The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has found a dairy-rich meal that could counter calcium lost during exercise if it is consumed around two hours before exercise.
Athletes in low-impact sports, such as cycling, rowing and swimming, lose calcium through sweating which can weaken the bones and lead to osteoporosis later in life.
Head of sports nutrition at the AIS, Louise Burke, said the research backed by Dairy Australia showed the body, when seeking calcium for blood sweat, used the digesting food rather than bones.
"It stops your bones from having to dissolve a little bit, to put the calcium back into the blood stream, as to being lost from the blood sweat," said Burke.
High-impact exercise like running stimulates bone growth and the opposite is true for low-impact exercise, where the lack of weight bearing activity leads to low bone mineral density.
The AIS suggested athletes consume three standard dairy serves before exercise.
"In one case, we have had the team chef create some breakfast recipes including cheese omelets, bircher muesli and smoothies with milk and yogurt to help athletes meet this target," Burke said.