Does drinking milk make you taller?

by   |   Mar 08, 2023
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Nobody is exactly sure as to where the claim comes from. It might be a sort of intuitive understanding, deriving from the belief that newborns of any mammal species drink milk during a period of rapid growth. It was in the 1920s that milk was increasingly promoted as an essential for childhood nutrition by a few disparate threads.

Following this event, the next few decades brought about extensive research into the correlation between milk and height as well as the discovery of most of the minerals and vitamins we know today. Various healthcare institutions have got heavily involved in childhood nutrition since the beginning, with vigorous efforts in pushing the idea that milk is strongly linked to height growth in children. But is it actually true? Can drinking milk make you taller? Let’s discover in the upcoming article on HowToGrowTaller.

What are the main ingredients in milk?

Milk is nutrient-rich liquid food because its ingredients are packed with essential nutrients in a form that is absorbed by the body with ease [1].

  • Water is the main component of milk because it holds up to 87%.
  • Carbohydrates make up about 5% of milk, mainly in the form of simple sugar lactose.
  • Fat makes up about 3.4%.
  • Protein makes up about 3.3% and is divided into two groups, including casein (82%) and whey protein (12%).
  • Vitamins play a vital role in our body, and there is a variety of vitamins in milk, including vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
  • Minerals include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, zinc, sodium, and selenium.

Does milk make you taller?

Does milk help you grow taller? To answer that question, first, we have to figure out which variables are responsible for your height.

The first variable to come to everyone’s mind is genetics. Indeed, your genes play a big role in your height, and most of the variation in height is determined by whatever genes your parents pass on to you. The other variables are environmental factors such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, and living environment.

Some infectious diseases can impede your growth as the body devotes tremendous energy to staving off the infection instead of increasing height, which potentially leaves a permanent impact on height.

Each person has their own potential height which means the height they will grow up to if nothing goes wrong, for instance, disease or malnutrition. Although your height is already programmed by genetics, the best thing you can do to reach that predetermined height or even surpass it is to take good care of the different variables affecting your height growth.

Milk is found to contain a protein called insulin-like growth factor 1, more commonly known as IGF-1, a protein naturally produced by the human body. IGF-1 has the function of triggering overall growth; in other words, it tells all sorts of cells, be they blood, tissue, or bone, to reproduce through division and duplication. IGF-1 supplements are also used to treat children with height disorders. For this reason, it is a major contributor to a person’s vertical growth.

Insulin-like growth factor 1.

What is more interesting about this protein is that people who drink milk have higher levels of IGF-1 in their bloodstream. Studies have indicated that something about milk stimulates milk drinkers to produce more IGF-1. However, the belief that drinking milk to take extra IGF-1 and grow taller than your genetically predetermined height is not unanimous with a lack of solid evidence.

So, what really are the benefits of drinking milk then?

This is not to say no to your question of “Can milk make you taller?”; in fact, quite the opposite. Milk is incredibly rich in protein and has a bunch of minerals and vitamins in it. It is a very nutritious food. As part of a diet, milk apparently contributes to a child’s nutrition. Thanks to substantial subsidies from the government, milk is also an exceedingly cheap source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fat, and calories, altogether greatly benefiting childhood and teenage nutrition.

Does drinking milk make you taller?

Notwithstanding this, so far there has been no research stating that milk has any magical powers beyond being an inexpensive nutritious food. This is partly due to the fact that most of the research on this topic is flawed and extremely basic. Moreover, the lack of clear science also results from the serious difficulty in figuring out the effect of milk on children’s development.

It would take a large sample size to be under investigation over a period of decades. The researcher would need to control for roughly a million variables ranging from genetics and activity levels to socioeconomic status and the rest of the studied population’s diet.

Besides, since it has become common knowledge that drinking milk will make you grow, there are hardly any well-controlled studies that take into consideration the fact that you are also just getting fats, calories, or protein when you drink milk. More importantly, no one is super keen on funding that kind of study, least of all the dairy industry which understandably would not be interested in supporting a study proving its advertisements are wrong.

What about other kinds of milk?

Recent research has revealed that children who drink plant-based milk are shorter by 0.4 cm on average compared with those who drink cow’s milk. Youngsters who drink alternative milk are also shorter than the average height for their age. Although the reason as to why drinking non-cow’s milk reduces children’s height is not examined, researchers speculate that young people who have non-cow’s milk may consume less fat and protein, which is responsible for their stunted growth.

Height is an important indicator of children’s overall growth and development. While cow’s milk has been a reliable source of fat and protein which ensure proper growth in childhood and adolescence, many parents are now switching to non-cow’s milk for their children. As the nutritional contents of most non-cow’s milk are not regulated by the government, it may have lower nutritional contents in comparison with cow’s milk.

In addition, little research is available on the impact of non-cow’s milk on children’s development because the shift toward purchasing alternative milk has been relatively recent. This, therefore, makes it difficult for consumers to consider the pros and cons of selecting non-cow’s milk over cow’s for their children.

Does almond milk make you taller?

But if you cannot drink cow’s milk, will non-dairy substitutes for milk help you get taller?

The truth is that cow’s milk is not for everyone due to many reasons, including milk allergy, lactose intolerance, and dietary restrictions. If you need or want to avoid cow’s milk, you can try some of the best cow’s milk alternatives below.

Almond milk

Almond milk was one of the first plant-based milk to hit the market. It is lower in calories and delivers a silky and neutral flavor that mixes well with tea, coffee, smoothies, and cereals. It is also rich in vitamin E, a group of antioxidants to protect the body from free radicals. But if you are drinking almond milk, make sure to add other healthy sources of protein and calcium.

Soy milk

Soy milk is a popular non-dairy option because it is low in saturated fats, cholesterol-free, and high in protein. As compared to cow’s milk, it is the most similar in nutrition. However, if it is sweetened, it can be high in calories. Importantly, if you have a soy allergen, you should avoid it.

Rice milk

Since rice milk is free from soy, nuts, and gluten, it is the least allergenic of non-dairy milk. It has a similar number of calories to cow’s milk, yet nearly double the carbohydrates and less fat and protein.

Oat milk


Oat milk is a more trendy and recent addition to plant-based milk. As compared to cow’s milk, it is similar in calories, half the amount of fat and protein, and double the number of carbohydrates. Interestingly, it is high in beta-glucan and fiber, which is necessary for lowering cholesterol levels.

Hemp milk

Hemp milk is one of the modern plant-based milk to arise. However, it is growing fast in popularity because it packs many nutrients, like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It also delivers omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support the immune system and cognition.

Quinoa milk

Quinoa milk is quite new to the market, with a distinct flavor and slightly nutty and sweet. It has a moderate number of calories, carbs, and protein compared to other non-dairy milk. It is also a good option for vegans because it delivers high-quality protein.


In fact, most children who are allergic to cow’s milk might tolerate yogurt. That is because the fermentation process used in making yogurt might change some milk proteins [2]. But it is advised to consult your doctor to ensure that they can use yogurt in moderation.


How much milk should a child drink?

Milk is a good source of protein, calcium, and many other nutrients vital for growth and development in kids. So, how much milk per day is ideal?

  • Kids from 12 to 24 months should consume 16-24 oz per day (2-3 cups per day).
  • Kids from 2 to 8 years old should consume 16-20 oz per day (2-2.5 cups per day).
  • Kids from 9 and older should consume at least 24 oz per day (3 cups per day). Meanwhile, active teens with high-calorie requirements might need to consume 4 cups per day.

In short, as best as contemporary science can answer, milk alone cannot make you grow taller simply because there is no particular food or recipe capable of that. Aside from your genetics, it takes a combination of proper nutrition, regular participation in sports or exercise, sufficient sleep, a clean living environment, and a healthy lifestyle to ensure you can reach your maximal height potential. Still, incorporating milk into your daily diet is useful as it provides your body with an adequate amount of essential nutrients.




NuBest Tall is a growth supplement made by NuBest company. It is formulated with Calcium, Collagen, herbs and nutrients claimed to promote bone growth of growing children and teenagers. Click here for more details.


Check Price & Availability

Directions: For children (5+) and teenagers who do not drink milk daily.

+ Under the age of 10: Take one (1) capsule twice daily about 30 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals.

+ Ages 10 to teenagers: Take one (1) capsule three times daily about 30 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals.

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