milk: it does a woman's body good

by Sandy Todd Webster on Aug 16, 2010

Food for Thought

Nonfat milk is probably not at the top of most women’s lists as the go-to beverage after a tough strength training workout, but recent research shows that perhaps it should be.

Findings from researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario—published in the June issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise—showed that after a session of heavy, whole-body resistance training, fat-free milk was more effective in keeping women lean and strong than a carbohydrate-based energy drink. Drinking milk in the early postexercise period resulted in greater muscle mass accretion, more strength gains, more fat mass loss and a possible reduction in bone turnover, the researchers concluded. Their results echo those of a similar study conducted on men and further support the notion of favorable body composition changes in women with resistance training.

Over 12 weeks, study participants engaged in supervised strength training regimes 5 days per week. After exercising, one group of women drank 500 milliliters of fat-free white milk, and the other group was given a sugar-based energy drink that resembled milk. The two groups consumed their drinks 1 hour after each strength training workout.

Lean mass increased with training in both groups, but the milk-drinking group made a greater net gain. Fat mass decreased with training only in the milk group. Isotonic strength increased more in the milk group.

The study, partially funded by Dairy Farmers of Canada, will continue. The researchers are planning to conduct a large clinical weight loss trial in women.

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.