A recent New York Magazine feature entitled “Meet the Men Who Drink Breast Milk” set off a flurry of interest in what, to many, must have seemed the wackiest of wacky new fitness trends. Of course, exercise buffs are probably familiar with the practice: In the body-building community, the purported nutritional benefits of breast milk have been the subject of (colorful) conversation in forum threads for years. One particularly enthusiastic proponent calls breast milk the best supplement ever, citing a number of famous bodybuilders who have used it for significant gains over the last few decades — including Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Like most everything else these days, breast milk is relatively easy to come by on the Internet. It goes without saying that, for women who would like to breastfeed their children but are unable to do so — because they’ve undergone a mastectomy, for example, or because their bodies simply don’t produce enough milk on their own — sites like OnlyTheBreast.com are a godsend. As I found out, they’re also great for dudes looking to make some serious muscle gains — as well as, apparently, those with a breastfeeding kink.
I ended up ordering 36 ounces of milk, enough for three post-workout portions. In order to obtain the most accurate findings possible, I made sure to keep the length and intensity of my workouts (as well as the amount of time between workout and milk consumption) constant in the weeks before, during, and after the breast milk phase of the experiment. For the sake of comparison, in addition to the breast milk, I also included phases of a) nonfat cow’s milk and b) my go-to protein shake: cow’s milk; low-carb, dairy-free protein powder; a banana; and frozen fruit.
Truly horrifying aftertaste notwithstanding, I have to admit that the stuff actually worked. Compared to both the milk and the vitamin- and protein-packed smoothie, the breast milk facilitated what honestly felt like a miraculous post-workout recovery. Even after a two-hour, full-body routine of cardio (Spinning) and weight-lifting, 12 ounces of breast milk made me feel like I had just awoken from a three-hour nap, completely revitalized and ready for the rest of my day. Within 10 minutes of gulping down each dose, I felt light, strong, and full of energy — like my heavy-duty workout had been nothing more than a dream.