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Muscle building is a science and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work, a carefully calibrated die, and more work to look like a chiseled Adonis. There aren’t that many natural, high-quality protein sources in the world, which becomes an even bigger problem when you’re lactose intolerant.
Dairy is one of the most recommended protein sources because it contains casein and whey proteins – very beneficial for your muscles! However, if lactose gets you bloated, dairy is no longer accessible to you. So what can you do?
First, it’s important to know you’re not alone. A large proportion of the population is lactose intolerant, and undoubtedly a number of those affected are bodybuilders. Some bodybuilders have such a powerful allergic reaction that they can’t even process lactose found in some protein powders. But they are still bodybuilders, so there are most certainly solutions to this common problem.
Supplements and Products without Lactose
A way to deal with this situation is through lactase enzyme supplements. If you take these supplements before consuming dairy, you should reap all the benefits without having to go through the hell produced by intolerance.
They don’t work for everyone so you should discuss this with your GP or doctor first. It’s also a bit of a guessing game until you learn the necessary dose for your body, and experimentation is required initially. Finally, when you choose such a supplement, make sure they are produced according to FSA standards.
Another way to help your muscles grow without having to worry about the devastating effects of lactose is with specially tailored supplements. There is an abundance of lactose-free protein powder on the market, created specifically to solve this issue.
Food for Lactose Intolerant Muscle Builders
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If you’re looking to bulk up, you’ll need to maintain a high-quality diet, but you also have to eat frequent meals. This can be a problem for lactose-intolerant people because the menu can get repetitive after a while.
Supplements are a good idea, but you shouldn’t rely on them too much and forget about high-quality foods. It’s important to maintain balance in your diet so you may be forced to think out of the box. First, it’s important to get your proteins from natural sources such as eggs, seafood, fish, chicken, turkey, pork, nuts and seeds, lean beef, soy, and beans (more here).
Foods that can Replace Dairy
They may not taste the same, but they will refresh your diet and bring a new set of proteins to the table. Below is a list of foods that can successfully replace dairy in your day-to-day diet:
- Soy milk – a source of good proteins without cholesterol, low saturated fats, or lactose
- Canola oil – it can replace butter in various recipes
- Coconut milk – rich in good saturated fats that help lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.
- Tofu or tempeh – to use as a replacement for cheese (it’s by no means the same taste, but a great option to consider)
If your lactose intolerance is mild, you can try replacing the regular milk you find in stores with goats milk. This type of milk is high in fatty acids but it’s easily absorbed by the body because it has smaller fat particles. If this works, there is an entire line of goat dairy products you can try. (See also: Top Training Myths that Probably Holds you Back in Building Muscles)
At the end of the day, lactose-intolerant people can still build muscle effectively. It’s true that you have to be more particular with your diet, but it will feel so much better when you succeed. Through a combination of high-quality proteins and tailored supplements, today’s generation has an abundance of tools at their disposal to build muscle whilst being lactose intolerant.
About The Author:
Claire Ward is a health and fitness enthusiast with a passion for helping us to optimize performance and create a healthy lifestyle.