Calcium & Bone Health – More Than Just Milk

Hey Everyone! My name is Kailey and I write for a blog called The Caffeinated Runner.
First off, I am so happy to be writing a guest post for Melanie. Her blog is pretty epic 🙂

Anyways, a little bit about myself – I am a junior majoring in Dietetics at Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) I have a huge passion for all things fitness and nutrition related. I’ve run 4 half marathons and 1 full marathon. Currently, I am training for my second marathon in April! Bone health in endurance athletes, artificial sweeteners and product development are just a few things I could talk your ear off about.

Maybe your mom was onto something when she forced you to finish your glass of milk with dinner. If you are anything like me, finishing that tall, white glass of milk was a chore. Since I was very young, I have hated milk. However, there is no denying that calcium is vital for bone health.

By the age of 20, most women have peak bone mass. Yet, this isn’t always the case for most women. With the media telling us to remove the cheese to remove fat and calories, many women ages 19 to 30 aren’t getting the suggested 1000 mg of calcium. By not getting enough calcium in our diets, there is an increased risk of osteoporosis, which means porous bones. Osteoporosis sets women up for fractures later in life.

To ensure you don’t develop this debilitating condition, loading your diet with calcium is key! Dairy products like low-fat cheeses, low-fat or fat-free yogurt (yes, this includes Greek yogurt too!) and/or low fat or fat free milk are fabulous sources to maintain bone health. Top your yogurt with some almonds and you’ll be getting a double dose of calcium! Vegan? Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and bok-choy, offer up good doses of calcium. Additionally, calcium fortified foods are a great backup. Don’t go loading up on calcium rich foods and a supplement just yet. Our bodies only absorb a maximum of 500 mg in one sitting so it is best to space calcium rich foods throughout the day.

Calcium isn’t the only mineral that aids with bone health. Vitamin D, which comes mainly from the sun, is critical for the absorption of calcium. Magnesium has also been shown to help bones absorb dietary calcium. Make sure you aren’t eating too much protein or high sodium foods. These two nutrients rob our bones of calcium and are excreted via the kidneys.

However, it is important to note that food isn’t the only way to build good bones. Weight bearing exercise, such as walking, hiking, running and dancing, all helps with reaching peak bone mass.



Thank you Kailey for that great information! I hope everyone is doing well!

xoxo, Melanie

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