A contestant from the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) Israel warms up backstage during preparations for their annual national competition in Netanya August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Bodybuilders are now turning to more natural forms of protein and the popular choice is fast becoming breast milk, according to media reports.

Steroids and diet pills are now things of the past for bodybuilders. Sure, these alternatives boost energy and help gain muscles sooner, they also have negative health consequences. As the nation, becomes more health conscious, bodybuilders too are looking for healthier alternatives. And breast milk seems to be a popular choice for a more natural taste of fitness.

"It isn't common, but I've known people who have done this. It's certainly talked about quite a bit on the bodybuilding forums on the Internet," said Brett Schoenfeld, a former competitive body builder and now an assistant professor of exercise science at CUNY Lehman College in New York City, reports ABC News.

Various studies in the past have highlighted the benefits of human breast milk for both new mothers who are breastfeeding and in breast milk for new babies. First and foremost, breastfeeding helps new mothers burn calories faster so that they can lose some of their pregnancy weight at a quicker pace. For the child, breast milk contains an essential mix of proteins, fat and vitamins that are not present in baby formulas available in the market these days.

These benefits have led to several Webvsites and offline companies offering money to women looking to sell their breast milk. For example, onlythebreast.com offers to buy natural breast milk at $60 a day.

This is one of the few studies that looked into how breast milk can benefit adults. Unfortunately, the researchers were not able to find any scientific evidence whether or not and how breast milk can help bodybuilders, especially in bulking up.

Breast milk is more expensive that cow’s milk. It also holds less protein, at 2.5 grammes per cup of breast milk and 7.9 grammes per cow's milk. For people opting to buy bottled or packaged breast milk, it is advised to buy from reputed source. Most often than not, the proper guidelines for the contributing and shipping the milk are not adhered to, which increases the risk of bacteria in the milk.

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