Is Almond Milk Good For Building Muscle?

For years, the argument between almond milk and cow’s milk has raged in the health community, but which is best for bodybuilders? When it comes to addressing this question as athletes with very particular body goals, there are numerous aspects to consider.

I wanted to delve more into this topic as a nutrition coach who deals with bodybuilders.

Almond milk is beneficial to bodybuilding since it is a low-calorie milk choice that allows calories to be spent on foods that are more filling than milk. Because almond milk is high in fat and low in protein, make sure the rest of your meals are high in lean protein.

Is almond good for muscle gain?

Almonds include high-quality plant-based protein as well as healthy lipids that promote muscle building. Almonds also have a high iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, arginine, quercetin, and vitamin E content! These chemicals aid athletes in gaining muscle mass and recovering from activity more quickly.

Which milk is best for muscular growth?

It is not only high in protein, which is essential for muscle building (1), but it is also considered to be of very good quality.

Casein accounts for about 80% of milk protein, with whey accounting for the remaining 20%. Both are complete proteins, including all nine essential amino acids, but whey protein is especially crucial for muscle growth since it is high in branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the driving force behind muscle protein synthesis and tissue construction, as well as recuperation (2).

The key difference is the fat content, with skimmed and semi-skimmed milk having less fat per serving (200ml):

When it comes to bulking, whole milk clearly wins out, with the more calories making it simpler to gain weight. Whole milk is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which not only promote bone and joint health but can also help with sleep quality (3), which increases recovery and training adaption indirectly.

Even when the calories are equal, whole milk can promote muscle growth by activating muscle protein synthesis to a larger extent than skimmed milk (4), making it the superior dairy milk for bulking!

After an exercise, can you drink almond milk?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the various types of milk when walking down the dairy aisle. There are dairy and non-dairy options, as well as cow’s milk and plant-based alternatives. But which type of milk is best for you? People may pick a cow’s milk alternative for a variety of reasons, including lactose intolerance and dairy allergies, as well as taste and diet preferences. You’ll also want to choose the milk that best nourishes your body as an athlete.

We hope that this sports nutrition advice can clear up any ambiguity at the supermarket.

Dairy Milk/Cow’s Milk

Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, potassium, riboflavin, and phosphorus are all vitamins and minerals.

Pros: Variety of varieties (skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milk) for different tastes, calorie requirements, and body composition goals.

Almond Milk

Pros: For folks who can’t drink regular milk or who want a lower-calorie alternative.

Cons: Some brands have sugar added for flavor, so look for “unsweetened” versions on the label. Almond milk isn’t a suitable source of protein for athletes to consume with a meal or as a post-workout recovery drink. If you’re going to make a smoothie with almond milk, include a protein source like Greek yogurt or protein powder, or serve eggs on the side.


Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, folate, and phosphorous are all vitamins and minerals.

Pros: Compared to other milk replacements, this plant-based alternative has a nutritional profile that is closer to that of cow’s milk. If you enjoy chocolate milk after a workout, try chocolate soymilk as a quick post-workout recovery alternative.

Rice Milk

Cons: Rice milk is not a high-protein breakfast or post-workout beverage. If you drink rice milk and don’t eat calcium- or vitamin-D-rich meals, you need take a supplement.

Coconut Milk

Vitamins and minerals: Some coconut milk products include vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, and magnesium.

Cons: Has the lowest protein content of all milk varieties, as well as low calcium and vitamin D levels. It also has a higher fat content than carbs or protein.

Other helpful tips:

  • Oat, almond, rice, and coconut milk are not acceptable options if you’re an athlete trying to add protein to your diet.
  • If you don’t get enough calcium or vitamin D in your diet, look for choices that are fortified with those nutrients.
  • A 2:1 to 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is a reasonable objective for a post-workout snack.
  • Pay attention to the amount of sugar added to the milk. If a beverage contains additional sweets but little protein, it may not be the ideal choice for a beverage, particularly as a post-workout recovery drink.

What meals help you gain muscle?

Combine the following foods with fruit and vegetables to help you grow muscle mass:

  • Meat that is low in fat. Animal products, especially lean meats like chicken and turkey, are frequently high in protein.

Is almond a healthy post-workout snack?

Fiber is abundant in almonds, with 3.5 g in per 1-oz. serving. This nutrient is good for your overall health, but it’s not recommended for post-workout meals because it can slow down the absorption of nutrients your body needs to recuperate. Almonds also help to maintain blood sugar levels and may help with cholesterol management.

What can I drink to help me gain muscle mass?

8th of August, 2007 According to the findings of a new study, drinking milk after weight training workouts may help you grow more muscle and lose more body fat than drinking soy or carbohydrate drinks.

After performing weight-lifting workouts, researchers investigated the benefits of consuming nonfat milk, a soy protein drink, or a carbohydrate drink on muscle growth and fat burning.

According to Stuart M. Phillips, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology and exercise physiologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, all three groups grew muscle, but the milk drinkers had the highest outcomes. The National Dairy Council supported the research, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on August 1st.

What foods should I avoid if I want to grow muscle?

Your muscles get the nutrients they need to recover from workouts and develop bigger and stronger when you eat the proper meals in the right proportions.

Consuming the incorrect foods or not enough of the proper ones, on the other hand, will result in mediocre results.

Foods to Focus On

The meals you eat don’t have to change during the bulking and cutting phases; it’s usually the quantity that alter.

  • Sirloin steak, ground beef, hog tenderloin, venison, chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, and cod are examples of meats, poultry, and fish.
  • Oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, peaches, watermelon, and berries are some of the fruits available.
  • Broccoli, spinach, leafy salad greens, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, peppers, and mushrooms are among the vegetables available.
  • Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans are examples of beans and legumes.

Foods to Limit

While you should eat a variety of foods, there are certain that you should avoid.

  • Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol might hinder your capacity to gain muscle and shed fat, especially if you consume it in large quantities (8).
  • Sugars added to foods: These provide a lot of calories but few nutrients. Candy, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, cake, and sugar-sweetened beverages including soda and sports drinks are high in added sugars (5).
  • Deep-fried foods: These might cause inflammation and disease if consumed in excess. Fried fish, french fries, onion rings, chicken strips, and cheese curds are just a few examples (9).

In addition to restricting these, you may want to avoid certain foods before going to the gym that can induce stomach irritation and hinder digestion.

  • Beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are high in fiber.

Bodybuilding Supplements

Many bodybuilders utilize dietary supplements, some of which are beneficial and others which aren’t (10, 11).

  • Whey protein: Adding whey protein powder to your diet is a quick and easy way to boost your protein intake.
  • Creatine: Creatine gives your muscles the energy they need to complete an extra rep or two. While there are several brands of creatine, the most effective is creatine monohydrate (12).
  • Caffeine: Caffeine helps you work harder by reducing weariness. Pre-workout pills, coffee, and tea all include it (13).

If you’re restricting your calorie intake to lose body fat during your cutting phase, a multivitamin and mineral supplement may be beneficial.

Incorporate a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet from all dietary groups. Alcohol, foods with added sweets, and deep-fried foods should all be avoided or limited. Whey protein, creatine, and caffeine are all good supplements to add to your diet.

Why do bodybuilders stay away from dairy?

Let’s speak about why milk is considered liquid gold for bodybuilders before we sit down and discuss what you need consider when introducing milk to your bodybuilding program.

Perfect Protein for Pumping Iron

It all comes down to getting the appropriate macronutrient balance (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), consuming enough calories, and following a solid exercise regimen when it comes to building muscle. High-quality dietary proteins aid in the maintenance, repair, and growth of muscle protein.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine endorsed milk in a thorough position paper. After resistance exercise, drinking milk-based protein is an efficient strategy to build muscle mass and body composition.

Milk contains 20 percent whey protein and 80 percent casein protein. Whey is the key ingredient in many muscle drinks and supplements, so you’ve probably heard of it. However, research has shown that when whey is processed, such as in protein powder, it might contain toxins and cause intestinal irritation (gas, upset stomach). When you drink milk, you don’t get the same whey benefits.

Whey includes all of the body’s required amino acids (protein building blocks) and is easily absorbed and utilized. Casein is comparable to whey, however it is absorbed by the body at a significantly slower rate. This is why many bodybuilders take casein protein before bedtime to ensure that they get a steady supply of protein throughout the night.

Prime for Post-Workout

When it comes to workout nutrition, studies recommend maximizing muscle protein, restoring glycogen (a glucose storage form), hydration, soreness control, and receiving enough calories.

It contains high-quality, easily absorbed protein, carbs, and micronutrients (calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins), making it an excellent post-workout recovery beverage. According to studies, consuming milk after exercise can help with speedy recovery and training adjustments.

Leucine, a branch chain amino acid that is quickly digested and used, is abundant in milk (BCAA). A study found that taking BCAAs alone (as in a supplement powder) is ineffective in promoting protein synthesis. This is why getting it from a whole food source like milk is ideal.

Chocolate Makes Everything Better

Although further study is needed, a review of 12 trials found that when compared to a placebo or another sports recovery beverage, chocolate milk had similar or preferable results.

After a strenuous workout, chocolate milk has the right ratio for replenishing muscles. It has the “golden” standard of post-workout nutrition, with a 3-1 carb-to-protein ratio, because it is higher in carbs than ordinary milk.

Is almond milk beneficial to athletes?

Those proteins and carbohydrates are just what the body requires for quick muscle regeneration and recovery. Soy milk contains many of the same vitamins and minerals as dairy milk, and it has more protein than non-dairy milks. Almond milk aids athletes in the consumption of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, antioxidants, and Vitamin E, but not so much in the healing of muscles.

Is it possible to make a protein smoothie with almond milk?

Many of my lactose-intolerant nutrition clients ask if almond milk is a good drink to mix with whey protein, so I thought I’d answer that topic.

Is it possible to combine whey protein and almond milk? Yes, combining whey with almond milk is a low-calorie option that improves the taste and texture of the protein shake, making it more delicious. Sweetened almond milk is wonderful before and after a workout, but unsweetened almond milk is ideal because it contains fewer calories. For lactose-intolerant people, combining whey and almond milk is also a good option.

That being said, before you start mixing whey protein with almond milk, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks, as well as how to do it correctly for the best results.

This is part of our What Can You Mix With Whey Protein series (13 Examples)