Dairy & Heart Health – How Much Milk Should You Drink?

As children, we were always encouraged to finish our milk cartons so that we could grow up to be big and strong.

Milk cartons were offered to us for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we even got to drink them at school.

Dairy & Heart Health – How Much Milk Should You Drink?

Now that you’re older, you are likely aware of many of the benefits that cow’s milk can provide the human body… but do you know how much milk you should be drinking on a daily basis?

In this article, we will look into how much calcium you should be consuming daily, along with the pros and cons to drinking cow’s milk (and what your alternatives are).

Is Cow’s Milk Good For You?

It is no secret that cow’s milk is packed with nutrients, and is very good for your health overall.

It is a great source of calcium, protein, iron, iodine, and Vitamin 12, amongst other minerals and vitamins.

Depending on the kind of cow’s milk you drink, it can be fairly low in calories, too.

Obviously, if you were to drink gallons of full-fat milk every single day, your health would likely decline, despite the fact that you would be gaining a ton of calcium.

There are plenty of arguments against drinking cow’s milk (more on that later), but all in all, it is a healthy food source that is good for you in moderation.

However, if you suffer any sort of intolerance to milk, or dairy in general, you should obviously avoid drinking milk.

In these cases, consuming milk will cause your health to decline, rather than build it up.

How Much Milk Should You Drink A Day?

Calcium is a very important nutrient that all human beings need in order to remain healthy.

A lack of calcium can cause a person’s bones to weaken, and may lead to:

  • Weakened bones
  • Decaying teeth
  • Brittle nails
  • Weakened hair
  • Dry skin

Therefore, it is essential that you know how much calcium you need (see also: Treating Anxiety With Acupuncture – What You Need To Know)to keep your body strong and healthy.

Your ideal daily calcium intake will vary, however, depending on your age and your gender.

How Much Milk A Male Should Drink

A male between the ages of 18 to 70 should have a daily intake of 1000 mg of calcium.

This increases when the male reaches his seventies; at this point, they should increase their intake to 1200 mg.

When a person gets older, their bones become weaker. Therefore, the need for calcium intake increases.

If a male was to only gain calcium through consuming cow’s milk, they would need to drink between 3 and 4 cups a day.

How Much Milk A Female Should Drink

A female between the ages of 18 to 50 should, ideally, have a daily intake of 1000 mg of calcium.

Once the female reaches her fifties, her calcium intake should increase to 1200 per day.

Females are at a higher risk of developing bone issues as they get older, including osteoporosis.

Therefore, it is important that they consume enough calcium throughout the day to keep their bones healthy.

If a female was to gain all of their calcium through drinking cow’s milk, they would need to drink 3 to 4 cups a day.

How Much Milk A Child Should Drink 

From the age of 9, children should be consuming a lot more calcium, as this is crucial for the development of their bones.

Before this age, however, the amount should be limited, and should be increased gradually as they grow.

A child aged between a year old and 3-years-old should be consuming 500 mg of calcium per day.

This increases to 700 mg when the child turns 4, and increases again – to 1300 mg – when they turn 9.

Children aged 1–3 years should drink a glass and a half per day, at minimum, to gain the recommended amount of calcium.

Between 4–8 years, they should drink around 2 and a half glasses, while those between 9 and 18 should drink 4 to 5.

What Food And Drink Contains Calcium?

Dairy & Heart Health – How Much Milk Should You Drink?

Cow’s milk is not the only way that you can put calcium into your diet.

Dairy is one of the most well-known options, and is also the most popular food group for people who are suffering from calcium deficiency. 

Dairy foods that contain the most amounts of calcium include cheese and yogurt.

One ounce of cheddar cheese contains around 200 mg of calcium, while a 125 g pot of low-fat, plain yogurt contains the same amount.

If you are lactose intolerant, or you choose not to eat or drink animal products due to your own beliefs, it can be more difficult to find sources of calcium to keep yourself healthy.

However, not all hope is lost, as there are plenty of calcium-filled foods to select from.

Leafy greens are a great source of calcium, especially kale, watercress, and collard greens.

Kale is particularly rich in calcium; 100 g of this green superfood will provide a person with up to 254 mg of calcium.

Beans are also rich in calcium, making them perfect for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.

You will find over 200 mg of calcium in an average tin of baked beans, but the most calcium can be gained by eating tofu, which contains 315 mg per serving.

Fish is also a great source of calcium. 50 g of tinned sardines will contain roughly 200 mg, while 105 g of pink salmon contains 100 mg.

There are so many foods available that are packed with calcium that you may not even know about.

Therefore, if you want to add more calcium to your diet, this is your reminder that cow’s milk is not your only option.

In fact, dairy products in general are not your only option!

Is Cow’s Milk Bad For You?

Earlier in this guide, we discussed why cow’s milk can be good for your health. Now, it is time to take a look at the alternative side of the argument.

The biggest argument against drinking cow’s milk is that it was not made for us to consume.

Cow’s milk is naturally produced to feed calves, and is not naturally manufactured for us, as human beings, to gain many benefits from it (despite the fact that we do).

While we can gain so many benefits from drinking cow’s milk, there are some common negative effects that can arise from doing so.

The most common issue that comes up is related to our skin.

Many people suffer acne breakouts, dry skin, and even eczema through drinking too much cow’s milk.

More research is currently required to understand why cow’s milk can affect our skin, but it is a side effect that we cannot ignore.

Cow’s milk has also been shown to be linked to certain types of cancers, including prostate and ovarian.

It is believed that this occurs due to the amount of calcium in cow’s milk, along with the naturally occurring sugars.

So, as we said earlier, cow’s milk can be very healthy when drunk in moderation.

We do not recommend going overboard, however, as this beverage can cause just as much harm as it does good.

If you want to build up your calcium intake, but you don’t want to rely too much on dairy products, perhaps you should look into eating more leafy green vegetables, or trying tofu.

Final Thoughts

The average adult should be aiming to drink 1000 mg of calcium per day, in order to keep their bones strong, and their bodies healthy.

This would equal to between 3 and 4 full glasses of milk a day.

However, you do not have to rely solely on cow’s milk to gain calcium.

There are plenty of other sources out there, including green leafy vegetables, beans, and even fish.

You don’t have to drink any milk a day, if you do not want to, but you will need to find a way to keep your calcium levels on the up somehow. 

We hope you found this guide helpful.

Clare McAfee
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