Calcium and protein. Digestive enzymes. Stomach absorption. And why milk is great for babies and bodybuilders alike.
“Got milk?” was one of the most “influential” advertising campaigns in the United States. It ran from 1993 to 2014, and is credited with raising awareness and sales (in some markets). One reason for its success was the funny ads it ran (for example, the one from the Super Bowl of 2013 below).
Another reason – and a big one – for its success must surely be its nutritional value. Most of us would have been told that milk is good for a baby’s development, for strengthening bones, and for bodybuilding enthusiasts. These great benefits are the result of the calcium and proteins found in milk.
And the reason milk is so rich in calcium and proteins is because of a type of protein called caseins. Caseins form 80% of the proteins in cow milk. Caseins have the unique property that it is bound to calcium and phosphorus as “clusters of casein molecules, called ‘micelles’“.
It is thus these caseins that make calcium soluble in milk; without caseins then, milk would not have the calcium that is used by babies for their rapid bone structure growth and development.
At the same time, our stomach has a protease (a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins) called chymosin. During digestion in the stomach, the chymosin converts the caseins into lumps of smaller proteins, effectively curdling the milk and turning it “semisolid like cottage cheese“.
As it is semisolid, the stomach has more time to digest and absorb the proteins in the milk. In fact, this absorption can last up to 7 hours or more. The better absorption of proteins is the reason why milk is consumed by sports enthusiasts. The proteins helps the body recover from strenuous exercise. They also build muscle, which is of course what many athletes need to do.
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photos: in order – depositphotos/designer491; teresaterra; Am_Wolna; aallm