T Nation

Dairy: Yes or No for Contest Prep? Women's Physique


#1

Hello everyone! I do have a question that my wife is driving me crazy about. Is there any scientific evidence that cutting out dairy during a contest prep has any benefit? She loves her hi-protein Greek yogurt and doesn’t want to drop it. She can’t find anything that has a valid reason to drop dairy. It all seems to be, “that’s what we always do” mentality. She doesn’t have any digestion or bloating issues. She would cut it out the last couple of weeks because of sodium control. Thoughts?


#2

This is very largely individualized, the best answer is really if she feels she needs to. Does she tolerate dairy well? The reason people cut it out is to ensure no extra water retention/bloating. Personally I cut out dairy in the second half of my prep, but it bloats me and adds some water retention. Many competitors leave it in the entire time with no problem whatsoever. Maybe drop it peak week just to leave nothing to chance? Dairy obviously has numerous benefits and it a great source of protein, so unless she has any digestion issues with it, which is sounds like she doesn’t, then no reason to take it out. My wife recently completed her first show and we kept dairy in the entire time with no issues all the way until peak week.

IMO dropping sodium is a good way to come in flat and smooth, and will have a noticeable impact on performance. Sodium intake should remain consistent throughout the entire prep. Especially as she gets leaner and more depleted, she will need sodium. I’m less than 2 weeks out of a show and recently raised sodium quite significantly and feel, and look, much better. Just my .02!

Best of luck to her!


#3

Thank you! You help reinforce exactly what she is thinking. I was a little off with my sodium statement though. We are in the high sodium camp with a little variable for peak week. We’ve learned over the years that higher sodium, especially towards the end, helps with energy and pumps. Again, thank you for your comments.


#4

So long as she’s not lactose intolerant, No need to drop dairy and most certainly don’t drop sodium!

S


#5

Many people, including myself, have gotten shredded with dairy. There is no reason to ever cut it out unless there’s lactose intolerance or some other condition for which it’s contraindicated. I kept it in every day of my five month prep.