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Cycling Nutrition
The Benefits of Milk and Other Dairy Products for Cyclists
Does milk—and its product spin-offs—really do a body good? Absolutely, if you know what and how much to consume.
ByLiz Applegate, PhD.
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With so many mixed messages swirling around dairy, including some trendy diets that advise athletes to steer clear of it, we're left to wonder which is the better choice: ordering a burrito sin queso or drowning our Cheerios in milk? According to research from the American College of Sports Medicine, milk and other dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, can and should be part of a cyclist's daily diet.


Besides the health benefits they offer, like strengthening immunity and warding off high blood pressure and diabetes, they're also packed with performance-boosting nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. Plus dairy contains whey protein, which stimulates muscle rebuilding after intense exercise, says Stuart Phillips, PhD, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario. And a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that consuming dairy after a workout improves subsequent exercise performance compared with drinking a carb-supplement beverage.


If that isn't enough to get you to aim your shopping cart toward the dairy aisle, here are four more reasons.


[See the Slideshow]

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I have drunk milk all my life (68 years) until a couple of years ago. Then, I went on a Mediterranean diet that excluded dairy products. About two weeks after I started the diet, I noticed that the arthritis pain in my hands had virtually disappeared. I was shocked, pleasantly. And I haven't gone back to drinking milk or eating cheese, etc., since then. When I eat cereal, I use almond milk. ... I know milk has some positives, but it's not for everyone.
Thank you for your post.
I love to ride, but I start losing power in my legs around the 40-45 mile marks. I do not use any of the protien shacks, bars or energy drinks to help me. Any suggestions. I am 230-235 and can keep an average of about 18-20 MPH. I just loose it around that mile point.
Milk is fantastic. I do prefer full fat milk. I have it every day and I'm slim. So please don't tell me watered down semi-skimmed is better!