Breastmilk is one of the healthiest and nutrient-rich food sources produced by mothers. From infection-fighting antibodies, necessary fat and proteins, breastfeeding is considered super healthy, for a baby.
However, a new health fad has gotten grown men depending on breastmilk to build muscles. Yes, you read that right.
In what may be termed as a bizarre health trend, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts are banking on the many health benefits of breastmilk to strengthen their muscles and build a more bulked up body.
The newest trend came to light after a web docuseries, ‘(Un)well’ showed one of the bodybuilders in the show make use of breastmilk, obtained from a donor to build muscles. The bodybuilder, JJ Ritenour attributes the reason behind doing so to get the best nutrition, explaining that eating like a growing “baby” will help him get fit.
“Why? If I wanna grow and be the best that I can, I’m going to eat like a baby.”
As bizarre and unheard this fad sounds, it isn’t the first time we have heard of breastmilk used like this. But does this mean breastmilk could be actually healthy for adults?
How healthy is mother’s milk?
Breastmilk is designed to help babies derive all nutrition from one food source and rapidly grow. A lot of people presume that breastmilk would carry the same benefits for grown adults too.
There’s also growing research being done which suggests that certain substances present in breastmilk could have therapeutic and beneficial effects in the treatment of the COVID-19 causing virus and work in vaccine development too.
That being said, breastmilk does carry a lot of potent benefits. It has a varied nutrient-dense profile, contains good calories and healthy antibodies which support well-being. Researchers believe those compounds may help adults with Crohn’s disease, arthritis, even autism. There are also some who say that breastmilk is more easily digestible than cow’s milk and hence, good for adults.
Benefits like these and more have pushed men to be the prime customers in the market for buying breastmilk online. Considering it to be a health craze which actually works, some gym-goers, who do not believe in the powers of steroids believe that breastmilk delivers all the energy they need. Older men, wanting to “fix” their health are also fascinated by the health benefits of breastmilk.
But is it safe for an adult to consume breastmilk?
All viable health benefits don’t necessarily equate it to being super nutritious for a grown man. It might be nutrient-dense, but it doesn’t mean it contains high traces of nutrient sources which bodybuilders generally need. Relying on the health benefits of breastmilk to build your body would undermine the working of a good diet. Nutritional benefits in breast milk get broken down differently in the gut of an infant than they do in the digestive system of an adult.
There’s also the risk of the safety of the milk procured from donors. It could be mixed, contain traces of infections or not be sanitized properly, risking transmission, since donors don’t go through rigid health screenings. Plus, the procurement could happen through unreliable, or sketchy sources (there’s an entire market on the internet for this purpose) which aren’t really helpful.
So, before you fall for this health fad, consider leaving breastmilk just for the babies!