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More Proof That Milk Really Does Do A Body Good
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More Proof That Milk Really Does Do A Body Good

There has been some debate in recent years about whether milk and other dairy products are good for you as mothers across the nation have long said or if they are part of the reason everyone has gotten to be so overweight. Turns out that the moms have it on this one, at least according to several recent studies.

In the first such study, milk was deemed to be better at re-hydrating children who are exercising or playing sports than plain water or sports drinks. Brian Timmons, the Research Director of Children’s Health and Exercise Medicine Program at McMaster University compared the ability of milk, water and the popular sports drinks to rehydrate children after they were active with some interesting results.

That study, which took 8-10 year olds and had them exercise in a specially designed climate chamber showed how effective milk was at hydration. Each of the children were asked to perform certain exercises and then given one of the three drinks. After each child was given a drink, they were tested for their level of hydration. Milk not only provided more hydration to the body but also was a source of high quality proteins, carbohydrates, calcium and a number of electrolytes that are needed, especially for active children and adults.

A one percent level of dehydration can decrease athletic performance by roughly fifteen percent. In addition, dehydration can also increase the heart rate, raise the core temperature and may cause “bonking” - the inability to continue on.

Timmons cautions that most active children and adults do not drink enough before, during or after exercise and that most people are at some level of dehydration.

Another study has shown that women who drink milk after they have lifted weights were more likely to build lean muscle mass while losing substantial amounts of fat. An earlier study had shown the same thing to be true for men who drank milk after weight lifting exercises, but researchers were faced with a few obstacles in researching the same hypothesis for women who tend to shy from weight lifting or resistance training at any level for fear that they will bulk up. Many women also stop drinking milk when they are on dieting programs because they are often told by plans that milk is fattening.

In the twelve week study, the women were lead through a set exercise program, guided by a personal trainer in one on one sessions that took place every day of the trial. For two hours before they were set to exercise, the women were only allowed to have plain water. Right after each session was completed, half of the women were given 500 ml of skim milk while the other half were given the same amount of a sugar based sports drink. They were given the same thing one hour later.

At the end of the study, the milk group was found to have dramatically increased their lean muscle mass while losing substantial amounts of fat.


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