Dairy products provide a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, and minerals that can enable you achieve your physique goals much faster. Milk in particular has its uncontestable place in bodybuilding, and unless you are in a cutting phase, it should feature regularly in your diet. But what if you are lactose intolerant?
Lactose intolerance is described as the inability to digest lactose, a sugar that is abundant in milk. This is due to the absence of lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking it down. If you take dairy products you will be afflicted by bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and cramping, all which are very uncomfortable. So what is a lactose intolerant bodybuilder to do?
There is Hope
There is an abundance of foods that are rich in protein. The many lean sources of animal protein can sustain your body and help you build new muscle. But the abundance of minerals and vitamins in dairy products means you are missing out on a very rich source. Besides, it helps when you can mix up your protein sources. So how do you get the benefits of dairy without all the undesired side effects?
Low-Lactose Protein Supplements
With so many people lacking the inability to digest milk, supplement manufacturers have responded to their plight by offering low-lactose supplements. These protein products offer you as many amino acids as possible without upsetting your stomach. Because milk features heavily in protein supplements (whey and casein, for instance, are derived from milk) your options might not be as abundant. Nevertheless, you should be able to find a protein powder that has all the building blocks muscles need for growth and repair.
An alternative option is to take lactase enzyme supplements. Several trials have demonstrated the efficiency of these supplements and the ability they lend in lactose digestion. Taking these supplements prior to consuming dairy products can help you break down milk and its derivatives (including supplements) and absorb the nutrients they offer.
Soy protein might be vilified because of its phytoestrogens, but it provides a wholesome source of protein. It has a complete amino acid profile, and while it has a low bioavailability, it can help your bridge those protein gaps in your diet.
Admittedly, the path of a lactose intolerant bodybuilder is inherently more difficult. Your goals can still be met but you must consume animal protein in greater abundance. Lean beef, fish, chicken, and eggs should feature heavily in your diet, as should vegetables to ensure you get essential minerals such as calcium. This way, even if you do not use a protein powder, your daily protein requirements will still be met.
I myself am lactose intolerant. I would purchase whey isolate for my protein sources as it’s lower in lactose. Some supplement websites even has a category that caters to low lactose stuff.
Check out these Lactase supplements.
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