How many calories does 100 ml of Milk contain?

Milk is a nutritious and commonly consumed beverage that provides protein, vitamins, minerals and calories. When looking at the calorie content of milk, the amount can vary depending on the type of milk.

Quick Answer

Whole milk contains approximately 60 calories per 100ml. Skim milk contains around 35 calories per 100ml. The calorie content comes primarily from the natural sugars (lactose) and fat found in milk.

Calculating Calories in Different Types of Milk

The calorie content of different types of milk is mainly affected by the fat percentage. As the fat percentage increases, so do the calories. Here is the calorie count for 100ml of some common types of milk:

Type of Milk Calories per 100ml
Skim milk 35 calories
1% milk 41 calories
2% milk 49 calories
Whole milk 60 calories

As you can see, the calorie content scales up as the fat percentage increases from skim (less than 0.5% fat) up to whole milk (around 3.25% fat).

Calories from Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat

The calories in milk come from the three macronutrients:

  • Carbohydrates (natural milk sugar or lactose)
  • Protein
  • Fat

Here is the breakdown of calories from each of these sources in 100ml of whole milk:

  • Carbohydrates: 12 calories (from lactose)
  • Protein: 9 calories
  • Fat: 39 calories

As you can see, the majority of calories in whole milk come from fat. Lactose provides a small amount of carbohydrate calories, while protein accounts for about 15% of the calories.

Calories from Carbohydrates

The carbohydrate content of milk is fairly consistent across types of milk. Milk sugar (lactose) provides around 5 grams of carbohydrates per 100ml serving. Since each gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories, this lactose equates to about 12 calories in 100ml of milk.

Calories from Protein

The protein content is also fairly steady at around 3.5 grams of protein per 100ml of milk. Protein provides about 4 calories per gram, so 100ml of milk gets about 9 calories from its protein content.

Calories from Fat

The fat content is where milk types differ significantly. Whole milk gets approximately 39 calories from fat per 100ml serving. Lower fat milks provide less fat calories. Skim milk only gets about 18 calories from fat in a 100ml serving.

Factors Affecting Calorie Content

There are some factors that can alter the calorie content of milk including:

  • Breed of cattle – Milk from different cattle breeds can vary slightly in fat, protein and carbohydrates based on genetics.
  • Feed/diet – What dairy cows are fed can cause small changes to milk composition and calories.
  • Processing – How milk is processed and fortified can change calories and nutrients. For example, vitamin D fortification adds a small number of calories.
  • Fat percentage – As described earlier, the fat content is the main factor determining calories and varies dramatically between types of milk.

Breed of Cattle

There are hundreds of cattle breeds around the world that produce milk. The major dairy breeds include Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss and Guernsey cattle. Milk from these breeds can vary in protein, fat and overall calorie content. For example, Jersey cattle milk tends to be higher in fat and calories compared to Holstein milk.

Cattle Diet and Feed

What dairy cows eat can cause some variation in milk composition. For example, feeding cattle high-energy diets may increase protein and fat content. However, modern feeding practices aim to provide consistent nutrition to minimize large fluctuations in milk calories and nutrients.

Milk Processing

How raw milk is processed and treated can alter its nutrient profile. Most notably, nearly all milk sold commercially has extra vitamin D added to boost this essential nutrient. Vitamin D fortification can increase calorie content by around 1 calorie per 100ml serving. Other steps like pasteurization, homogenization and fat separation don’t significantly change overall calories.

Fat Percentage

As discussed earlier, the fat percentage has the biggest impact on calories. Whole milk gets about 39 calories per 100ml from its fat content. In comparison, skim milk gets only 18 calories from fat in the same serving size. When consuming milk, fat percentage is the main factor to consider if your goal is reducing calorie intake.

Calories in Milk Compared to Other Beverages

Compared to other common beverages, milk is a high-calorie drink due to its nutrient content:

Beverage Calories per 100ml
Whole milk 60 calories
Orange juice 45 calories
Cola 40 calories
Beer 35 calories
Apple juice 30 calories
Skim milk 35 calories
Tea/coffee 1 calorie
Water 0 calories

Drinks like juice, soda and beer tend to be high in calories, but milk has an even higher caloric density. The exception is skim milk, which is lower calorie but still nutrient-dense. Tea, coffee and water contain minimal calories.

Daily Calorie Intake from Milk

The amount of calories from milk that can fit into a healthy daily diet depends on age, gender and activity level. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the following dairy intake:

  • Children 2-3 years: 2 cups per day
  • Children 4-8 years: 2.5 cups per day
  • Older children and adults: 3 cups per day

One cup is about 237ml. So the recommended daily dairy intake provides approximately:

  • Children 2-3 years: 200 calories
  • Children 4-8 years: 250 calories
  • Older children and adults: 300 calories

This calorie intake from dairy products including milk, yogurt and cheese can fit into a healthy diet. However, those limiting calorie intake may want to focus on low-fat dairy options.


Children ages 2-8 have calorie needs ranging from 1,000-1,800 per day. So 200-250 calories from milk and other dairy foods provides about 15-25% of energy intake. This helps kids meet their calcium and vitamin D needs for bone health.

Older Children and Adults

Teens and adults need about 300 calories or 10% of total energy intake from dairy foods like milk. This is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Active individuals or athletes may be able to fit more milk and dairy calories into their higher calorie diet.

Weight Loss Diets

For those aiming to lose weight on a 1,200-1,500 calorie diet, low or non-fat milk is a better option to keep dairy calories in check. Full-fat dairy foods can make it difficult to meet calorie targets on a restrictive diet. Using skim or 1% milk provides the same nutrients with less calories and fat.

Tips for Consuming Milk on a Weight Loss Diet

Here are some tips for getting calcium and other nutrients from dairy foods like milk while restricting calories:

  • Choose nonfat or low-fat milk more often
  • Enjoy plain Greek yogurt for more protein with less sugar
  • Eat cottage cheese as a high protein, low calorie dairy food
  • Look for low-calorie cheese options
  • Add milk to smoothies instead of drinking it straight
  • Use milk to make oatmeal, soups or other foods more nourishing while minimizing added calories
  • If using higher fat milk, stick to small portions like in coffee or cereal

With some careful choices, it’s definitely possible to fit nutritious dairy foods like milk into a weight management diet.

Health Benefits of Milk

Despite being relatively high in calories, milk provides excellent nutrition:

  • Protein – High quality protein for muscle tissue, bones and metabolism.
  • Calcium – Milk is the top dietary source of calcium which is essential for bone health.
  • Vitamin D – Needed for calcium absorption and bone growth. Milk is vitamin D fortified.
  • Phosphorus – Works with calcium for bone and tooth formation.
  • Vitamin A – Supports immune function and eye health.
  • Riboflavin (B2) – A B vitamin that aids conversion of nutrients to energy.
  • Potassium – An electrolyte mineral for fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function.
  • Selenium – A trace mineral with antioxidant effects.

Overall, milk provides substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and protein in just one serving. The nutrition package makes it a highly beneficial beverage despite the calorie content.


Milk contains high-quality protein with all the essential amino acids for growth and maintenance of tissues. The protein in milk makes up about 20-25% of its calorie content, and provides around 3.5 grams per 100ml serving.

Bone Health

Milk’s combination of calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus makes it excellent for bone health. These nutrients help build and maintain bone structure and strength. Calcium and vitamin D in particular have been linked to decreasing risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Body Composition

The protein, vitamins and minerals in milk, including calcium and vitamin D, have been shown to help maintain or even improve body composition. This could be due to the effects on protein synthesis, bone health and metabolism.

Other Benefits

Some research shows milk and dairy intake is linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure. The nutrients may help control inflammation, blood sugar and blood fats. However, these health benefits are still inconclusive.

Disadvantages of Milk

Despite the nutritional upside, there are some potential downsides to drinking milk as well:

  • High in calories and fat compared to many other beverages
  • Contains saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Possible allergies or intolerance in some individuals
  • May be avoided by those following plant-based diets

High in Calories and Fat

The main disadvantage of milk is its high calorie and fat content, especially whole milk varieties. For those watching their weight or limiting calories, the consistent drinking of whole milk could contribute significant unwanted calories.

Contains Saturated Fat and Cholesterol

While milk provides beneficial nutrition, it also contains considerable amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol from the natural milk fat. Dietary guidelines recommend limiting saturated fat and cholesterol due to links with higher blood cholesterol and increased heart disease risk.

Allergies and Intolerance

Milk allergies affect about 2-3% of children under age 5, but is generally outgrown by age 12. Lactose intolerance affects around 25% of U.S. adults and causes digestive issues from the lactose sugar in milk. These conditions require avoiding regular milk consumption.

Avoided on Plant-Based Diets

Vegans and some vegetarians omit milk and all animal products from their diet for ethical, environmental or health reasons. Milk can easily be replaced by plant-based milk alternatives like soy, almond or oat milk.

Bottom Line

Here is the breakdown on calories in different types of milk:

  • Whole milk: 60 calories per 100ml
  • 2% reduced fat: 49 calories per 100ml
  • 1% low-fat: 41 calories per 100ml
  • Skim: 35 calories per 100ml

The calorie content comes primarily from natural milk sugars (lactose), protein and milk fat. Choosing lower fat varieties can reduce calorie intake from milk while still providing vitamins and minerals.

Milk can fit into a weight loss diet by selecting nonfat or low-fat options and controlling portion sizes. Despite being relatively high in calories, milk provides a powerhouse of nutrition including calcium, vitamin D, protein and other vital nutrients.

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