I’ve been a vegan for quite a while now so when I read in Self magazine this month that people who drink a glass of milk post-workout loose four times as much weight as people drinking soy milk, it was with some dubiousness. (And I was on the treadmill, so making my “dubious face” almost caused me to fall off – which wouldn’t be the first time, I’m embarrassed to say – the things I do for the sake of science!!) Generally these types of studies are funded by the, uh, National Dairy Council or the United Coalition of Dairy Farmers or some other not-objective group but this study was carried out by an academic institution, namely McMaster’s University’s Department of Kinesiology. And we all know that academic institutions are unbiased and only concerned with the public good and would never take money from a donor who specified the outcome of the study before it was even begun… oh wait. Hmmm. Well, anyhow.
Researchers found that young men who “lifted heavy” and then consumed two cups of skim milk post-workout gained twice as much muscle mass as those who consumed an equal amount of soy milk. They concluded that milk protein was “definitely better” at building muscle mass than was soy.
The Study Part II
The blurb featured in Self magazine – the one with Keri Russel and her post-baby wonder-woman abs of horror (mine, not hers) – was actually from a follow-up study conducted by the same research team. I am a sucker for a good follow-up study. This time they divided the young men (why just men, McMasters??) into three groups: a milk group, a soy group and a carb-beverage group (like Gatorade). They ran them through a vigorous weight routine and then had them guzzle 2 cups of their assigned beverage. The milk drinkers lost two pounds of bodyfat (not to be confused with two pounds of weight – losing bodyfat is much harder. Any idiot can lose two pounds of water weight. A special idiot can lose two pounds of muscle. But only a seriously devoted athlete can lose just bodyfat.). The carb drinkers lost one pound of bodyfat – not shabby – and the soy drinkers? Nada. Zip. Zilch.
In addition to the fat loss, the milk drinkers built 40% more muscle than the soy drinkers and 63% more muscle than the Gatorade guzzlers.
Stuart Philips, the lead researcher, concluded:
“The loss of fat mass, while expected, was much larger than we thought it would be,” says Phillips, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster. “I think the practical implications of these results are obvious: if you want to gain muscle and lose fat as a result of working out, drink milk.”
I’m Vegetarian for a host of both health and moral reasons but I was only doing the Vegan thing as an experiment. I’m morally opposed to eating animals (at least the way they are farmed here in America) but I’ve got no such qualms about eating animal products. So, bring on the milk!
Since I’m not a “young male” I figured I’d try for one cup of milk post-workout instead of two. Even if it’s skim, that’s still 90 calories a cup and I don’t know if I can down two cups of moo juice in one sitting anyhow.
Plus, my family will be so relieved. Now we can have a cheeseball at Christmas;)