A closer look at the milk shelves

Dairy, non-dairy…coconut, almond, soy… what’s the best option? Let’s take a look:


Type of Milk

Calories Carbohydrate Sugars Protein Fat

2% Dairy

120 12 12 8 5

Almond, Original

60 8 7 1


Coconut, Original 80 7 7 0


Soy, Original 110 9 6 8



At first glance, it may be tempting to narrow in on the “calories” column. If we only look at these numbers, we could of course say that dairy milk is the “worst” for you. However, the other categories should be examined alongside the calorie information. Coconut and almond milks come in better with carbohydrates and fat, followed by soy and lastly dairy. However, dairy and soy milks take a mighty leap to the front when examining protein content. Additionally, the proteins in dairy and soy milks are complete proteins, providing all the essential amino acids together. Other dairy alternatives either contain no protein or incomplete proteins.


Where does that leave us? It depends on what you need.Regular ole dairy milk often gets a bad rap nowadays, but why? Well, the current trend is geared toward non-dairy milks. There is nothing wrong with dairy milk; our ancestors certainly survived while drinking dairy milk—thus, if it was as harmful as some sources may claim, we certainly wouldn’t be here today. If you are lactose intolerant, then by all means, go for a non-dairy alternative, or try a lactose-free dairy option like Lactaid.


The bottom line is to consider what is best for you. Are you looking for a quality recovery option from a workout? Choose regular dairy, as it has been shown to stimulate protein repair and synthesis and replenish energy stores in the muscle. Soymilk is a good alternative in this situation if dairy is not an option for you. If you have a valid reason to not consume dairy milk, go for it. Simply be careful that you are not consuming extra of a non-dairy milk due to trendy news saying it is better for you. Each kind has its time and place.



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