Cow’s Milk – Friend or Foe?

I am sure you have heard somewhere along the line that humans are not meant to process and digest cow’s milk.

But is cow’s milk as bad as some people assume it to be?

As a sports nutritionist and an educated individual on this matter, I want us to delve deeper and look a little further for evidence than the everyday what I like to call “broscience”. Broscience is simply information travels from ear to ear without any factual backing or research – sort of like “science” backed by your “bro’s” PHD from the WikiHows or getting medical advice from your hairdresser – very interesting but not often ground. Instead, we should look at reputable sources for the facts should we seek to improve our lives.

Humans have been consuming cow’s milk for around 6000 to 8000 years which, over time, allowed for a genetic mutation known as lactose persistence; this is suggested to have been derived from necessity with our early Neolithic era farmers to survive. The bio-availability of food and nutrients, and the education thereof was scarce. Therefore, an intolerance was better than starvation, and in due time, our bodies began to adjust and digest this new addition to our lifestyle.

In short, we have genetically adjusted to cow’s milk. Yes, some humans may still have the reduced ability to digest lactose, but this does not mean we should avoid lactose altogether. You can still reap the benefits of dairy by ingesting it in its other forms, including yoghurts and hard cheeses in small amounts.

With these small amounts we will have less side effects and absorb the necessary nutrition at the same time. Remember, an intolerance is not an allergy.

Fast forward to modern-day – humans can reap all the benefits from cow’s milk, and these are not only the usual’ bones and teeth’ clichés we have heard since childhood, albeit factual.

From my perspective, cow’s milk in healthy individuals is an exceptional sports nutritional aid for post-training, and I am yet to alter this perspective even after 12 years in the physical training and sports nutrition industry. The benefits are based on (actual) science which has been studied and researched extensively over the years through numerous medical journal publications. I recognize there are studies for the opposition as well, but the overall evidence is too substantial to speak against dairy completely.

Some benefits include:

–      Protein synthesis in skeletal muscle (allows for optimal exercise output/performance).

–      Delays the onset of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) – allows for quicker recovery between sessions.

–      Positive muscle balance between muscle growth than muscle breakdown (ie you’ll build more muscle than what you have burnt).

–      The amino acids allow for a reduction in mechanical stress on and in the body due to exercise – all while improving repair.

–      Physiologically it’s a perfect ratio for the body between the carbs and protein for post-workout recovery. 

The calcium, sodium, and potassium aid in fluid recovery for the body’s hydration state post-exercise since we lose vital micronutrients, such as electrolytes, when we train. (This may prove to be more beneficial than your everyday conventional isotonic/sports drinks.)

I strongly advise a post-training recovery drink such as the HPR recovery drink from First Choice. This is not a sales pitch, this an honest recommendation – don’t wait till tomorrow to reap the benefits and perform at your optimum.

If you have any supplemental, sports nutritional or physical training related queries, contact me on:

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HPR is loaded with everything that’s good for you to push through your own limits again and again. Often the difference between good performance and average performance has to do with how you fuel your body and help your body recover. HPR helps you to Push Past Possible.



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