cheese 3-4 nights a week with my dinner. There are so many options to get dairy these days, that it is easy to find something you will enjoy.

Note: I know there are a lot of people who don’t believe in ingesting dairy at all. I respect your opinion. I include it in my diet and I just wanted to show some of the positives.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyler Durden October 9, 2007 at 5:02 am

i like dairy i drink milk on a regular basis(everyday)
i also like cheese a lot. But i limit my intake from both of them. Keep in mind 100ml skimmed milk has about 44kcal.

Angie October 9, 2007 at 11:30 am

I used to LOVE dairy and still do, but I am lactose intolerant. I do take the lactaid pills so that I can still enjoy my favorite foods, like pizza! YUM! But I am able to tolerate yogurt and cheddar cheeses even with being lactose intolerant.

admin October 9, 2007 at 12:43 pm


I’m the same way exactly…Yogurt is really my main source of dairy along with a little bit of cheese. Yep…I like pizza as well…Canadian Bacon and Pineapple…with a good microbrew beer of course!


Jonneh October 9, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Damn, I hate milk. It tastes nasty to my personal taste buds. :\

BUT, not when I have cereal, or something chocolate. 🙂 Then it’s great.

Otherwise, no thank you, I’ll take water or dr. pepper 😛

Burak October 9, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Rusty, you mentioned in the 007 post that you were good at estimating percent body fat. I did a quick google search and it says there are a number of ways to measure percent body fat, but I was surprised to find that (for males only) one method used is just a simple neck and waist measurement for your specific height. That seems like it’s just begging for high amounts of error.

Now, I’m about to bite the bullet and invest in a cheap impedance-based scale that (hopefully) does a better job. But I was just curious how you approach it.

Also, what do you consider to be a good range for this percentage?

john October 9, 2007 at 9:33 pm

do not over look cheese! parmesan, (if you have can get the good imported one from parma) although very caloric is loaded with calcium. About 100 grams comes out to 300 calories but provides 160% of your daily calcium needs. It can be a great substitute for any serving of protien.

admin October 9, 2007 at 10:56 pm


Everybody has a different idea of what a good body fat percentage is. I think a lot of people claim their percentage is a lot lower than it is. For a guy anything below 12% is pretty darn good. There aren’t too many guy below 10%….and anything around 6-8% is an elite level in my opinion.

I try to stay around the 8-10% range year-round and closer to 6% for special occassions like a vacation.

What is crazy is how different two people can look at the same bodyfat percentage. I know people who look absolutely ripped at a 10% body fat level. I know others who need to get closer to 6% before they look really impressive.

I think this calls for an entire article! I will write a longer article about this tomorrow and include the link right here. You guys always give me great ideas for posts.



admin October 9, 2007 at 11:01 pm


I had no idea that paremsan cheese was such a strong source of calcium. This gives me an excuse to add it to the occassional pizza that I eat.

Now I just need to figure out how to add extra vitamins to the big frosty mug of beer that I drink with the pizza!


Tyler Durden October 10, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Hey Rusty I can’t wait your post on body fat measurement..
I would be very curious where i am now. i think it’s about 8-9% but not sure cuz i just compare myself visually to others.

admin October 10, 2007 at 1:51 pm


If you are at 8-9% that is great! I will write this post either late tonight or tomorrow morning (my time…I think you are at least 8 hours ahead). Anyway, right now I have to write a post on how to balance “steady state” cardio with interval training, since there is a gentleman in Australia that asked a great question about it.


Dan October 11, 2007 at 4:54 am

Hi Rusty,

Love the site btw. Was just reading the part where you said that Sodium has the ability to hold water in our bodies (water retention). Is this what makes people look bloated from a result of too much Sodium intake? If so, could you give some examples of some food/drinks to stay away from? E.g. I believe Trim Milk has a lot more Sodium than Regular Milk and can be seen as a bad substitute.



Tyler Durden October 11, 2007 at 8:11 am

hey that’s no problem! i read the “balance” and totally agree with it, it’s a very wise one. HIIT is effective but extremely intense. Here’s what i do a week:
2 HIITs combined with lifting, 1 steady pace and lifting, 1 steady pace(1hour)
Of course i grab the weight first and then i run on the treadmill.
Usually even before lifting i do 5minutes warm up on the treamill to pump up my heart.

Magnate October 11, 2007 at 4:54 pm

The stigma surrounding cow meat and milk lately is largely born out of the chemical additives found in both substances (i.e. hormones and steroids that are fed to cows do end up in the milk.)

With respect to meat, most meat you can buy in America is from CORN FED CATTLE. This destroys the EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) balance within the meat and makes it MUCH less healthy than a traditional grass fed cow would be (more natural levels of fatty acids and amino acids in the meat).

So for any health addicts out there, consider free range poultry and grass fed cattle if you want to incorporate healthier meat products (more expensive as well, organic food stores carry these quite often though. ) Might be worth checking out.

/Semi Off-topic rant over.

admin October 11, 2007 at 9:43 pm


I wouldn’t worry about sodium too much. A good way to insure that you don’t hold onto any excess water is to actually drink more of it and also work up a sweat when you workout.

I’ll put sodium and water retention on my list of topics to cover on this blog. Great idea.

Keep the comments coming!


russell Campbell May 14, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Hi Rusty,

This issue is a little complicated as people don’t usually look into what is really being stated by the non dairy groups. If you drink Organic whole milk it is very healthy. It is not the milk that is so bad but the drugs and chemicals that are put into milk. Check it out. Do you like white creamy pus in your milk from sick and dying cows? Betcha don’t. Even Ori agrees on this point I believe.

The other argument has to do with why we are the only mammals that continue to drink milk after reaching maturity. Hmmm probably for a lack of food as mankind moved into colder climates I don’t know. Ori talks about cats drinking milk, but only if we give it to them. Are people running back to mom and drinking milk? Want to drink directly from the cow? I don’t think so.

As for the calcium this is a myth that milk calcium is the best absorbed. Have you seen an elephant lately. A herbavore that eats greens and no milk with huge bones. Asian people have far less osteroporosis than western people but almost never drink milk (until recently when western marketing started to promote it) broccoli, almonds, sesame etc are all great sources of milk.

But again whole organic milk is healthy in decent serving sizes. I could go on for days about this and other health subjects. The best thing to do is follow nature and watch ancient (and healthy) cultures from around the world. The oldest and healthiest people in the world generally do not drink a lot of milk and traditionally never did (Okinawans)

On a side note have you ever seen a healthy older bodybuilder (I mean the really big guys) no because they are all dead. The healthiest old people are all slim. (At least here in Asia.

Cheers, Russ

russell Campbell May 15, 2008 at 6:18 am

Just a correction. Broccoli, sesame, almonds etc are all good sources of Calcium (not milk) ha ha…

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