Is Milk Really Killing Our Athletic Performance And Health?

In the sports and fitness community, you can often hear the advice to give up milk completely. It is believed that these products interfere with weight loss, negatively affect your well-being and performance during workouts, and can be detrimental to your health.

Going forward, milk can indeed be detrimental, but not to everyone and not always. On the contrary, in some cases, this “unhealthy” foods can be beneficial.

Does Milk Really Reduce Performance And Slow Down Your Physical Progress?

I could not find a single study in which milk consumption was associated with a decrease in performance in any sport. On the contrary, scientific work supports its benefits for recovery and performance.

For example, consuming milk after a strength training session provides more muscle gain than the same amount of soy protein and carbohydrates.

This is not surprising: cow’s milk is rich in protein, a macronutrient without which it is impossible to build muscle. Moreover, unlike its plant counterparts, whey protein and casein from milk are perfectly absorbed by the body and contain many branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), essential for muscle growth and recovery.

Drinking milk after a strength training session helps shift the balance in the body in the direction of anabolism. Protein synthesis can help you build muscle mass more quickly. Moreover, milk with any percentage of fat, whether whole or skim, is equally effective for this purpose.

In addition, consuming milk immediately after a strength training session helps reduce delayed muscle soreness and associated strength loss 24 and 72 hours after exercise. In the long run, this can increase your performance in a workout and therefore have a positive effect on muscle growth.

True, not all studies have similar results. For example, in one experiment, 18 months of additional intake of 400 ml of milk a day had no effect on the strength and muscle size of participants. Scientists suggested that if people eat a good diet, enough protein, calcium and vitamin D3, they can do without milk: it will not affect their performance in any way. But whether you get enough of these substances is a big question.

Milk is also good for endurance sports. Due to its high electrolyte content, skimmed milk may well replace special sports drinks, the purpose of which is to increase performance, reduce perceived effort and time to fatigue.

Can Milk Harm Your Health?

Milk really can’t be called a safe product, but the data are mixed on this point.


A fresh 2020 study found that regular consumption of cow’s milk increases the risk of breast cancer. Scientists got some really scary numbers: one cup of milk a day on a regular basis increases the risk by as much as 80 percent, while 2-3 cups a day increases the risk by 50 percent.

However, previous scientific studies have not found such a strong correlation. For example, in a 2017 analysis involving more than three thousand women, consumption of dairy products, on the contrary, reduced the risk of breast cancer by 15%.

There is also evidence that milk may increase the risk of prostate cancer, but it also protects against colon and bladder tumors. The topic requires further research, but for now, scientists advise against drinking milk for those at risk for breast cancer.

Better substitute it for yogurt: This fermented milk product is also high in protein and is associated with a reduced risk of cancer.


Hannah Butler works as an essay writer at do my homework online company that provides expert paper help for students. She likes sharing her experience in the form of articles in such spheres as Wellness and Nutrition. In her free time, Hannah enjoys rock climbing and bike riding.


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