To many of us, the struggle to gain weight can be every bit as frustrating as shedding it. Many people are so-called ectomorphs or hardgainers, those who don’t seem to gain weight no matter how much they eat.
In bodybuilding, you are constantly reminded to eat more calories than you expend. If you hope to jack your body up, fitness trainers recommend eating 300 to 500 calories above your daily allowance for calorie balance. However, the body can only take in so much before it feels cloyed.
This is where milk comes in.
Drinking milk is a healthy, foolproof way of meeting your surplus of calories. You’ve been told many times that protein and water are two of the most nourishing substances to the body—why not have both? Milk can substitute your water intake—milk being predominantly water—and give you your protein needs at the same time. Plus, there’s no need to cook at all; you can get your protein needs for the fraction of the time it takes to whip up beef steak.
One of the most nutritious drinks on earth, a glass of milk is virtually spilling at the rim with vitamins and minerals. It’s a superlative source of calcium, which aids in muscle growth apart from building bones. So nutritious is milk that bodybuilders have long been hyping the merits of GOMAD. That is, drinking a gallon of milk a day.
On average, one gallon of milk offers a whopping 2,800 calories; one cup may contain around 150. For perspective, the average moderately active man ages 19-30 needs to consume 2,600 to 2,800 calories a day to maintain caloric balance. For a moderately active woman, the figure is 2,000 to 2,200 calories.
Meanwhile, one gram of protein per pound of body weight has always been the benchmark for bulking up. All too often, hardgainers are advised to ingest protein every three hours. A glass of milk can readily offer eight grams of protein.
However, let’s be honest: You just can’t chug a gallon a day in one sitting. Instead of trying to down one and risk bloating, you can simply incorporate milk into your meals. Drink milk at breakfast, right after your workout, and just prior to bedtime.
Milk is the best protein to consume before sleeping. The type of protein contained in milk is casein, which is slow to digest. In other words, you’ll have enough protein to tide you over for the entire eight hours of your sleep. Also, the protein in milk is complete, meaning it is made up of all eight essential amino acids.
The idea is to eat as much as you want to, and just when you think you’re stuffed and still have calories to go, you drink milk to compensate for the difference. For example, if you’re running late for work/school and thereby going to miss breakfast, you can guzzle four glasses to give you the day’s head-start.
As for the kind of milk to drink, dieticians recommend whole, not skim, milk to bulk up. Though it may contain eight grams of fat, a glass of whole milk will fast-track you toward weight gain. Besides, a certain percentage of your caloric intake should be made up of healthy fats. Also don’t forget milk’s ‘cousins’ such as cheese and yogurt.
Even if you’re not beefing up your body, you simply need to hydrate with milk sometime. The list of nutrients therein is just too long to pass up. That is, unless you’re an inveterate vegan, in which case you should find your calories somewhere else.