Monday, January 24, 2011

Does Milk Leach Calcium from Your Bones?

There's an article on USA Triathlon's website claiming that
"Dairy products are the most acidic foods we can put in our bodies. While a serving of milk might be high in calcium, the net affect [sic] it has on the body is acidic, so the body must leach this precious mineral from our bones in an attempt to buffer. The net take-home is that you’re better off eating a cup of raw kale with 94 mg calcium than a cup of milk with 300, since the former is so much more alkaline to the body. "
What a load of crap...lemon juice, orange juice, vinegar, and soda are WAY more acidic (I'm talking 10,000 times more acidic)! I studied (minored in) chemistry in undergrad and I immediately called BS on the author, Nell Stephenson. In case you want to see for yourself, here's a reputable website that can teach you a little about pH (which deals with acidity).

While your body may decide to leach calcium from your bones in order to buffer a ton of acid, there are lots of other, more easily available options (such as the calcium in the milk itself!). Oh, and guess what else is really acidic in your body........STOMACH ACID! Putting milk into your stomach will momentarily raise the pH of the contents of your stomach (make it less acidic).

I thought that USAT could be counted on to be a reliable source of information for triathletes looking to educate themselves on how to improve their training. Apparently I was wrong.
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