As the renowned bodybuilder waded through the crowd of ardent bodybuilding fans gathered at the backstage entrance of a contest venue, he was peppered with questions from the fans. One fan was heard to ask, "How much milk do you drink?" The bodybuilder, who was carrying a large painting of himself just given to him by another fan, replied, "Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer." That reply of Arnold Schwarzenegger occurred during a scene in the 1977 documentary, "Pumping Iron." In reality, that answer from Arnold may have reflected his own personal feelings, although Arnold didn't drink much beer at the time, but did not reflect the actual practice of the majority of bodybuilders back then. Milk was a staple of bodybuilders who knew that it was a great source of protein, the stuff that helps to build muscle. I can relate to that myself. I relied on milk as my primary "bulking" food between bodybuilding contest competitions. In Arnold's day, a common practice among bodybuilders was to "bulk up" between contests. As the term implies, this referred to gaining weight when a contest wasn't imminent. The goal was to pack on as much muscle as possible. Just gaining weight seemed to increase muscular strength, and that allowed the lifting of heavier weights in the gym--which would produce real muscle gains. Of course, when you added a lot of weight in a relatively short time of about seven months or so, some body fat gain was also inevitable. But the goal was to build as much muscle as possible during the bulking phase, then rely on diet for a few months to trim any body fat that may have accumulated during the bulking process. Back then, none of us who used this "bulk up, trim down" technique was aware of the fact that new fat cells can be produced in the body once a certain level of body fat is reached. The addition of these new fat cells made it increasingly difficult to get "cut" when you later went on a diet. The recognition of this effect made the old bulking-up system fall out of favor, although most competitive bodybuilders still do gain weight between contest appearances. They just don't drink a lot of milk to do so.
I didn't just drink any type of milk when I bulked up, as it was called back then. My preference was to consume raw milk or milk that had not undergone any type of processing, including Pasteurization. I did this for a number of reasons. For one, I felt that drinking raw milk was closer to nature. My gut feeling was that any processing of milk could result in some damage to the delicate protein structures found in milk. Since I was drinking milk primarily for the high-quality protein it contained, I didn't want to take a chance on consuming . . .