Reasons to Love Milk
Reasons to Love Milk
I love milk. You could call it a beverage obsession. But I have my reasons. As a registered dietitian, a runner, a wife, and a first time mom-to-be trying to sustain a hectic schedule, I know taking a few minutes each day for a tall glass of milk is all I need to be recharged.
It builds bone.
Research has long shown that dairy’s nutrients are vital to the development of bones and reduce the risk for developing rickets and osteoporosis. A simple cup of low fat milk provides 30 percent of the daily value of calcium, a mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Strong bones are crucial for endurance athletes (men and women). Runner’s do a lot of pounding on the pavement which can lead to painful stress fractures (tiny cracks in the bone). Help prevent this injury by getting three servings of low-fat dairy a day and avoid over training.
Sunshine in a glass.
It’s not just calcium that makes milk bone-friendly, dairy products contain other bone building nutrients including vitamins D, phosphorus, potassium, and protein. Vitamin D not only helps our bodies absorb calcium, but also may boost immunity, reduce the risk for some cancers, and promote better blood pressure. Today, all commercial fluid milk sold in the United States is fortified with vitamin D. Endurance sports require heavy training loads over the average active individual. This can lower our immune system leaving us vulnerable to colds and infections. Getting adequate vitamin D is one way to keep running past sickness.
Refuel from a run.
As a dietitian and marathoner, I know the importance of post-workout nutrition. A growing body of research supports the many recovery benefits of low fat chocolate milk. Low fat chocolate milk contains high-quality protein to help repair and rebuild muscles after strenuous exercise. It’s also been shown to help athletes tone up–gain more lean muscle and lose fat–when compared to drinking a carb-only beverage (traditional sports drink). Not to mention it is economical and delicious. Choose 8 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk for each hour of exercise completed.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important, no matter how chaotic life may seem. At only 25 cents a serving, a single glass of milk delivers a package of nine essential nutrients important for good health. Few foods provide this unique contribution of nutrients. To answer the popular question “Got Milk?” You bet!
Rebecca Turner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian and certified sports specialist in dietetics and founder of Runner’s FUEL. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @RunnersFuel. For more information visit www.runner-fuel.com. Text runnersfuel to 601.863.8370 for health news and nutrition tips.