Milk Consumption Following Exercise Reduces Subsequent Energy Intake in Female Recreational Exercisers

Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of skimmed milk as a recovery drink following moderate–vigorous cycling exercise on subsequent appetite and energy intake in healthy, female recreational exercisers. Utilizing a randomized cross-over design, nine female recreational exercisers (19.7 ± 1.3 years) completed a V̇ O2peak test followed by two main exercise trials. The main trials were conducted following a standardized breakfast. Following 30 min of moderate-vigorous exercise (65% V̇ O2peak), either 600 mL of skimmed milk or 600 mL of orange drink (475 mL orange juice from concentrate, 125 mL water), which were isoenergetic (0.88 MJ), were ingested, followed 60 min later with an ad libitum pasta meal. Absolute energy intake was reduced 25.2% ± 16.6% after consuming milk compared to the orange drink (2.39 ± 0.70 vs. 3.20 ± 0.84 MJ, respectively; p = 0.001). Relative energy intake (in relation to the energy content of the recovery drinks and energy expenditure) was significantly lower after milk consumption compared to the orange drink (1.49 ± 0.72 vs. 2.33 ± 0.90 MJ, respectively; p = 0.005). There were no differences in AUC (× 1 h) subjective appetite parameters (hunger, fullness and desire to eat) between trials. The consumption of skimmed milk following 30 min of moderate-vigorous cycling exercise reduces subsequent energy intake in female recreational exercisers.

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Alex’s Notes: Milk is a nutrient powerhouse containing high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. From a theoretical standpoint, it should be an excellent post-workout drink to replenish the body and stimulate muscle protein synthesis. The protein in milk (whey and casein) is especially potent in its job. But not everything is about muscle growth. Sometimes, you just need something to blunt appetite and help make dieting bearable. We previously say how whey-protein preloads reduced hunger, appetite, and caloric intake, but this was in obese middle-aged men. What about young athletic women?

Nine female recreational exercisers were recruited to undergo one familiarization and two experimental laboratory trials. After a minimum 10-hour overnight fast, the participants ate a pre-prepared breakfast at 8:00am and arrived at the laboratory at 9:45am where they underwent a 30-minute cycle ergometer exercise session at 65% of their VO2peak. Within five minutes of finishing, the women were provided with an opaque bottle that contained either skimmed milk or an orange juice. One hour later the women were to enjoy and all-you-can-eat pasta meal.

These women were young (20 years), lean (BMI 22kg/m2), and in decent shape (VO2peak 45.7 mL/kg/min). The test drinks were matched for energy content, although the macronutrients were way different. The milk contained 30g of carbohydrates and 20g of protein, while the orange juice contained 50g of carbohydrates only. The pasta meal was fusilli pasta with bolognaise sauce, cheddar cheese, and olive oil containing a PRO/CHO/FAT content of 14/52/34%.

So the orange juice did better right?

Not quite.Absolute energy intake at the pasta test meal was significantly less following consumption of milk compared to the orange juice. About 25% less to be specific. Yet, there were no differences in appetite, hunger, and fullness between condition, although prospective food consumption did trend (p=0.063) to be lower during the milk trial.

Granted, the authors have previously received funding from The Dairy Council (UK), which was not in any way related to the work of this article, but the results provide more evidence for the power of milk. It may seem somewhat obvious to us Super Humans, since milk has high-quality protein and nutrients that a post-workout meal demands, but now you have evidence to recommend that someone put down the Gatorade and grab some milk.

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