Grown men do a lot of really weird stuff. Some drink breast milk as a sexual fetish. Others, though, have begun to do drink breast milk in order to enhance their workout performance.
At least that’s why they say they do it.
Human breast milk is a high protein and high fat food (usually). It’s designed to help our little ones achieve their largest growth spurt, which occurs in the first six months of life.
But now, our physique-obsessed male culture has taken to drinking breast milk as a growth-enhancer of sorts. The trend is illustrated in the 2013 movie “Pain & Gain.”
Some women produce excessive amounts of breast milk and have historically donated or sold it to women who don’t produce enough milk for their babies, or for families who have adopted infants and want them to have human breast milk.
Bodybuilding men, though, will pay top dollar for human breast milk, which the website OnlytheBreast.com calls “liquid gold.” Most of the customers who visit the website are women, but an eyebrow-raising one-third of the customers are men.
“One St. Louis provider catering to athletes boasts that her milk is best because she adheres to a “Paleo-style diet with added grass-fed butter,” only organic foods, and a daily regimen of supplements including charcoal and probiotics,” reports Outside Magazine.
The grown men who drink human breast milk say it’s far superior to cow’s milk and the best for bodybuilding. They even say it helps to boost immunity. New York Magazine reported that human breast milk is…wait for it…the energy drink of the future. As a currently breastfeeding mom, I just got a little chill from typing that.
Okay. So it’s creepy. But there’s a “but.” A big but. (And not just because I also did something creepy: I ate my baby’s placenta.)
Men who would be likely candidates to juice up with steroids and other body-damaging performance enhancers are now opting instead for breast milk.
“It gives me incredible energy I don’t get from other food and drinks,” a breast milk drinker named Anthony told New York Magazine. Anthony buys it online for about $2.50 an ounce, the magazine reports. ““I don’t believe in steroids or other energy supplements, none of that garbage,” he said in a phone interview. “I want natural stuff that’s God-given, and if it’s okay with moms looking to get rid of it, I’ll take it.”
Avoiding ‘roid rage and the numerous health risks that come from the garbage many athletes frequently use to grow muscles is a healthy step up, but according to Bo Lonnerdal, a professor of nutrition and internal medicine at University of California at Davis, “I don’t see much sense in it all,” she told Outside. “It doesn’t provide more energy than other drinks with the same energy content.”
According to Outside, “a liter of breast milk has only one-third the total protein of cow’s milk. And it contains nearly twice as much lactose sugar, making it sweeter than cow’s milk and a poor choice for those who are lactose intolerant. Then there’s breast milk’s fat content, which varies widely based on the donor’s diet.” And the supposed benefits of breast milk that these grown men say enhance their performances, aren’t likely to pass through the stomach of an adult male—adult stomachs are “highly likely [to] break down bioactive components like lactoferrin and immunoglobulins long before they could have any potential function,” Lonnerdal said.
So if it will keep men off of steroids and there are willing women to sell their milk, that’s okay. I guess. But perhaps it will also bring more much-needed public acceptance to breastfeeding—and women’s breasts in general. They are, after all, designed to nurture human growth. We need to be mindful of that at every age.
Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
Related on EcoSalon
Yep, It’s Really All About the Breasts
‘Too Skinny’ Mannequins Cause Outrage, or is the Obesity Epidemic the Real Problem?
Boobs Aren’t News: UK Campaign Takes on Rupert Murdoch’s Page 3