In light of the ever-present criticism of milk and dairy products on the Internet – usually by alternative health types of websites (which mostly ‘scare-monger’ and seldom cite primary research), I thought it timely to write about the peer-reviewed studies that continue to emerge, confirming the benefits and quality of the dairy proteins, including whey.
In fact, a recent paper about protein/ Essential amino acids and resistance training was subtitled, “A case for whey.”
(Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Hulmi, et al. Nutr Metab. 2010; 7: 51)
I’m a few months behind on my research, but I just got done reading the full-text of this paper. Kind of a long and boring read except to science geeks, but you can get a good summary just by browsing the abstract. It says:
A growing body of evidence does, however, suggest that dairy protein, and whey in particular may:
1) stimulate the greatest rise in Muscle Protein Synthesis
2) result in greater muscle cross-sectional area when combined with chronic resistance training
3) at least in younger individuals, enhance exercise recovery.
Also, in agreement with the premise of nutrient timing laid out in my most recent publication (Holy grail body transformation), the conclusions of this research paper add to the body of work on nutrient timing, concluding by saying:
“Most (but not all) studies have shown that supplementation with whey alone or with carbohydrates immediately after and possibly before and during resistance exercise can enhance the muscle hypertrophy response to resistance training in healthy adults.”
>>>> The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program < <<< Specifically, it has been suggested that protein intake immediately before and after exercise as opposed to the same intake more distant from the weight training bout may be more beneficial in promoting muscle growth. More evidence that it’s not just WHAT you eat, it’s WHEN you eat (in particular, WHEN you eat relative to strength training). In the position stand on Nutrient Timing for the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), it was suggested that this may be at least partially due to increased skeletal muscle circulation and thereby, nutrient transport during the post-workout window. The benefits of a post-workout meal have been well-known in the bodybuilding and sports nutrition field for years, but debate has continued about the best type and amount of protein for this important feeding opportunity. Surprisingly to many people, dairy proteins keep coming up winners. In fact, numerous studies have suggested that good old milk is excellent for both post workout protein as well as re-hydration. As bizarre as this may sound, there are even a couple papers suggesting that chocolate milk is as good a post-workout drink as those fancy and very expensive recovery drinks that the supplement companies have been hyping up. By the way, whey protein seems to hog the spotlight, but there are two high quality proteins in milk – the other being casein. >>>> The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program < <<< After the original research on fast (whey) and slow (casein) proteins was released, it was believed that the faster protein – whey – would be the protein of choice for the post workout period because presumably, you want to get amino acids to your muscles quickly after training. Subsequent research showed that pure whey might actually be too fast (transient) and led some researchers to propose that a mix of whey and casein would be ideal. Guess what milk has? A mix of whey and casein! There may be a synergy between the two because whey provides an anabolic effect, while casein provides an anti-catabolic effect. Research by Kevin Tipton confirmed that either protein – whey or casein – can stimulate an anabolic response in muscle after exercise. So, while many people have claimed good results with whey-based post workout drinks, it doesn’t appear fair to say that whey is the only protein that should be used in a post-workout meal. Are dairy products perfect for everyone? No. Some people are vegetarian. Many people are lactose intolerant and cannot properly digest milk-based products, so this discussion is moot for them (unless they can handle a whey isolate or a product like lactaid helps). Even some of the anti-milk sentiment you read on the internet about dairy products is not entirely without merit – some of which include complaints about treatment of the animals at dairy farms, the quality of what the animals are fed and what happens during the commercial processing of milk. However, the idea that dairy products – and particularly the milk proteins whey and casein – are inherently “bad for you” is not only completely false, the opposite is true: The research is virtually definitive on this point: dairy proteins like whey are high-quality muscle food, suitable for muscle gaining programs, fat loss programs and yes, even for body re-composition programs like The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program.