Does Milk Help You Gain Weight?
Since milk is a good source of calories, protein, and other nutrients, it offers a balanced approach to gaining weight.
In particular, it may be helpful for athletes and bodybuilders who may need or want to gain muscle, as well as those who are underweight and want to gain weight.
Weight gain results from consuming more calories than you burn. If you’re looking to put on weight, it’s important to get extra calories from nutritious foods instead of high-calorie ones that are low in nutrients, such as sweets and snack foods.
Drinking milk especially higher-fat varieties can provide extra calories in addition to protein and other beneficial nutrients.
All types of cow’s milk except for skim contain saturated fat.
While some studies suggest that too much saturated fat can be harmful to heart health, other research indicates that dairy fats may, in fact, reduce cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease.
Though high-fat dairy products are rich in cholesterol, consuming cholesterol-rich foods does not lead to substantial increases in blood cholesterol for most people.
Still, it’s important to note that for some individuals known as cholesterol hyper-responders eating cholesterol-rich foods may lead to a greater increase in cholesterol levels.
According to research, this increase may not negatively impact heart health, but those with a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol levels may want to consume milk that contains a lower fat percentage, such as 1% or 2%.
Overall, milk is versatile and can be added to many recipes or enjoyed on its own, making it easy to consume more calories without dramatically changing your diet.
Can help you build muscle
Milk may also aid weight gain by helping you to build muscle.
Specifically, the whey and casein proteins in cow’s milk may contribute to lean muscle instead of fat mass.
One 12-week study in 10 young women found that drinking 24 ounces (1 liter) of skim milk after resistance exercise led to significantly greater muscle mass gains and fat loss compared to drinking a carb drink with the same number of calories.
Another study in 8 men observed that drinking approximately 2 cups (500 ml) of skim milk after resistance exercise led to significantly higher rates of muscle building compared to consuming a nutritionally similar soy beverage.
Other studies link milk consumption or combined casein and whey supplements after resistance training to increases in muscle mass as well.
For these reasons, milk may be a smart choice for those who want to build muscle mass and put on weight.
Milk is a great source of calories, protein, and beneficial nutrients that may help you safely gain weight and build muscle.
To increase your intake, try drinking it with meals or adding it to smoothies, soups, eggs, or hot cereals.
Still, people with lactose intolerance or milk allergy should avoid it.