Milk: Does A Body Good?

Hey everyone, hope your first week of the new year has been great!

After putting on about 5 pounds over the extended Christmas holiday weekend (I know, I know, listen to my own advice) my workouts and nutrition have been TONS better and I’m feeling great.  I’m actually writing this following the cycling class I teach 3x per week, which has been a great supplement to my training regimen.

*Quick tip: set weekly goals – i.e. resistance train 2 times, perform cardio 2 times, eat more protein and vegetables at the majority of meals – instead of making one huge fitness/health related goal for 2011.  By setting short-term goals, you’ll be ‘successful’ more often which will help keep you on track.  Remember, consistency is king.  All those one-week goals will add up to some pretty remarkable results.

Ok, back to the subject at hand.  Milk.

Healthy 6-pack

Most of us remember the commercials – Milk, does a body good.  But does it really? 

In most cases, yes…in moderation.  Milk provides a good source of protein and calcium which can help the development of strong muscles and bones.  Milk would certainly be a good alternative to drinking pop, fruit juices, and excess cups of coffee on a daily basis.  But be smart with your dairy drinks.

As with any non-water beverage, milk contains calories.  If you’re watching your caloric intake, don’t neglect to account for the calories in the beverages you’re consuming.  They can add up quickly, especially if you drink milk other than skim.

Find alternatives if you’re lactose intolerant or have allergies to dairy products.  Some people don’t even realize they have allergies or sensitivities to dairy.  Individuals, especially children, should cut back or eliminate dairy consumption if they experience: skin rashes, eczema, fatigue, spastic colon, excessive mucus production, nasal allergies, and chronic sinus infections.

A healthy alternative would be organic goat or cow milk.  Most grocery stores carry only pasteurized milk, which has been heated to 161 degrees for safety purposes, but also denatures milk enzymes and changes its protein structure.  Health food stores, and some grocery stores upon request, will carry organic milk and dairy products.  Look into it.

With fitness/health goals, nutrition is key.  I often stress to people that quality (choosing good food sources) is much more important than quantity (which usually means people drastically cutting calories).  We are an amazing species (humans, that is) with many unique characteristics.  We’re nearly the only species to drink milk throughout adulthood, and drink another specie’s milk at that.

Something to think about.

For all the mothers and mothers to be out there, research strongly encourages you to breast-feed your children.  It can both improve future development of the child while decreasing disease risk in the mother.  Win-win.  Elliott Hulse, a strength coach from Florida, sent out this article to his newsletter subscribers.  Good, quick read on the benefits of natural feeding in the developing child.

Whether you want your child to be a future sports star or not, breast-feeding can be the foundation for a healthy future.

Milk can be a great ingredient in the recipe of a healthy lifestyle, but make sure to choose quality first, and then find out the proper quantity as it will be different for just about everyone.

Keep up the good work! One week down, 51 to go:)

Sim

“eat to live, don’t live to eat”

References: Colbert MD, Don, 2007. “The Seven Pillars of Health.” Siloam, Lake Mary, Florida, pp. 106-108.


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