Milk And Testosterone
Milk: Friend Or Foe When It Comes To Testosterone?
Testosterone is the ultimate male hormone. Men with high testosterone levels look and feel stronger, are athletically superior, tend to be leaner, often ripped and usually perform well in the bedroom…. They also tend to have better moods…
Those on the other side of the coin with lower T levels are more susceptible to weight gain, muscle loss, tiredness, irritability and much more…
There are lots of choices we can make that affect our T levels – stress levels, how much alcohol we drink, exercise and more. But there’s one thing that’s really important: diet. That’s right: what we eat can have a surprising impact on T levels.
There are a number of foodstuffs you often see banded around in relation to testosterone levels, and one such example is milk. But what is the relationship between milk and T? Let’s take a look.
The White Stuff
Milk is a highly nutritious substance. We consumer over 750 million tonnes of it each year, it’s used in a stack of dairy products and serves lots of crucial body functions.
And because milk is made to naturally support the development of newborns, there are all kinds of nutrients packed in there. In fact, it’s pretty much as close to a superfood as you can get thanks to a careful balance of macro and micro nutrients.
The fats found in milk are mostly saturated and composed from triglycerides and the fatty acids lauric, myristic and palmitic. Unbelievably, there are actually more than 350 different fatty acids in milk in total!
Many of the dairy foodstuffs we commonly consumer are also fortified with other nutrients like vitamins A and D (the latter being a powerful T booster), and there’s also plenty of calcium, potassium, riboflavin, phosphorous and vitamin B12 found in milk, too.
Milk for Muscle Building
Milk is packed full of protein, making it a great tool to have in your muscle building arsenal. It contains both whey and casein protein:
- Whey – this is an impressive source of BCAAs and speeds up protein metabolism. This is important as BCAA are building blocks to stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Leucine is also a pivotal BCAA found in the milk, and plays a fundamental role in the primary cellular process of muscle building.
- Protein – this improves overnight recovery and protein metabolism, allowing the body
to regenerate more protein cells at night, and digests more slowly than whey to give a sustained release of BCAAs through the night.
- In other words – if you’re looking to build muscle mass, get the milk in!
Milk for Fat Loss
There’s also a sizeable amount of proof behind the notion that dairy products can support body composition.
A McMaster University study, for example, monitored the effects of milk on three groups of young men. They were taking part in a 12-week exercise program, five days per week, and given various fluids afterwards:
- Skimmed milk
- A soy drink
- A carbohydrate drink
The results were pretty self-explanatory: the group taking skimmed milk experienced higher protein synthesis than the others, and therefore were able to build higher lean muscle levels. Oh, but that wasn’t all – they also lost double the body fat as the other groups.
Another study published in Obesity Research detailed how 34 subjects were given the same amount of calories, with one group given 500mg of dairy food and the other 1,200mg.The group consuming more dairy lost 2.16kg of fat mass, despite not being in a calorie deficit. This is why it’s believed that a high dairy diet can help with shedding fat mass – because milk stimulates protein synthesis to speed up muscle building.
Milk and Testosterone
Milk contains almost 50 hormones in total, specifically growth hormone, prolactin, glucocorticoids, androgens and the female hormone estrogen. Are alarm bells ringing at the last one?
A 2010 research paper detailed a study where volunteers were asked to drink 16oz of milk before having their blood tested every 15 minutes for a total of two hours. The results showed notable increases in female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Testosterone levels actually dropped.
A study featured in Medical Hyptheses explored how much estrogen milk really exposes us to. They found that milk was responsible for as much as 60-70% of all estrogens consumed by humans. This could be because modern methods of processing milk that allow cows to lactate during the latter half of pregnancy lead to more estrogens passing into milk than before.
Milk: Friend Or Foe?
Milk is undeniably an incredibly nutrient-rich foodstuff, as is nothing short of a superfood in terms of proteins and fats, making it a solid choice for those looking to build muscle or shed body fat.
The high amount of female sex hormone, however, may affect your testosterone levels and should acts as a warning sign for over consumption. But that doesn’t mean you should drop milk – it’s packed full of nutrients and if combined with a sensible diet and regular exercise, can be a real heath hero. Just go steady if you’re serious about reaching tip-top T levels…..
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
I am 58 years old, I currently live in London with my wife Donna. I have one married daughter aged 33
I have always had a passion for fitness, In my younger days I was a keen swimmer and competed at county level both at home and abroad. I am also a keen squash and tennis player and have always been a keen gym goer.
I have a CPD accreditation in Sports Nutrition and am a published author with my articles featuring in some popular publications.
Over the past 12 years I have studied the effects of testosterone both in the younger man and as we get older, the effects of low or reduced testosterone and how increasing its production can really improve your health.
On a personal level, a number of years ago, I was diagnosed with Low-T myself, and my own in-depth research has helped me to redress my own health concerns.