Fermented Milk: Does It Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

Should you be drinking fermented milk? A recent study shows that it can prevent or reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.

Fermented Milk

Got milk? How about fermented milk? We'll wait for the gag reflex to pass…

Better? Good. Now let's talk about the health advantages you can secure from drinking fermented milk—a cultured dairy product made by adding lactic acid bacteria, mold or yeast to milk. It has a taste that some describe as "tart" or "acidic." Many people enjoy the taste, while others say it takes getting used to.

A recent study in Japan examined the effects of fermented milk on exercise-induced muscle damage. Eighteen young men participated in the study, which consisted of three trials: rest, exercise with a placebo, and exercise with the fermented milk. During the exercise trials, the subjects performed five sets of Leg Presses and five sets of Bench Presses at 70 to 100% and a 12-repetition maximum.

Some subjects drank a glass of fermented milk before and after exercise. The results: the fermented milk significantly reduced muscle soreness compared to the placebo. A previous study done in 2006 on rats concluded that fermented milk lessens delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The studies suggest that fermented milk reduces inflammation, stress and muscle damage caused by physical exertion.

To see if fermented milk helps prevent soreness in your muscles, try Kefir, a fermented milk product that has a texture like Greek yogurt. You should be able to find it in health food stores or in the dairy aisle of most grocery stores.

Learn more about supplements that contain healthy bacteria like the kind found in fermented milk.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

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