Post-workout recovery is an important part of any exercise regimen. Refuelling your body with sources of energy and raw materials to build the muscle you’re working so hard for is usually accomplished with a supplement, protein powder, or some other concoction. But what you may not know is that instead of using whole, two per cent, or almond milk, you may want to find some breast milk for that protein shake.
“People thought I was kind of crazy,” says Jameson Ritenour, whose post-workout routine includes using protein powder mixed with breast milk. “But every time someone brought it up, I was like, ‘People do this all the time. Pro athletes pay people for their breast milk.’” Ritenour got started on breast milk after his girlfriend gave birth to their three children. Any leftover milk, typically about three to four ounces, was added to his protein shakes.
As an amateur bodybuilder, Ritenour was focused on keeping his body healthy and looking good. “I felt it was just extra and it couldn’t hurt,” explains Ritenour. As odd as it may sound, Ritenour isn’t the only one and there’s even online breast milk marketplaces where people sometimes spend hundreds of dollars for a supply.
And it does actually make sense. Colostrum, the term for milk produced by mammals immediately after birth, is meant to pack on the pounds on newborn infants. Colostrum contains a growth hormone that is thought to aid in muscle recovery. It also contains oligosaccharides, a prebiotic that contains antibodies to help fight off viruses and bacteria. One cup of breast milk, on average, contains around 170 calories, ten grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, and only two grams of protein.
Of course, the emerging market for breast milk isn’t just about recovery. There are those who have “developed a taste” for it but can’t find it anywhere. There are also those who seek out breast milk for a more exotic (read: erotic) reason. Some of the big companies out there are also jumping on the wagon, such as BiomeMD and DowDuPont.
Once you’re done pounding out the miles on the treadmill or putting up the weights on the rack, you just might what to consider breast milk for that protein shake.