Studies support milk for muscle-building

I was looking at some research news items and came across this one, “To gain muscle and lose fat, drink milk,” about a study conducted at McMaster University and published in 2007. The key finding of the study was that milk drinkers gained more muscle and lost more fat than participants who drank a carbohydrate-based drink or soy milk after a heavy weightlifting workout.

Although the study group consisted of healthy adult young men, it seems reasonable to think the findings would apply at least in part to healthy adults, male and female, and probably to older adults too. The study’s lead author, Stuart Phillips, found that indeed is the case for young women in a study published in 2010.

Neither study was large, and both were fairly brief (12 weeks). Would the difference persist over time? Don’t know. Would it apply to relatively unfit people starting an exercise program? The second study implies that the results hold true for people who start weightlifting and then consume milk.

For those of us with bone-thinning worries, the studies provide one more reason to continue to drink milk–even if the milk industry did provide funding for the studies.