May 19, 2021
Contact: Michele Brier,

MilkPEP Debuts ‘You’re Gonna Need Milk for That’ Campaign

New data and updated nutrition labeling rules push milk past sports drinks

Got Nutrients? Milk certainly does – and now it can claim four more performance essentials, pushing the beverage to a natural nutrient content level that few other single foods or beverages can compete with – especially formulated sports drinks. Milk has fueled athletes for centuries and, especially now with these upgraded nutrition credentials, stands alone as the original sports drink, delivering a powerful combination of natural nutrients that aid muscle repair, rehydration and replenishment, while also helping to build strong bones and support immune health.

Rest assured, Darigold’s milk is still milk and what is inside is what’s always been inside. Updated nutrient daily values for nutrition labeling, which can be found on all Darigold products, and updated government nutrition databases have provided data that show that more nutrients in milk meet the threshold of being a good or excellent source.

Since 1927, Darigold’s milk has provided the Alabama area with nine essential nutrients, including calcium, protein and vitamin D. Now, milk is a good or excellent source of four more vital nutrients: potassium, zinc, selenium and iodine. These recent updates support what sports nutritionists and trainers have advocated for years – as a naturally nutrient-rich way to fuel athletic performance, milk is a clear choice for athletes.

A side-by-side comparison of the nutrient makeup of milk and sports drinks reveals milk’s nutrient package. Milk provides 13 nutrients and has only three ingredients (milk, vitamins A and D), while typical sports drinks contain as many as 12 ingredients, including added sugars, flavors and colors.1 Milk delivers a nutrient package that athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages need, including many not found in formulated sports drinks:

  • A natural source of high-quality protein to build, repair and maintain lean muscle.
  • Vitamin A, zinc and selenium to support a healthy immune system.
  • 4 B vitamins – riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and vitamin B12 – to help convert food into energy.
  • Calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and protein to build and maintain strong bones and reduce the risk for stress fractures.
  • Iodine to help regulate metabolism.
  • Potassium* to help maintain normal muscle function and regulate the balance of fluids in the body.

“Milk has always been and continues to be a staple item in my fridge. It fueled me throughout my athletic career from youth to pro, and now helps me to fuel my pro athlete husband and our growing athlete kids! The science and firsthand experience was already enough to recommend milk for athletic performance, but I’m excited to have a few more reasons to add to the arsenal,”

said Briana Butler, MCN, RDN, LD, a performance and sports dietitian who advises athletes. Butler often reminds her clients of the beverage’s power as a nutrient-rich aid to performance.

Milk is a natural choice when it comes to electrolytes, providing many of the same electrolytes that are added to many commercial recovery drinks (calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium) along with fluids that help rehydrate. In fact, some research suggests milk may help athletes stay more hydrated post-exercise compared to formulated sports drinks, and even water.2-4 Milk’s high-quality protein also has been shown to help athletes gain more lean muscle and lose fat when compared to drinking a carb-only beverage, as part of a regular workout and recovery routine.5-7

*Based on the 2019 DRI for potassium established by National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine 1Source: USDA FoodData Central online at

2Seery S, Jakeman P. A metered intake of milk following exercise and thermal dehydration restores whole-body net fluid balance better than a carbohydrate–electrolyte solution or water in healthy young men. British Journal of Nutrition. 2016; 1-9.

3Maughan RJ, Watson P, Cordery PA, Walsh NP, Oliver SJ, Dolci A, Rodriguez-Sanchez N, Stuart DR. A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015;103:1-7.

4Martin BR, Davis S, Campbell WW, Weaver CM. Exercise and calcium supplementation: effects on calcium homeostasis in sports women.Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2007; 39:1481-1486.5

5Hartman JW, Tang JE, Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Lawrence RL, Fullerton AV, Phillips SM. Consumption of fat free fluid milk following resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than soy or carbohydrate consumption in young novice male weightlifters. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;86:373-381.

6Josse AR, Tang JE, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Body composition and strength changes in women with milk and resistance exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2010;42:1122-1130.

7McCleave EL, Ferguson-Stegall L, Ding Z, Doerner PG, Liu Y, Kammer L, Wang B, Wang W, Hwang J, Ivy JL. Effects of aerobic training and nutritional supplementation on body composition, immune cells and inflammatory markers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011; 23:442.