Research Outline

Canadian Athlete Perceptions of Milk


To understand Canadian athlete and athletic household perceptions and consumption habits of (dairy) milk.

Early Findings

  • Specific perceptions among Canadian athletes were difficult to find, however some inferences can be drawn from the general public.
  • Milk consumption has not been following population increases.
  • Yogurt consumption and variety of cheese consumption has increased.
  • Dairy consumption is influenced by perceived health effects, nutritional value, taste, socio-affective aspects and practicality. Friends & family, health professionals and advisors also affect consumption.
  • While there are articles either promoting or denouncing milk consumption for athletes, it is difficult to include them as true "perceptions" as most are sponsored (or influenced by) special interests like dairy farmers or vegan groups.
  • Some popular athletes have made the news by announcing they would never drink milk. Conversely, some athletes (or athlete teams) are paid to promote milk so again their public opinions are difficult to separate from paid sponsorships.
  • One small study did show greater composite strength increases in adolescent athletes drinking chocolate milk versus a carbohydrate supplement.
  • In a survey on consumers' opinions of beverages, "Not far behind was new flavor, a coupon, environmentally friendly packaging and reported benefits for hydration or exercise recovery...High protein, better nutrition, longer shelf life, curiosity, and addition of probiotics were noted as the main concepts that would increase their willingness or desire to try a new dairy based beverage."
  • Another study in North Carolina showed, "Conjoint importance scores of all fluid milk consumers showed that milkfat content was the most important attribute, followed by flavor, package size, and price."