It has taken me several years to go from 2% to 1% to skim milk, but now I'm there! Why is this significant? First of all it seems that humans absorb calcium better from low fat dairy products than higher fat dairy products. Second, when I see the people finishing ahead of me in races I see people even more fit than I. The assumption is that is I want to run up there with them I will probably have to have less fat. Not weigh less necessarily, but a lower percentage of fat compared to total body weight.
The math is simple, if 1% milk has 100 calories per cup, and skim has only 80 then that is 20 fewer calories I consume for the same protein and volume. Assuming I drink two gallons per week (that is on the high side, but realistic) that is 32 cups of milk for a total of 640 extra calories. Assuming I use 80 calories per mile that's eight more miles of running just to make up for the difference between 1% and skim.
I realize this sounds drastic. Most people already think I am thin. But lighter than the average American isn't exactly all it takes to run a 2:18 marathon. Plus I have learned through experience that milk is one of the best recovery drinks available. I'm not about to drink less of a higher fat milk, but then again I need it to taste better than water. I like my flavored drinks. It is hard to drink a gallon of water or more per day. For years skim milk tasted like watered down milk to me. Now it tastes normal.