How Much Protein Is There in Milk?

On average, an American probably drinks more than 200 lbs of dairy milk per year. Milk is known to be a rich source of calcium, but more than that, it is also an excellent provider of high-quality protein. How much protein in milk you consume may depend on the type of product you drink. One cup of milk provides you at least 30% of the daily value. These proteins are high in the essential amino acid lysine which compliments a diet that is low in this nutrient.

How Much Protein Is There in Milk?

The type of product you consume may determine how much protein in milk you consume:

1. Whole Milk

A cup (8 ounces) of whole milk provides 7.7 g of protein. It also gives you 28% of the daily value (DV) for calcium and around 150 calories. Whole milk contains at least 3.25% milk fat and 8.25% non-fat solids, accounting for about 50% of the calories found in whole milk. Because of the high fat content, whole milk is recommended only for children up to 2 years of age.

2. Low Fat Milk

Reduced-fat (2%) and low fat milk are slightly higher in protein than whole milk. A cup of reduced-fat milk contains 8 g protein, 29% DV for calciumand 122 calories. Only 35% of its calories are from fat. On the other hand, a cup of low-fat milk (1%) provides 8.2 g protein, 30% DV and 102 calories. Only 23% of its calories come from fat. These types of milk may also be fortified with vitamins and additional protein.

3. Skim Milk

Skim milk or fat-free milk containsabout 8.3 g protein and 30% DV for calcium. However, a cup of this type of milk contains only 83 calories. Skim milk may be fortified with extra proteins and have higher calcium content. It only provides 35% DV per cup. Only 5% of the calories in skim milk come from fats.

4. Other Forms of Milk

Non-fat milk powder is often reconstituted with water and used in various recipes, like fruit smoothies to increase their nutritional value. How much protein in milk powder? One cup of reconstituted powder milk provides less calcium and protein as non-fat fluid milk, but has an equal amount of calories. Evaporated milk has 60% less water than regular milk, so it is thick as heavy cream. It is often used for cooking rather than for drinking. One cup of evaporated milk (non-fat) provides 19.3g of protein, 74% DV for calcium and 200 calories.

5. Nondairy Milk

Non-dairy milk contains varying amounts of fat, calcium and protein, depending on the type you use. One cup of fortified unsweetened soymilk has 7 g of protein, 30% DV for calcium and 80 calories. Light soymilk has fewer calories and less protein. A cup of rice or almond milk is not a significant source of protein.

Full Content of Milk

Milk contains a lot of nutrients, such as:

1. Casein

This is a protein that is slowly digested. About 80% protein in milk consists of casein which helps you feel full longer, boosts muscle repair and helps reduce fat loss.

2. Whey

This is a protein that is rapidly digested. About 20% of milk consists of whey which promotes muscle repair.


Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) consist of isoleucine, leucine and valine. Milk contains plenty of BCAAs which are important for muscle growth.

4. Carbohydrates

Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk, which is used by the body as an energy source. However, some people have difficulty digesting lactose.

5. Fat

Whole milk contains 1-3 g fat per 100 ml. Fats are digested slowly and help keep you feeling full longer.

6. Calcium

Calcium helps improve bone health and prevent loss of fat. This is especially important for preventing osteoporosis in women.

7. Water

About 87% of milk consists of water which helps in proper hydration, muscle recovery and preventing fatigue.

8. Electrolytes

Sodium and potassium are found in milk. These minerals help retain fluids which keep you properly hydrated post workout.

9. Other Nutrients

Milk contains many other important nutrients like biotin, magnesium, vitamin A, B-12, D, K and riboflavin, especially in fortified milk.

Other Sources of Good Protein

Now that you know how much protein in milk, consider other good sources of protein from a variety of foods:

1. Seafood

Seafood is a great source of high quality protein. Plus, it is also low in saturated fat. Fish like salmon is full of high healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Fish fillets contain about 22 g of protein for every 100 grams. A 6 oz can of tuna contains about 40 g of protein.

2. White-Meat of Poultry

White meat from poultry contains lean protein. Chicken breast (3.5 oz) provides around 30 g protein. Other chicken parts contain:

  • Thigh - 10 g
  • Drumstick – 11 g
  • Wing – 6 g

3. Eggs

As the least expensive provider of protein, eggs which contain about 6 g protein may be safely consumed daily as part of a healthy diet, according to the American Heart Association.

4. Beans

Half a cup of beans (black, lentils, pinto, etc.) contain the amount of protein (about 7-10 g) similar to one ounce of broiled steak. Beans are also loaded with healthy fiber to keep you full for many hours. One half cup of split peas contain about 8 g of protein.

5. Soy

Soy is a good substitute for meat sources because of its high protein and low fat content. One half cup of soybeans gives 14 g of protein. Other soy products like tofu may contain 20 g protein per half cup.

6. Lean Beef

Lean beef contains as little fat as a skinless chicken breast and is an excellent source of vitamin B12, zinc and iron. A 4-oz hamburger patty contains 28 g protein while a 6-oz steak provides 42 g. Most beef cuts provide about 7 g of protein per ounce.

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