SHOWDOWN: YOGURT vs. COTTAGE CHEESE

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Yogurt vs. Cottage Cheese: Which does a body better?

By Jordana Brown

February 18, 2010

FLEXONLINE.COM

A flexonline reader is hard to trick. Not only are you driven to attain mammoth muscle, you're extremely well educated in how to do that in the quickest, healthiest manner. You know, for example, that dairy products are great sources of protein. But in our never-ending quest to stump you, we have a doozy of a dairy question: Which is better for muscle — yogurt or cottage cheese?

On one hand, yogurt is heaving with calcium, particularly when compared to cottage cheese, and it also has significantly more potassium (great for postworkout recovery) and carbs than cottage cheese.

On the other hand, cottage cheese starts out the way all cheeses do, as a big mash of milk and enzymes, which cause the milk to curdle. Other cheeses get drained, pressed and aged, but cottage cheese is only drained and washed. Most of the calcium is washed away, along with most of the whey protein, but the casein protein remains intact.

THE WINNER: Cottage cheese, TKO Round 8
REASON The decision comes down to cold, hard macros. One cup (eight ounces) of low-fat cottage cheese contains a stunning 28 grams of protein; an eight-ounce container of low-fat plain yogurt contains only 12 g.

Yes, much of the whey (the milky liquid that you'll sometimes find at the bottom of the container, and yes, this is where your protein powders come from) is removed. But that is why cottage cheese is such a fantastic source of casein protein, the slow-digesting kind that will keep catabolism at bay during long periods between meals or overnight. For that reason, we recommend a nightly cup of cottage cheese. It is also high in glutamine, which can increase growth hormone levels. As for yogurt, eat it before workouts, but only if you stir a scoop of whey protein powder into it to bump up the protein to decent levels.

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