In our society, we are raised to value the importance of drinking milk from childhood. However, milk also contains other valuable nutrients that work towards providing a healthy body. A glass of milk supplies a large amount of calcium, vitamins A, B12 and D, protein, potassium, and riboflavin. Because of its high nutritional value, the USDA recommends drinking at least 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk a day.
Milk is Good for the Bones
Milk is high in calcium and its benefits are tremendous. Bones contain 98% of all the body’s calcium deposits, making it an essential ingredient for a strong skeletal foundation. This is especially important in weightlifters and bodybuilders who put extraordinary stress on the bones.
However, there are other important bone-builders in milk such as the mineral magnesium and vitamin D. Magnesium is used by the body for new bone growth and strengthening. Over half of all magnesium consumed goes to bone production. Vitamin D is necessary in order for the body to absorb calcium in the first place. Therefore, these components along with calcium are needed to build, repair, and strengthen bone mass.
Milk Builds Muscular Strength
Milk is also rich in protein, used by the body to strengthen and repair muscle fibers. Milk contains both whey and casein protein. Whey is absorbed by the body very quickly and is good for immediately after a workout. Casein is absorbed more slowly and therefore provides a source of reparative protein over a period of numerous hours. The protein contained in milk consists of 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey protein.
The whole principle behind weightlifting is to work the muscles to the point of overload where muscle fibers breakdown. Then, during rest times, the body pulls from the source of our nutritious meals and workout supplements and rebuilds and strengthens those fibers. Making milk a part of your healthy dietary plan ensures that your body can do its job and supply you with ripped muscles, beginning right after your strength training program and through the night.
Milk Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Drinking only one glass of low-fat milk per day has been found to decrease the risk of heart disease and poor kidney function by 37 percent in adults according to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study. Furthermore, the American Heart Association discovered that those who consume low-fat milk and the equivalent products on a regular basis showed a reduction in heart disease as well as healthier kidneys.
A strong heart and kidneys both work to assist in weight training. A strong heart is needed to supply muscles with oxygen-rich blood and the kidneys work to filter out the waste products found in the various liquids that are consumed.
Milk Helps Prevent High Blood Pressure
Low-fat milk has also been found to lower the risk of high blood pressure. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study revealed that ingesting 3 servings of low-fat milk or milk products combined with eating 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day resulted in lower rates of hypertension. It was concluded that the elements of magnesium and potassium contained in the milk worked to help moderate blood pressure.
With all of the benefits that milk supplies to those actively involved in bodybuilding and weightlifting, it would be a good practice to use low-fat milk in your morning, noon smoothie, and post-workout shake. It will do your body good!