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Yogurt, Calcium, Vitamin D, And Muscle Building

Jul 2, 2008
Anyone looking to take the "natural" route to muscle building and quality weight gain is always on the lookout for anything to get a leg up on their physiques. Well, recently a study was conducted that may give some positive nods to yogurt, calcium, and vitamin D....(notice I said "may").

Here's the study first, then at the end of this article I'll give you my personal thoughts on whether this will actually make a difference in building muscle mass or not: The International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference grabbed a group of 35 women, all an average age of 19. They were all considered calcium deficient because they didn't consume a minimum of 800 mgs of per day. The study lasted 8 weeks, and they were required to weight train.

The 35 women were divided into 3 groups. The first group were given yogurt at specific times, the second group protein, and the third carbohydrates. The protein and carb groups were to continue to eat as they had before the study began, meaning that they were still going to be consuming a low or deficient amount of calcium. The yogurt group, however, ate three servings of yogurt, which contained 200 mgs of calcium and 40 units of vitamin D per serving....which equals a total of at least 600 mgs of calcium and 120 units of vitamin D per day from the yogurt alone.

As soon as they would complete their strength training workout, the protein group would drink some type of sports drink. The carb group would drink a carb-only beverage. The yogurt group would consume one of their yogurt servings. However, for all three groups the amount of calories eaten post workout was 100 calories, regardless if it was a sports drink, a carb-only drink, or a serving a yogurt. Well, after the 8 week study was completed, it was noticed that the women in the yogurt group had the biggest gains in muscle building and strength gains.

Now, my take:

First off, keep in mind that the minimum recommended daily amount of calcium is 800 mgs, according to the study. The women in the yogurt group got 600 mgs of calcium from the 3 yogurt servings per day. That's still 200 mgs below the minimum requirement. The problem with the study lies in that we don't know for certain how much other calcium those women consumed from the other foods that they ate during the 8 week study. We don't know if the addition of the 600 mgs of calcium from the yogurt to what they were getting from everything else was enough to push them above the minimum requirement of 800 mgs or not.

Also, another issue I have with this study is that it doesn't say if these women had ever weight trained before this study or not. There's a big difference with someone training for the first time in their life and someone that is a seasoned exercise enthusiast. They're body's response to workout programs are going to be very different in the initial stages. Someone that has never trained is going to get an immediate and bigger boost from a workout routine than someone that has been at it for years.

In addition, although the study does conclude that the women in the yogurt group / higher calcium group did have a higher degree of muscle building and strength gain than the women in the other two groups, it doesn't specify exactly how much. Hey, the yogurt group could have only gained half a pound more of lean muscle mass than the other groups, which would technically be considered having gained more muscle. But, when taking a look at the bigger picture, half a pound of lean muscle mass built after 8 weeks of hitting the weights isn't anything to brag about. That's not even really noticeable in the mirror.

So, at the end of the day, take studies like these with a grain of salt if muscle building is your goal.
About the Author
In addition, there are other benefits to knowing what the proper workout program and eating regimen is and what it can do for you. To read more, go to: Working Out Isn't Just For Muscle Building
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