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How Much Milk Should You Drink A Day

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

milk being poured into coffee

Let’s break down the facts.

The average person consumes roughly 6,178 litres of milk in their lifetime, while the average life expectancy in Australia is between 81.2 years for men and 85.3 years for women, an average of 83.25 years. With these numbers, we can estimate that a person will consume 74.2 litres of milk every year, 6.2 litres of milk every month, 1.5 litres every week and 220ml (1 cup) every day. Spread across our population of 25,422,788 people, that’s an incomprehensible amount of milk.

But to determine how much milk we should consume, we must look at Australia's recommended dietary intake levels.

How Much Milk Should I Drink?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend three to four daily servings of dairy foods as a balanced diet, with a standard daily serving of milk set at 250ml or ½ cup (120ml) of evaporated milk and milk powder products. However, things get a bit more complicated when we break things down by age and sex, especially if you’re wondering how many cups of milk you should drink a day.

For example, infants under the age of 12 months should not be given cow’s milk as their main drink and instead should be supplemented with breast milk infant formula until about the age of 1 or 2 years old when dairy is permitted.

As for the rest of us, here are the recommended daily dairy intake servings by age and sex.

Recommended Daily Dairy Intake For Minors

Toddlers (1-2):

  • 1-1½ serves


  • 2-3 years old: 1 ½ serves

  • 4-8 years old: 2 serves

  • 9-11 years old: 2 ½ serves

  • 12-13 years old: 3 ½ serves

  • 14-18 years old: 3 ½ serves


  • 2-3 years old: 1 ½ serves

  • 4-8 years old: 1 ½ serves

  • 9-11 years old: 3 serves

  • 12-13 years old: 3 ½ serves

  • 14-18 years old: 3 ½ serves

Recommended Daily Dairy Intake For Adults


  • 19-50 years old: 2 ½ serves

  • 51-70 years old: 2 ½ serves

  • 70+ years old: 3 ½ serves


  • 19-5 years old: 2 ½ serves

  • 51-70 years old: 4 serves

  • 70+ years old: 4 serves

  • Pregnant: 2 ½ serves

  • Lactating: 2 ½ serves

Are We Drinking Enough Milk?

Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 Australian adults need to increase their intake of dairy foods to achieve these recommended nutritional levels.

Moreover, a single cup of non-fat milk contains only 276mg of calcium, whereas the average daily calcium intake is only 807 mg, which is 200mg shy of the 1000 mg men aged 19-70 and women aged 19-50 require per day. You’d need to drink three cups to get enough calcium from milk, which is triple the standard daily serving.

Do I Need To Drink Milk To Be Healthy?

So, how much milk should you drink a day? Well, that’s a little more complicated. Although milk is undoubtedly a power food rich in protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, riboflavin and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and iodine, you do not need to drink cow’s milk to be healthy.

Milk is a part of every mammal’s diet after birth, helping to kick-start our growing bodies and protect us from infections through immunity passed from mother to child. However, by about seven or eight, 70% of the world's adult population cannot digest lactose, the primary sugar protein in milk.

What About Plant-Based Milk?

Regarding nutrition, among the alternative milk options available, only soy milk contains comparable nutrients. Without getting into too much science, because of how mammals like cows produce milk, manufacturers must artificially enrich the plant-based milk products to reach similar levels of nutrition as cows' milk.

Even if milk didn’t exist, you could easily supplement the same nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in cow’s milk through other food products, including these plant-based milk varieties.

And then there’s the issue of flavour. Since humans have been drinking milk for at least 10,000 years, the flavour of milk is not only recognisable, it’s preferred. If you don’t enjoy the taste of plant-based milk alternatives but don’t want to deal with the intestinal discomfort that comes from digesting lactose, then you may want to consider milk powder as an alternative.

Milk That Tastes Like Real Milk

A phrase made famous by Pauls Milk in the United States, the desire for milk that tastes like real milk has been around for decades. Unfortunately, real milk also comes with some nasty side effects, impacting the majority of the world in what we call lactose intolerance.

This lactose intolerance is caused by the presence of the A1 protein in cow’s milk. This seemingly harmless protein becomes troublesome once its ingested. Transformed into a compound (β-casomorphin-7) that has been linked to the discomfort that some people feel after drinking milk, its responsible for abdominal pain, bloating, and flatulence.

Plant-based milk production does present a glimmer of alternative hope, thanks to the rise of soy, almond and oat milk varieties. However, because soy milk is the only milk able to go toe-to-toe with the nutritional value of cow’s milk, the rest must be fortified with additional vitamins and minerals to compete.

A2 milk products, on the other hand, do not feature the A1 protein, with multiple studies demonstrating the benefits of drinking A2-only milk. However, this is where the benefits of A2-only milk stop. It’s the same cup of milk, minus the dastardly A1 protein.

A2+ Natureday Dairy milk tin

The Case For Powdered Milk

While some A2 milk producers are happy with an easily digestible dairy product, others are more innovative regarding dairy.

A Goldilocks solution that features all the best parts of milk, and more, is being produced in New Zealand by a company called NATUREDAY Dairy. Renowned as one of the top farming environments in the world, the unpolluted landscapes and abundant resources of New Zealand offer beautiful grazing for their free-range KiwiCross cows.

KiwiCross are some of the most premium cattle down under, being decedents of noble Jersey and Holstein-Friesian breed. Moreover, only 1 in 8 cows receive the NATUREDAY seal of approval and are 100% genetically verified A2 cows that produce only A2 beta-casein, minimising their impact on the environment and your gut.

Thanks to the award-winning probiotic blend of HOWARU Lactobacillus acidophilus and NCFM + Bifidobacterium HN019 probiotics (a total of 1.7 billion in every glass) from DuPont, NATUREDAY A2+ Milk can effectively enhance digestion for maximum nutrient absorption.

A Better Daily Dairy Intake

Taking what is already a power food and optimising the formula improves digestion and absorption of even more essential nutrients. NATUREDAY Dairy A2+ Probiotics Formulated Full Cream Milk Powder contains extra calcium, protein, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It’s easier to digest, immunity boosting, long-lasting and has a delicious flavour that the whole family can enjoy.

Extra Calcium: A single cup of non-fat milk contains 299mg of calcium per serving, while NATUREDAY A2+ Probiotics Formulated Full Cream Milk Powder has nearly double the amount with 572mg of calcium (72% of an adult’s daily needs).

Extra Protein: A glass of milk contains about 3.4g of protein. NATUREDAY A2+ milk powder contains 8.4g.

Extra Nutrients: Increased natural calcium lactate to strengthen bones and teeth.

Extras Vitamins: Boosted with vitamin D3 and vitamin A for calcium absorption.

Easier to Digest: No A1 protein. No β-casomorphin-7. No Discomfort. No Worries.

Immunity Boosting: Contains an award-winning combination of patented pharmaceutical-grade probiotic strains from DuPont - Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 - to improve gut health and optimise nutrient absorption.

Long Lasting: A canister of milk powder can last for up three years in the cupboard, whereas a bottle of milk barely lasts a week.

Delicious Flavour: Flavour and nutrition are guaranteed through select breeding methods.

Following the official recommended daily intake guidelines can better gauge your daily dairy intake. However, by considering the type of milk you consume rather than worrying about how much you should drink in a day, you can enjoy far more nutritional benefits with A2+ milk powder than plant-based or regular cow’s milk, with an even better taste.

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