Drinking milk, whether it’s a plain glass or an ingredient in a protein shake, represents an easy and convenient way of getting more of the much-needed nutrition when training. What can the lactose intolerant people do then when their bodies just can’t have this?
Various ‘milks’ from green sources have invaded the supermarkets and health stores, such as rice, almond, hemp, oat, soy or coconut milk. Among these, almond and soy milk are enjoying high popularity levels and are frequently endorsed by nutritionists and healthy living experts. These alternatives offer healthy calories without the lactose, but actually have a whole series of other benefits. Some fear that these are not dense enough in nutrients, others that these are processed and therefore harmful (but cow’s milk is often heavily processed too, when you buy it from the supermarket and not from a real farm). Let’s have a more accurate description of both soy and almond milk to understand their role in a bodybuilder’s diet.
Soy milk has complete protein, can be mixed in many ways to make tasty drinks, and has no cholesterol and barely any fat in it. Besides, it contains all those essential amino acids. The controversy with soy is that it’s either great for health (if organic, non-modified) or rather bad (when it’s from a genetically modified crop). A downside is that it contains phyto-estrogens that may influence hormonal levels. However, troubles like gynecomastia don’t appear so frequently, at least not when one is simply consuming decent amounts of such milk. It would take much more than normal consumption to experience such effects.
Almond milk is not a complete protein source, but has very low cholesterol levels. It is an excellent choice when on a cutting diet, because it doesn’t get you to accumulate any extra fat, yet it goes wonderfully with those protein powders. Moreover, it’s naturally rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium. Almond milk feels so light, yet it has an enviable nutrient profile. It is very low in fat and carbs. If you are hoping to lose fat, almond milk will help you. Rich in antioxidants, it will prevent damage by free radicals and help the tissues repair after all the training effort. The immune function is also improved and the body can defend itself better when inflammation occurs. Note that it’s blood sugar friendly.
Any non-dairy milk may come in sweetened versions for a better taste. Almond milk is food as it is for most people, but the soy one may be in need of an extra kick. Also, both presented alternatives can be fortified with minerals and vitamins. Keep in mind that these are processed foods and avoid the ones loaded with sweeteners. Those are harder to metabolize by the liver. It’s important to select a good, honest brand if you want to boast about a healthy diet with non-dairy milks. Anyhow, you should rejoice because you are avoiding all the side effects of drinking cow’s milk.
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