Dairy Products for Weight Gain. Is it possible?

Globally, the corona pandemic has put the dairy sector into increased difficulties. Countries like Belgium, Denmark, Germany among others realized a decrease in prices of milk in the past few months.

This means that despite this challenges milk has still been available in our local supermarkets thus your weight gain journey can’t be affected.

Even so, many people are either overweight or obese but also there are many more who are underweight. This becomes a concern since being underweight can actually be just as bad for your health as being obese.

Whether you are medically underweight or just trying to gain muscle weight, the principles of weight gain are similar.

Therefore, if you want to gain weight, it’s very important to do it right.

This is where dairy products come in.

This article highlights the benefits of dairy products, milk products and their alternatives and other common misunderstandings.

Drinking milk after exercise may help build lean muscle.

What are Dairy products?

Milk products are a type of food that is made from or that contain mammalian milk. They’re primarily produced from mammals including cattle, goats, sheep, camels, and humans. Dairy products include food items such as yoghurt, butter and cheese.

Milk naturally contains high amounts of calcium and often fortified with vitamin D— two essential nutrients for bone development and health. It also contains vitamin A, which encourages excellent eye health and strengthens the immune system.

Some research show that drinking milk after exercise may help build lean muscle and improve body composition.

Nutritional value of milk products.

The foods that we consume is of utmost importance to our general health. This foods contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats and minerals. And in order to gain weight in a healthy way our meals have to contain all this.

Cows milk which is the most preferred source of dairy for most people offers 67 calories and has 3.2 grams of protein content per 100 millilitres. Milk proteins include casein (approximately 80 per cent) and whey (approximately 20 per cent). Whey has a nutritionally higher value than casein.

The moment fat and casein has been removed from milk, it mainly consists of whey, which has the soluble milk salts, milk sugar and the rest of the milk proteins. Whey proteins consist of a number of specialized proteins, with beta lactoglobulin (50 percent of whey) and lactoglobulin being the most significant.

Milk for Weight gain.

Milk offers a mixture of fat , protein and carbohydrates. It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, with calcium included. Milk’s protein content makes this a good choice for people trying to build muscle.

Children, adolescents , and adults should indeed be encouraged to drink milk products. This is because children and adolescents are building their peak bone mass and developing lifelong habits at this stage of their lives.

Since dairy products specifically milk is a good source of calories, calcium, proteins and other nutrients, it offers a balanced approach to weight gain.

In particular, it can be beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders who may need or want to gain muscle, as well as for those who are underweight and want to add mass.

Along with protein and other beneficial nutrients, drinking milk— especially higher-fat varieties — can provide extra calories.

Other dairy products that you can include in your diets to gain weight include:

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Cultured dairy
  • Cream

Why opt for milk.

Milk contains around 8g of protein per cup(240ml). The milk protein is 80% casein and 20% whey. That protein helps muscle recovery and muscle building.

Milk is also a liquid, so liquid calories absorb quicker than solid meals. So it becomes easier to get more calories in so you hiot a caloric surplus so gain weight.

Milk is 87% water and contains around 90 mg calcium and 107 mg sodium per cup (240ml)

Therefore, Milk recharges liquid and electrolytes lost by sweating during your workouts. This also improves muscle recovery and prevents headaches caused by dehydration.

Meaning, you don’t have to purchase expensive sports drinks like gatorade when milk is readily available. Milk has natural electrolytes, that saves you money.

Milk has everything a bodybuilder wants to get stronger. A cow has always been the best friend of the weight lifter. It supplies us with protein for muscle building (steaks and milk) and leather for heavy lifting (weight lifting belts, shoes).

Benefits of drinking milk.

Drinking milk helps you build muscle and build strong bones.

Globally, cow milk is the most consumed dairy product unlike goat and camel milk. Even so, milk consumption is debatable in terms of nutrition.

The health benefits below can give you an idea why you should drink milk.

1. Milk is Nutrient dense.

Milk has the following nutrients:

  • 146 cal
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Calcium: 28% of the RDA
  • Potassium: 10% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 22% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 13% of the RDA
  • Vitamin D: 24% of the RDA
  • Riboflavin (B2): 26% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B12: 18% of the RDA

People with a diet that is rich in milk and its products can reduce the risk of low bone mass throughout their entire life cycle. Dairy -group foods contain essential nutrients including calcium , potassium, vitamin D and protein.

2. Building strong bones.

Dairy products are particularly important for bone health during childhood and adolescence, when building bone mass. That can reduce the risk of osteoporosis of the bone- thinning disorder.

Its worth remembering that Calcium is an important nutrient for healthy bones and teeth, nerve signals and muscle movement. Health officials are recommending that you get enough calcium to help prevent bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Other sources of calcium are calcium -fortified foods and drinks such as soy beverages or orange juice but may not provide other necessary nutrients.

Diets which include milk products tend to have a higher nutritional quality overall.

3. Building muscles.

Dairy products are protein rich. For better health protein should be present in our daily diet. This is because Proteins are building block for our muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, hair, and blood

When trying to build muscle, the more protein you eat, the better. While you’re working to build muscle with exercise, protein should make up for approximately 10 -35 % of total calories for adults.

Ideally, according to recommended daily allowances (RDA) set by the Food and Nutrition Board, you will eat 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. So if you weigh 170 pounds every day you need about 61 grams of protein.

Protein should also be about 15 per cent of your daily total caloric intake, also according to the RDA. For example, in a 1,800-calorie diet per day, approximately 270 of those calories should be from protein.

4. Heart health.

Potassium is a key mineral in health. A healthy diet usually provides enough potassium, but sometimes issues occur because too much sodium in the diet or other medications can increase the need for it.

Previous studies have shown that increased intake of potassium can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure , heart disease and stroke. The mechanism isn’t known though.

Foods rich in potassium are critical for controlling high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension), since potassium decreases sodium effects. The more you eat potassium, the more sodium you lose in the urine. Potassium also helps relieve strain in the walls of your blood vessel, which helps reduce blood pressure even more.

It’s advised to increase potassium via diet in adults with blood pressure above 120/80 who are otherwise stable. Other potassium rich foods include: Mushroom, peas, Avocado, oranges and orange juices, greens, potatoes and many others.

5. Other milk benefits.

  • Dairy products contain Vitamin D which promotes calcium absorption which is necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D has been added to milk since 1930, therefore drinking Vitamin D fortified milk helps prevent and treat osteomalacia, or soft bones, which accompanies rickets and can affect older adults as studies indicate.
  • Milk also contains Vitamin B12 which is required in the body for enzymes in energy production from fats and proteins. Vitamin B12 a soluble vitamin present in foods of animal origin is essential for growth and cell division and neurological functions. Its deficiency leads to stunted growth, anaemia among others.
  • Phosphorus is also present in milk is an essential component of cell membranes in the form of phospholipids. Phosphorus is involved in maintaining body pH, in nucleotide synthesis and in storage and transfer of energy. Milk is a recommended source of phosphorus, and a 250ml serving of milk contains over 30% of the DRI for phosphorus.
  • Milk is a great source of selenium, and a 250ml serving of 2% milk contains approximately 13% of the RDA for selenium. Selenium is important in oxidative stress response, electron transport, and regulation of thyroid hormone.

Why a gallon of milk for Weight gain.

A single gallon of whole milk has around 2400kcal from 120g protein, 200g carbs and 120g fat.

Most people require approximately 2500 to 2800 calories daily to maintain their body weight but if you are underweight you will need to add a few extra calories. But you can get those extra calories from other foods.

This means you can get almost all your maintenance calories from drinking a gallon of whole milk daily.

All you have to do Eat three to five smaller meals a day (500 calories each) plus a gallon of whole milk, and you have almost 4000 calories. This will naturally help you add up some pounds.

A caloric surplus is all you need which a gallon of whole milk offers basically because for muscle building you need 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight. In this case whole Milk covers your base protein requirements for the day.

People with lactose intolerance! What next?

Lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder caused by the inability to absorb lactose, the main carbohydrate in dairy product.

Studies show that a good number of people are intolerant to lactose (naturally occurring sugar in milk). Lactose intolerance symptoms after consuming dairy products include:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Diarrhea

People with lactose intolerance do not make enough of the lactase enzyme, which is required for lactose digestion.

Other people may also be allergic to the milk proteins— such as casein and whey— that can in some cases cause skin reactions, stomach pain, and even anaphylactic shock.

In a situation of lactose intolerance or an allergy to milk protein, milk will not be a suitable option to help in weight gain.

Still, you also have other options to gain weight safely— especially lean sources of protein that are calorie and nutrient dense.

Some healthier choices include avocados, fatty fish,eggs, plant based protein powder and nuts and nut butter.

Milk alternatives.

Cow milk has been a staple in most households worldwide. Unfortunately its not everyone’s cup of tea especially if you suffer from lactose intolerant.

The good news is there are several nondairy choices available to substitute cow’s milk if you want or need to. Read on for some other interesting ideas.

  • Soy Milk – Soy milk is a plant based non dairy drink made from soya beans. At 80 cal Soy milk is rich in protein with all nine essential amino acids, and is balanced in fats and carbs. If you find yourself not accommodating the taste of cow milk you might turn to soy milk in your smoothie, coffee or in your cereal.
  • Coconut Milk – Coconut milk comes from ripe brown coconut flesh. It’s found in many of the world’s traditional cuisines. The milk has a soft , smooth appearance and a thick consistency. Coconut milk has a high calory content and saturated fat. It also contains many other nutrients. The milk is unlikely to have adverse effects, unless you are allergic to coconuts.
  • Almond Milk – Almond milk in the United States is the most popular plant based milk. It is rich in some good nutrients but it is watered down and lacking much of the fiber compared to whole almonds. Although almond milk isn’t nearly as nutritious as cow’s milk, enriched products come close. They often contain added vitamin D, calcium and protein, making them more nutritionally similar to regular milk.
  • Oat Milk – Oat milk a traditional, vegan-friendly, dairy-free milk substitute has a mild , sweet flavour. It is high in protein and fiber but also high in carbohydrates and calories. Oat milk contains beta-glucan, which can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Cashew Milk – Cashew milk has nutrients, including unsaturated fats , protein, vitamins , and minerals. Homemade varieties are usually more nutritious, although vitamin D and calcium may be used to fortify store-bought types. Most of the fat in this highly nutritious drink comes from unsaturated fatty acids which boost heart health and provide other benefits.
  • Rice Milk – Rice milk is another plant based vegetarian friendly milk alternative. Its prepared using white or brown rice. In comparison with cow milk, rice milk contains more carbohydrates with less calcium or proteins. Commercial brands are fortified with Vitamin B12 and calcium.
  • Macadamia Milk- Macadamia milk is a plant based milk alternative made of macadamia nuts. They are high in healthy fats and can benefit those who try weight loss. A macadamia nuts serving also contains dietary fiber , protein, manganese, thiamine, and a good amount of copper. With the vast health benefits of macadamia they are also high in calories.

Adding milk to your diet.

  • For breakfast you can add milk to your oatmeal.
  • Mid morning snack you can take a glass of yogurt.
  • Lunch- You can have a glass of milk with the meals.
  • Others- When baking mix your ingredients with milk instead of water. Add milk or yogurt to your smoothies and shakes. You can also add cream to your stews and veggies.

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The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and should NOT be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my very best to keep the information contained in this post as updated and accurate as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.


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