Milk is much more than just a drink. It’s been part of our culture for thousands of years. Whether young or old, we more than likely drink gallons upon gallons of milk every year. However, recent research has supported the notion that dairy consumption of milk is a contributing factor in nearly two dozen diseases of children and adults. Nowadays, cows are given antibiotics and some are genetically engineered form of bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is a man-made synthetic hormone used to artificially increase milk production. In other words, this is not good for you and it could cause several problems for your general health. You need to be careful with the type of milk you buy. While I can give sit here all day and type out a detailed report why milk is good or bad for you, there will always be contradictory research on the subject. I would say to do your own due diligence and decide if milk is worth it. As a fitness website that preaches muscle growth and staying fit, milk can have some inherent benefits and many people use it with their whey protein shakes and supplements. The Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit small farm advocacy group, has developed a way to enable consumers to identify the best dairy brands. The report includes a scorecard that rates 68 different organic dairy brands. You can check it out here: http://cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html
If you are scared off from drinking milk or want to spice things up, there is a very good substitute and it happens to be my favorite. Besides being more healthier than milk, almond milk is also an ideal alternative for those who are lactose intolerant as well as those who have allergies to soy. Recently, almond milk has gone mainstream. It has been around since the Middle Ages but it seems like a new invention. You’ll see it all over the grocery shelves as more and more people are buying it. Almond milk has more nutrients than traditional milk and is not subjected to the same processing. Almond milk is low in calories, with an 8 oz serving of plain (which has no added sugar) only containing around 60-70 calories, which is lower than skim milk. It is rich in vitamins and has a lot more calcium than you think. One cup of plain, original almond is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. It is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. Vitamin A and E act as antioxidants, which strengthens the immune system and protects the body’s cells and tissues from damage. Vitamin A is beneficial for your eyes, improves the skin and supports normal growth and development. Vitamin D builds and maintains strong bones and teeth, and boosts your immune system. It is also a good source of omega fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and lowers cardiovascular disease, among other benefits.
Did you know that almond milk practically has the same amount of calcium as cow’s milk? One cup of almond milk offers approximately 300 mg, which is 30% of the daily value. This is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, in addition to offering more vitamins and minerals. Those who don’t drink dairy products often miss out on calcium. If you drink almond milk, you won’t have to worry nearly as much. Although almond milk is low in protein, it still offers some benefits for the bodybuilder. Almond milk is a good source of riboflavin, which has been connected to protein metabolism, an essential part of muscle growth and development. It also helps produce energy for glucose metabolism and fatty acid oxidation. It’s also important in the Krebs cycle, the process of cellular respiration and the conversion of nutrients into energy. This has all the benefits to help your body pack on more muscle. Not to mention, did I say that it tastes amazing? Be creative with your almond milk. Drink a glass or put it in your protein shake or cereal and taste pure awesomeness!