Weighing the benefits of exercise and dairy consumption

Milk has always been associated with good bone health. But now thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Dairy Farmers of Canada, researchers at Brock University will closely examine the connections between low-fat dairy products, exercise and healthy living.

The study will look at the composition of low-fat milk, which has a number of characteristics similar to traditional sports drinks, to find new ways of optimizing low-fat dairy intake and physical activity within populations at risk of becoming obese.

Brian Roy, director of the Centre for Bone and Muscle Health at Brock

Brian Roy, director of the Centre for Bone and Muscle Health at Brock

“Recent evidence points to bioactive components in milk that we want to better understand,” says Brian Roy, director of the Centre for Bone and Muscle Health at Brock. “These components may help to promote the healthy changes that occur with increased physical activity.”

“Results from this study will provide us with valuable data on the benefits of low-fat dairy intake on body composition, weight management and overall health,” says Roy. “We want to make sure that people get the most for their health out of physical activity and nutrition.”

Low-fat dairy represents a more complete food choice compared to traditional sports drinks. It provides individuals with a great source of proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Roy is working with co-investigators Wendy Ward, Paul LeBlanc and Sandra Peters who are all associate professors in Kinesiology and Community Health Sciences at Brock, and Mark Tarnopolsky a professor in Pediatrics and Medicine at McMaster University.

“Pooling our expertise is a great way to collect data that will be instrumental in furthering our understanding of the interaction between dairy and daily exercise,” says Roy.

“Maintaining a healthy body weight is a serious challenge for Canadians of all ages. We want to make a difference in people who are at risk and help tip them back towards a healthier lifestyle.”

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