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Is milk good for you?

Is milk good for you? What kind of question is that? It depends, do you consider gaining muscle and losing fat good?

If you do, then yes milk is very good for you. This could be the whole article right here, but as you know me, I will go a little more in-depth to explain how and why.

Ever since the beginning of time aka when I first started going to the gym and lifting weights I was told that I should avoid dairy products on a cut, especially milk, since it will make me look soft and smooth. Sounds familiar?

Chances are you were told the same. The reason behind it is, that it makes you hold water and thus makes your physique softer.

Some would say to not even drink it on a bulk. While others will fanatically scream that you need to go GOMAD quantities of milk.

Not being the one who took everything they’ve heard in blind faith I did my research.

Ok I’m lying, the dude I got most of my advice when I started was huge and shredded, so everything he said I took as gospel and believed in blind faith.

It wouldn’t be years down the line when I started questioning everything and doing my own research and N=1 studies, but that is a story for another time. Now is the time to see is milk good for you.



Milk and dairy products have a high BCAA, complete amino acid profile, a good muscle-building protein ratio (20% whey / 80% casein), and are very rich in calcium (as well as vitamins and other minerals).

This is also one of the reasons I drink and recommend a milk protein concentrate as a protein powder.


There are countless studies that support the theory of increased fat loss with a high calcium diet from dairy.

It increases fat loss through, fecal extraction (Lorenzen, Nielsen, Holst, Tetens, Rehfeld, Astrup, 2007), thermogenesis, increased fat oxidation (Gonzalez, Rumbold, Stevenson, 2012) and gastrointestinal effects on the release of peptides on and hormones in the GI tract which in turn suppress appetite (Gonzalez, Stevenson, 2014).

»Low dietary calcium intake stimulates high levels of PTH and 1,25-hydroxy vitamin D, which in turn stimulate high levels of intracellular calcium in adipocytes stimulating lipogenesis and inhibiting lipolysis. High dietary calcium intake depresses the levels of PTH and 1,25-hydroxy vitamin D, thereby causing lower levels of intracellular calcium and inhibiting lipogenesis and stimulating lipolysis. Therefore, calcium intake may directly affect whether adipocytes store or break down fat.« (Schrager, 2005)

» In conclusion, dietary calcium has the potential to increase faecal fat excretion to an extent that could be relevant for prevention of weight (re-)gain.« (Christensen, Lorenzen, Svith, Bartels, Melanson, Saris., … & Astrup, A. (2009).

»In conclusion, women with lower intakes of calcium and vitamin D were more likely to exhibit excessive adiposity compared with women with higher intakes.«(Tidwell, Valliant, 2011)

»Increasing dietary calcium suppresses adipocyte intracellular Ca(2+) and thereby modulates energy metabolism and attenuates obesity risk.« (Zemel, Shi, Greer, Dirienzo, Zemel, 2000)

»Increasing dietary calcium significantly augmented weight and fat loss secondary to caloric restriction and increased the percentage of fat lost from the trunk region, whereas dairy products exerted a substantially greater effect« (Zemel, Thompson, Milstead, Morris, Campbell, 2004).



Is milk good for you isn’t the main problem of the paleo argument. The first misconception the paleo crowd makes is, that the diet that the paleo man ate was universal regardless of the region he lived in.

For a minute, just think about how little sense this makes. The food that was available in the tropics, wasn’t available in the north, and so on.

The paleo man thrived on a variety of different diets that were available to him based on the region he lived in. Hell even in Europe, there was a vast difference in flora and fauna.

is milk good for you paleo
The universal paleo diet… wait what
WE ARE THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT DRINKS MILK PAST INFANCY                                                                                                                                              

First offwe are also the only ones who use computers and drive cars. So that rhetoric is a little pointless, if not downright stupid.

How exactly would most animals past infancy get milk?

If they continued nursing, they are basically a parasite on the breeding age female. They are a detriment to the species as a whole, so mother nature aka evolution doesn’t allow it. Specifically, the mother doesn’t allow it.

And secondly, it’s not true. But realistically the only way that a predator would get to access milk, is that it kills a mother and gets to eat the udder pretty early.

We humans, on the other hand, are with leaps by far the most advanced animal. Unlike other animals, we drink milk, BECAUSE WE CAN.

Is milk good for you? Heh.

To say it hasn’t been an enormous evolutionary advantage to be able to figuratively live off the grass, even though we can’t digest it. We can by domesticating animals that can.

That we take the grass and turn it into high-quality protein and fats, without killing our flock was and still is a huge blessing.

This was the reason why cows were such a symbol of wealth. One cow could provide all the protein and fat a family needed, they just needed to get it bred once a year.

We’re veering off-topic a little, but what matters is that the “what other animals do” or don’t do is rendered invalid since they CANT do it.


This is the only sound reason not to drink milk. And even then you could get around it, you could add digestive enzymes, drink nonlactose milk, or even better drink kefir, which is truly the drink of gods.


When we look at the whole picture, of is milk good for you. From the vitamins and minerals to the ratio of protein in it. Regardless if you want to build muscle, or lose fat, milk has a place in your diet.

If you’re lactose intolerant you can take it in other fermented forms. You can eat cheese or drink kefir and reap even additional benefits. Is milk good for you? Yes drink your milk, or eat your dairy products and milk protein powders.

  1. Lorenzen, J. K., Nielsen, S., Holst, J. J., Tetens, I., Rehfeld, J. F., & Astrup, A. (2007). Effect of dairy calcium or supplementary calcium intake on postprandial fat metabolism, appetite, and subsequent energy intake. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 85(3), 678-687. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17344487
  2. Gonzalez, J. T., Rumbold, P. L. S., & Stevenson, E. J. (2012). Effect of calcium intake on fat oxidation in adults: a meta‐analysis of randomized, controlled trials. obesity reviews, 13(10), 848- 857. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22708505
  3. Schrager, S. (2005). Dietary calcium intake and obesity. The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 18(3), 205-210. http://www.jabfm.org/content/18/3/205.full
  4. Christensen, R., Lorenzen, J. K., Svith, C. R., Bartels, E. M., Melanson, E. L., Saris, W. H., … & Astrup, A. (2009). Effect of calcium from dairy and dietary supplements on faecal fat excretion: a meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity reviews, 10(4), 475-486. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19493303
  5. Tidwell, D. K., & Valliant, M. W. (2011). Higher amounts of body fat are associated with inadequate intakes of calcium and vitamin D in African American women. Nutrition Research, 31(7), 527-536. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21840469
  6. Zemel, M. B., Shi, H., Greer, B., Dirienzo, D., & Zemel, P. C. (2000). Regulation of adiposity by dietary calcium. The FASEB Journal, 14(9), 1132-1138. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10834935
  7. Zemel, M. B., Thompson, W., Milstead, A., Morris, K., & Campbell, P. (2004). Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults. Obesity, 12(4), 582-590. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15090625

Author: Ivan Vlahinić

I am not a scientist. But i don’t have to be a scientist to be able to deftly use the scientific method in your daily life. In fact, you can be one helluva ‘thinker’ (in the scientific sense) and not be a scientist. For instance, nutritionists and personal trainers like me, who use and embrace science and the scientific method are better trainers because of it. Why? Because rather than just being a parrot and telling my clients what to do, because that’s what I have been told when I was younger I understand the "why" of my advice. And if I dont? Then I fully admit that i don't, and that's fine. The more you learn in the field of fitness and nutrition, the more you realize there is a lot of stuff that you dont know. But this is something that is true of all fields of work or life. The scientific method is the single most powerful way of thinking, that's why I embrace it. Anecdotes are nice, but data and facts trumps anecdotes.

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