Gluten is a shit protein source that nobody really needs to eat and some people must avoid it at all costs (the percentage of the population is debatable). The only real negatives to avoiding gluten are financial and social (and they are very real).
NOW, dairy is different. Dairy is one of the highest quality protein sources on the planet and in terms of muscle anabolism for training clients whey outperforms all other protein sources. It’s also insulinogenic which can very useful for the gainz train.
Dairy is also one of the top 8 most common food reactivities. Thus, before you go Saving all the Bros with an Organic Valley Slip N Slide make sure your body can handle dairy. This involves asking four questions.
1. Can you digest lactose? Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products that is broken down by lactulose (an enzyme). A lot of humans lose this enzyme as we age. For instance, nearly 100% of Asians can’t digest lactose, 50% of Hispanics, and 70-90% of African Americans. I’m almost all northern European white boy and my genetic data tells me that I’m likely fine practicing some inter-species breast feeding beyond my baby years.
2. Check for an IgE response to dairy – this is an all-out hypersensitivity allergy. People who have these generally know. They get a post-nasal drip right after that first bite of cheesecake or they get some other kind of IgE histamine mediated response – hives, itching, breathing difficulties, redness, tearing, etc. You can check for this by going to an allergist for a skin prick test or through a blood draw.
3. Check for a delayed immunoreactivites via IgG or IgA. These are tags that the immune system can create to multiple components of dairy products so now when the client eats those proteins the immune system gets ramped up. I test for this via Cyrex but there are other lab companies that do this as well. I have written about this a ton on FMCR if you want more info.
4. Eliminate dairy for 30 days and then put it back in. See how you feel. How is your skin? How is your digestion? How is your mood? Do you crave dairy? Be the watcher!
If you can consume dairy – great – buy the highest quality dairy you can and use it as an ergogenic aid. This is not an excuse to buy conventional dairy from cows who are mistreated and pumped full of hormones. If you can’t have dairy you must let go of your cultural attachment. There are tons of alternatives right now and there will be even more as the market grows, so you literally have no excuse other than you don’t want to be different or “Ben – it’s just too hard. I love ice cream.”
Goat milk looks almost exactly like cow’s milk. So probably not a viable alternative. Camel milk is jumping on the scene and is molecularly quite different and only time will tell on this one. Also, who knows what other mammals we will start milking. Whale milk? I’m not going to milk it but I’d try it.
Coconut milk and almond milk are surprisingly easy to make. You can also buy them but if you are IgA and IgG sensitive to dairy be careful with a lot of the additives in those products.
Have a great weekend. Save the Bros.
Great article Ben! I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on milk pasteurization and homogonization assuming the cows were fed grass and allowed to roam, treated well, etc. Thanks!