McMaster UniversityFor long, we have known milk to provide the body with calcium and also help enhance muscles. To second this comes a recent study put forth by the McMaster University which suggested that women who drink two large glasses of milk a day after their weight-lifting routine, gained more muscle and lost more fat when compared to women who drink sugar-based energy drinks.

Prior study declared that milk intake increases muscle mass and fat loss in men, but this study declares the same may apply to women as well. The myth that dairy products are fattening, keeps women off them. Also many a time’s women fail to display clear resistance training. But authors profess that consuming milk may tone muscle mass and decrease fats, so women should consume two glasses of milk a day.

Stu Phillips, professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University remarked, “Resistance training is not a typical choice of exercise for women. But the health benefits of resistance training are enormous: It boosts strength, bone, muscular and metabolic health in a way that other types of exercise cannot.”

During the study, the investigators observed young women, who did not use resistance-training exercise for 12-weeks. Two-hours before exercising the women were provided with only water, and directly after their exercise routine, one group consumed 500ml of fat free white milk and the other group consumed a similar-looking but sugar-based energy drink every day. The same drinks were consumed by each group one hour after exercising.

Phillips affirmed, “We expected the gains in muscle mass to be greater, but the size of the fat loss surprised us. We’re still not sure what causes this but we’re investigating that now. It could be the combination of calcium, high-quality protein, and vitamin D may be the key, and, conveniently, all of these nutrients are in milk.”

In the training period all the women had to perform three types of exercises. This included pushing like bench press and chest fly, pulling like seated lateral pull down and abdominal exercises without weights and leg exercises like leg press and seated two-leg hamstring curl. They were continuously under the guidance of professional and personal trainers so that they employed a proper technique.

Phillips added, “The women who drank milk gained barely any weight because what they gained in lean muscle they balanced out with a loss in fat. Our data show that simple things like regular weightlifting exercise and milk consumption work to substantially improve women’s body composition and health.”

It was then accepted that women who were provided with milk seemed to scantily gain weight, but displayed well toned muscles. The same did not appear in women provided with the sugar-based energy drink.

The study will be published in the June issue of Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise.