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Why Do Bodybuilders Drink So Much Milk?

Why Do Bodybuilders Drink So Much Milk?

Unless you’re lactose intolerant, have you tried adding milk to your bodybuilding diet? Surely we understand that there are alternatives like the lactose-free milk you get in the market but it’s usually not the most preferred choice.

Why? Maybe the two most common reasons for it is that they’re not available everywhere, plus they are a little more on the expensive side making them non-sustainable for most.

Coming back to the question at hand, we’re assuming that you’ve seen most bodybuilders chugging away gallons of milk as if their life depended on it.

Since then, you’ve been wondering what makes them do it and if it’s necessary for gains.

Two words, GOMAD Diet! This diet was started and was popularised back in the 40s and 50s, so if you’ve seen those naturally buffed dudes with extremely well-developed muscles in videos, they were probably drinking a lot of milk.

Anabolic steroids weren’t as available back then as it is today, so for bodybuilders to build strength and mass, they had to look for other ways to bulk up, and that’s where the GOMAD diet came in.

But what’s interesting is, even decades later, it’s still as popular as it was back in the day due to many reasons that we’ll be explaining later in this article.

So if you’ve been asking, “Why do bodybuilders drink so much milk?” and wondering if you should start doing so yourself, then you’re at the right place.

Read on as we delve deeper into the GOMAD diet, and the certain downsides that are associated with it, and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you!


What Is The Gallon Of Milk A Day (GOMAD) Diet?

GOMAD or the Gallon Of Milk A Day diet is simply drinking a gallon of standard whole milk every day until you see noticeable gains or reach your preferred weight and strength goal.

The GOMAD diet is followed by bodybuilders who want to bulk up fast and gain peak muscle mass. It is the perfect “bulking strategy” that aids in more muscle mass in a shorter time frame.

How Does It Help with Weight Gain?

Get this, the standard whole milk contains approximately 2400 calories, which is almost 16 cups, and has around 187g of carbs (carbohydrates) with a total of 127g of fat.

It also contains 123g of protein and carries two types: casein, and whey, both essential for the growth of lean muscle mass, enhancing muscle performances, and boosting muscle protein synthesis that promotes recovery and speeds up new muscle growth.

In addition, can you guess the other essential nutrients that you’re getting from milk that are vital for an athlete or a bodybuilder?

  • Calcium- Helps you build stronger and healthier bones playing a critical role in your weight lifting or other athletic activity performances. Calcium also helps you relax your muscles promoting good workouts and boosting growth.
  • Lactoferrin- Helps in digestive functioning allowing you to absorb more from your food. While milk contains extremely small amounts of it, better a little than none since filtrated lactoferrin is highly expensive to buy for most.
  • Vitamin D- While people don’t necessarily see the relevance of this vitamin and hardly supplement it, it is a high anabolic hormone that is essential for muscle development and growth. It also aids in increasing intestinal absorption of calcium and myriad of other biological effects.

Of course, you wouldn’t survive on milk alone so the gallon of milk a day is the extra calories and nutrients that you add on top of your already strict protein and calorie-rich diet.

So, not only does following the GOMAD diet effectively help you bulk up, and build muscle in a shorter period, courtesy of all the essential nutrients and calories you’re taking in.

But it is also a cheaper alternative to increasing your calorie count along with supplementing beneficial nutrients on your muscle-building journey.

Why Do Bodybuilders Drink So Much Milk?What Are The Downsides Of The GOMAD Diet?

Certainly, while the GOMAD diet is an indispensable strategy when it comes to bulking up in a short time frame without breaking the bank, it isn’t without potential downfall.

Certain health risks come with drinking this amount of milk and it needs to be addressed since you’d want to be fully informed before you proceed on your gains. So what are the downsides of the GOMAD diet?

Gastrointestinal Misery

GOMAD diet will have you drinking 16 cups of milk each day which could lead to overwhelming the proper functioning of your GI (gastrointestinal) tract, leading to extreme discomfort.

Bodybuilders and athletes who are not lactose intolerant are also not safe from this discomfort and the symptoms usually include diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and extreme flatulence.

In addition, since you’re drinking an abnormal amount of milk per day, the symptoms could show up as soon as you start, which is day 1.


Drinking a gallon of milk every day could lead to hypercalcemia, which is a state where you have more amounts of calcium in your blood than normal.

While the recommendation for most adults is a little over 2,000 mg, drinking a gallon of whole milk delivers 4,800mg of calcium which could cause overload and bring about concerns.

These concerns include impaired kidney functions and raised risks of kidney stones along with heart disease and prostate cancer.

Excess Fat Gain

While the whole purpose of the GOMAD diet is built around adding more calories to your daily calorie intake while also promoting muscle growth and performance, there are high chances of you putting on mass, in the form of fat instead of muscles.

It’s because whole milk already contains an excessive amount of saturated fat and you’re drinking a gallon of it every day. The immoderate quantity of this fat may cause spikes in your cholesterol levels, escalating the risks of heart disease.

Wrapping Up

In addition to your high-calorie, protein-rich diet, including GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) would certainly increase your calorie intake immensely and work as the perfect “bulking strategy,” helping you to grow mass in a short time frame.

However, you’ll only gain weight and become a victim of the downsides mentioned above, if you don’t incorporate a proper weight-training program along with it.

James Vaughan
James Vaughan
I'm James Vaughan. I am a bodybuilding and fitness enthusiast giving my honest reviews on all bodybuilding supplements including legal steroids and testosterone boosters. I also write articles and give advice on fitness and weight loss supplements.

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