New Data And Updated Nutrition Labeling Rules Push Milk Past Sports Drinks

With 13 Essential Nutrients*, Milk Stands Alone as the Original Sports Drink

Got Nutrients? Milk certainly does – and now it can claim four more performance essentials, pushing the beverage to a natural nutrient content level that few other single foods or beverages can compete with – especially formulated sports drinks. Milk has fueled athletes for centuries and, especially now with these upgraded nutrition credentials,  stands alone as the original sports drink, delivering a powerful  combination of natural nutrients that aid muscle repair, rehydration and replenishment, while also helping to build strong bones and support immune health.

Rest assured, milk is still milk and what is inside is what’s always been inside.  Updated nutrient daily values for nutrition labeling and updated government nutrition databases have provided  data that show that more nutrients in milk meet the threshold of being a good or excellent source. For decades, milk has been recognized as a powerhouse beverage that delivers nine essential nutrients, including calcium, protein and vitamin D.  Now, milk is a good or excellent source of four more vital nutrients: potassium, zinc, selenium and iodine. These recent updates support what sports nutritionists and trainers have advocated for years –  as a naturally nutrient-rich way to fuel athletic performance, milk is a clear choice for athletes.

A side-by-side comparison of the nutrient makeup of milk and sports drinks reveals milk’s nutrient package. Milk provides 13 nutrients and has only three ingredients (milk, vitamins A and D), while typical sports drinks contain as many as 12 ingredients, including added sugars, flavors and colors.1 Milk delivers a nutrient package that athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages need, including many not found in formulated sports drinks:

  • A natural source of high-quality protein to build, repair and maintain lean muscle.
  • Vitamin A, zinc and selenium to support a healthy immune system.
  • 4 B vitamins – riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and vitamin B12 – to help convert food into energy.
  • Calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and protein to build and maintain strong bones and reduce the risk for stress fractures.
  • Iodine to help regulate metabolism.
  • Potassium* to help maintain normal muscle function and regulate the balance of fluids in the body.

“Milk has always been and continues to be a staple item in my fridge. It fueled me throughout my athletic career from youth to pro, and now helps me to fuel my pro athlete husband and our growing athlete kids!  The science and firsthand experience was already enough to recommend milk for athletic performance, but I’m excited to have a few more reasons to add to the arsenal,”

– Briana Butler, MCN, RDN, LD, a performance and sports dietitian who advises athletes.

Butler often reminds her clients that nine out of 10 U.S. Olympians say they grew up drinking milk** and uses that fact as way to remind her clients of the beverage’s power as a nutrient-rich aid to performance…

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