Does the type of milk you drink matter for building muscle?

In a study funded by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, scientists randomly assigned 22 older women to drink two cups a day of whole milk, skim milk, or almond milk for three days while doing their usual exercise and for three more days while taking 50 percent more steps than usual.

The dairy-milk drinkers got more protein per day (75 grams for those drinking skim, 71 grams for those drinking whole) than the almond-milk drinkers (59 grams). That gave the almond drinkers the RDA for protein (0.36 grams for every pound of body weight), while the dairy-milk drinkers got roughly the higher level recommended by some experts (0.5 grams per pound).

Muscle protein synthesis—measured by muscle biopsies—increased when the women took 50 percent more steps than usual. The type of milk they drank made no difference.

What to do

Want more muscle? Extra movement—not extra protein—matters.