A new Canadian study showed that drinking milk instead of sports drinks after workout increases chances of muscle gain and fat loss. It is believed that the reason lies in the milk’s high content of carbohydrates that provides energy and as well as high quality protein that few sports drinks have. The way milk proteins are digested by the body may confer some benefits as well.

Previous research has already demonstrated that is crucial what exercisers eat and drink in the one or two hours after a workout for gaining muscles and loosing weight.

The study involved 56 men aged 18 to 30 who signed up for a rigorous five-day-a-week weightlifting program over a 12-week period. The participants were assigned to three different groups based on the drink they had after the workout.

One group drank skim milk, another soy drink with identical ratios of nutrients and a third group got a sports drink. All three beverages contained the same amount of calories and tasted identically packed in opaque containers so participants would not know what exactly they were drinking.

At the end of the study, all the participants gained muscle mass and lost fat, however the milk drinkers had the best results. They lost around two pounds of fat each in comparison to one pound for those in the sports-drink group while the soy-beverage drinkers neither lost nor gained fat. Further more, the milk drinkers gained on average 2.5 pounds more muscle than the soy-beverage drinkers and 3.3 pounds more than the sports-drink group.

Researchers recommend a glass of cold milk after a workout because it is refreshing, it rehydrates you and it helps restore muscles. It also contains nine essential nutrients and Canada's new food guide recommended two to four servings of milk, dairy products or milk alternatives daily as part of a healthy diet.