T Nation

Milk - Should I be Using it to Bulk?



Probably a complete guess about 16% bf (i can grab fat aroudn pecs/stomach)..
I havent worked out since May, before that i was fairly consistent but wasn't strong...
Bench was about 205, db pressed about 75 a hand, I wasnt doing any other major...So I'm pegging myself as a beginner...

But i want to put on mass. I was thinking of doing the milk diet with 3L (3.8L = 1gallon). Its cheap, and easy.

My questions are:
1) Should i "cut" down before starting this?
2) Does chocolate milk work, or is whole milk the best way to go?
3) Is starting strength a good program with this diet?





Not always a good idea.

Here's what Christian Thibaudeau has to say about the subject:

[i]It's important to eat a wide variety of foods. If you over-consume one specific food, for example if you eat chicken 4 times a day, every day, you'll eventually develop an allergy or intolerance to it.

A few years ago, I was coaching a weightlifting team at the Quebec Games. It was held in a remote part of the province and we were confined to the competition site and our dormitory for a week. They gave us 5 food item tickets for every cafeteria meal (3 per day). Each ticket gave us one of every food item available. For most people that would be one drink, a main course (normally pasta), side dishes (veggies, gravy), a desert and a piece of fruit.

Hardly any of the food items had any protein, so for a week I would ask for five milk cartons, three times a day, to get my protein. By the end of the week I had become severely lactose intolerant!

You might not develop a full blown food allergy, but even a mild one (that you might not even feel) can have negative impacts on your body. When you're intolerant to a food, even mildly, eating it represents a stress on the body. So when you eat that food it will raise cortisol levels. As you may recall, cortisol can lead to catabolism (muscle breakdown and loss), and it can also facilitate the storage of fat on your abdomen. Double ungood.

So rotate your food choices. This is especially important for protein sources, since various foods have different amino acid profiles. Don't limit yourself to dry broiled chicken breasts: eat beef, pork, salmon, venison, buffalo, ostrich, kangaroo... you get the idea.[/i]



First, a lot of people believe you may be a little on the fat side to start bulking right now. Some people like to get under 15% prior to bulking. I have bulked when I was carrying more fat and have done it when I was leaner and anecdotally speaking, I prefer to start adding mass when I am leaner. It seems like it is easier to put on muscle over fat. Could be psychological, I don't know, but it is what I prefer.

As for the milk, Rippetoe in Starting Strength the book (great read btw) suggests drinking a gallon of milk per day if trying to add mass. Jim Wendler suggests the same in his 5/3/1 manual. Some studies have shown that milk is a fine choice after a workout as it has a good mix of protein and carbs, plus for some unknown reason, the fat seems to stimulate protein synthesis. I know there was a big hub bub over choclate milk v Surge before, Im not saying one is better or worse, just addressing your milk question.

Personally, I drink a half gallon during my eating window on my workout days. I drink 1% chocolate milk. It tastes good and is cheap and thats enough for me.


I have never heard of anyone overeating chicken to the point they develop an allergy or intolerance to it. This sounds like a myth to me. Anyone been tested for this?


I have a severe psychological allergy to tinned tuna and chicken breasts (no not together.. well yeah - that too).

I OD'ed on those years ago now. Turkey this decade!

OP - yes it is a decent way to bulk as a one off.. but i would not suggest someone do any bulk (and certainly not a sloppy one as outlined) at 16% bodyfat and coming out of sedentary life.

You need to work on your conditioning first, some bodyweight work is great - whole body.. 2-3x/wk upto 4 or so over months, cardio, form, maybe posture and definitely core (i know, i sound like a 'PT' but these ARE important in every person).

I would eat clean and healthy over that period.. get healthy and hold a moderate fitness, then look to work on areas you feel you require.

If you do the milk and squsts diet in your present condition - there is a high chance you will 1) get fat and 2) get injured.



Should you be using milk to bulk?

Depends. Assuming you're talking about cow's milk, consider that it is designed (uh-oh, the evolutionists are gonna flame me for saying that!) to be consumed in large quantities, in order to quickly add mass to a large, slow-moving, not very intelligent animal.

If that's you, then go for it!

What you also might want to consider, though, is that in addition to the carbohydrates, fat and protein, cow's milk has 59 active hormones, scores of allergens, plus measurable quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins (up to 200 times the safe levels), up to 52 powerful antibiotics, radioisotopes such as strontium, blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses.

On the upside, milk is pasteurized before it's sold, so at least you don't have to worry too much about the feces, blood and pus. Of course, the dioxin, herbicides, pesticides, radioisotopes, antibiotics, growth hormones and estrogens might be a bit off-putting, but lots of people drink milk, and they aren't dead, so it must be okay!


On the other hand, if you are talking about human milk, and you have access to a dispenser similar to the one illustrated above, then I see no reason why not.


Oops, picture didn't go through. A dispenser similar to THIS.



I suspect foul play.



So... I've always wondered if that means I should rotate the brands of protein powders. Ie Surge. In fact, I can so for a fact , I had developed an allergy to chocolate Surge last year.


Different brands of whey protein are still whey protein, and the amino acid profiles are going to be similar. It's like being allergic to milk, so eating cheese and yogurt instead.

Thibaudeau was talking about eating protein from different animal sources, not always the old lazy musclehead's standbys of tuna and chicken.

But nothing says you can't throw in some beans and rice, or almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds every once in a while as well.

Oh, and when you say "Chocolate Surge" I assume you aren't talking about Biotest's chocolate flavored Surge Recovery, but a different product, produced by a company whose name begins with a T, right?


ugh... no I actually mean Biotest's chocolate flavored Surge recovery. I guess I can understand whey is whey, but the type of whey , amino profile, and fillers are different in every brand. I switched from chocolate last year to root beer and found that my allergy had gone away. I think it is a valid point that people at least switch flavours if not companies when it comes to protein powder, and post workout drinks.