Looking for the rugby physique? Look to milk
There’s a strong trend among young men in Ireland who wish to bulk up like their rugby playing heroes. Dairy, as part of a balanced diet, can help them.
The Healthy Ireland Survey, commissioned by the Department of Health, found that young men in the 15-24 age group stand out as those most likely to want to gain wait. It’s thought that the trend is linked to the physique of rugby players and young men wanting to emulate they’re heroes.
It’s good news as it shows young Irish people perusing a healthier lifestyle, spending more time in the gym and avoiding dangerous sugary, processed foods. However, while there are a wide range of high protein shakes, powders and energy drinks on the market, it can’t be emphasised enough that the best and safest way to build muscle and healthy body mass is through a sensible exercise plan and a good, balanced diet.
Rugby players and athletes in general need a lot more protein than the rest of us, so if you’re in the gym pumping iron, your muscles are working extra hard. That’s where good natural dairy produce like milk and cheese comes in as they are perfect for muscle repair and recovery. They’re honest-to-goodness foods that we’ve been quite literally reared on so we all know that as part of a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, there are no ill effects.
Milk is full of calcium, which is important for strong teeth and bones, but it also helps muscles contract – the exact type of movements that stimulate muscle growth in the gym. There is research that suggests that calcium from low fat dairy products is linked to weight loss.
It has also been proved that milk is a very effective rehydration drink after a workout, possibly due to the sodium and potassium naturally present in milk make for natural rehydration. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had three subjects each drink fat-free milk, a soy protein drink or a carbohydrate drink after weight training. Amazingly, the study found that milk subjects gained 40% more muscle than the soy group and 60% more than the carbohydrate group. Milk also contains vitamins D, A, B2 and B12, phosphorous and electrolytes all of which need replenishment after a workout.
And there’s more to dairy than milk. Cheese, and particularly cottage cheese is high in casein protein which is slow-digesting protein. That means if you’re going for long periods without eating it’s the perfect fuel for you throughout the day.
Milk and dairy, when part of a varied and balanced diet can help all active people, whether their looking to bulk up or slim down. Milk is designed to help your body grow and repair, so why would you use anything else?
The National Dairy Council has teamed up with Dave and Rob Kearney to promote the health and nutritional benefits of dairy during the World Cup 2015.