Saturday, March 14, 2009


I always used to suggest that people drink chocolate milk as soon as possible after a workout--that is if they don't have a 'recovery' specific drink handy. Milk has been shown in several studies to quickly help restore worn down muscles. However, milk with additional carbs (added sugar or chocolate syrup) works better because you need a ratio of 4:1, carbs to protein (for every 1 gram of protein, you need 4 carbs for optimum absorbtion of the protein). With that said, I have not seen those studies published recently. Why? Not sure, but it could be because milk and its protein source, casein, are more tied now to fueling different diseases like osteoporosis and cancer. Yes, the product we have always been told is a good source of calcium and protein is actually the cause of many problems. Around the globe, countries with the highest sales and consumption of milk products and calcium supplements top the list of countries with the highest cases of osteoporosis and breast cancer (not to mention obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc). Casein is a powerful protein that repairs muscle tissue, however, its so powerful that is pulls calcium and other nutrients from our bones in the process. Do I still advocate drinking milk after workouts? Yes, but now I suggest soy milk. If you've never tried soy milk, give it a shot. Vitamin for vitamin, its about the same as cow's milk. Many of the vitamins in soy milk are added to it, but the same goes for cow's milk (both have added vitamin A for instance). Per serving they both have about 30% of your days calcium, but the good thing is, is that the calcium in the soy milk is not partially destoyed by the protein. Soy milk has 6-7 grams of soy protein per 8 oz, whereas cow's milk has around 8 grams of casein protein. I never used to drink unsweetened soy milk for fear that it would have that strong soy taste. However, the regular soy milk (Silk or Silk Light) has more of that soy taste than the unsweetened. Maybe its just me. The chocolate on the other hand is crazy good! No soy taste and very rich and chocolatey. Chocolate, vanilla and even the regular soy milk has added sugar, but its usually in the form of evaporated cane juice (read labels). I know, its sugar, but its not processed like table sugar and corn syrup--which is added to the average chocolate milk and Hersey's syrup. With the added sugar comes added carbs making it closer to that 4:1 ratio.

A lot of the info about the problems with cow's milk can be found in the book, “The New Wellness Revolution” by Paul Zane Pilzer. The book is mainly about our current and future wellness / healthcare system and potential opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs looking to get into the wellness industry. According to the book, the following are true about cow’s milk:
  • Milk causes osteoporosis, despite advertising that states milk prevents it.
  • Milk contains hormones and carries infectious diseases.
  • A normal cow produces about 10 pounds of milk per day. However, dairy cows produce up to 100 pounds of milk per day because of the massive amount of specialized hormones such as bovine growth hormone (BGH) given to the cows. This makes the cows udders so large that they drag on the floor which creates frequent infections and the need for constant antibiotics.
  • The USDA allows cow milk for consumption to have 1 to 1.5 million white blood cells (which is pus!) per milliliter.
  • The growth hormones given to cows are a major cause of breast cancer in adults because the hormones act the same as it does in the cows. The hormones cause malignant tumors in the human breast to grow just like in the cows.
  • Despite the fact that numerous consumer groups have asked the FDA to ban BGH and other hormones, the FDA continues to allow the use because of powerful ADA lobbyists in Washington DC.
  • Cows contaminate the environment. For every 100 pounds of cow milk produced per day, a cow produces 120 pounds per day of waste which is equivalent to the waste of 24 people.
  • Dairy products are the major cause to 65 percent of the American population being overweight.
  • Milk accounts for 40 percent of the 4 pound of food an average American eats daily; however, it contains no fiber, and is filled with saturated fat and cholesterol.
    A glass of milk is 49 percent fat and the lower fat milk (like 2% milk) is only slightly lower in fat.
  • The book recommends switching to soy milk which has the following benefits:
    * Soy is the best low fat source of carbohydrates, fibers, protein, vitamins & minerals.
    * Soy can help to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.
    * Soy is high in calcium and does not contain casein proteins which cause calcium loss in
    * Soy reduces the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women which is
    similar to estrogen-replacement therapy.
    * The American Heart Association endorses soy to help consumers lower their (bad)
    cholesterol and reduce risk for heart disease.
    * Soy contains more protein per weight than beef, fish, and chicken with no cholesterol
    and very little saturated fat.
    * Of the 9 basic amino acids needed for the body that can’t be produced by the body,
    soy provides all 9, however, without the hormones, saturated fat and calories (as with
    cow milk and meat products).

So there you have it. It seems there are many advantages to switching to soy milk and other soy products. However, I’m sure if you research any animal product, there are always hormones used to process the product. You may be thinking that buying 'organic' milk from cows that are not subjected to hormone treatments are better for you. That may be the case, but that doesn't get rid of cow milk protein, casein. Also, just because a cow may not have been subjected to unnatural hormones doesn't mean its free from them. Cow's have been tampered with for years, maybe decades. Some experts say it may take several generations of cow offspring before you have a herd that is free from left over hormone treatment problems.

BTW... I have been dairy free/meat free for just about a year now. I've had my lipids checked and am fine. No deficiencies of any kind. Unless you count 125 total cholesterol a deficiency.

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