When it comes to hydration, not all drinks are made the same.
Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being, and while many may think that water is the ultimate hydration source, a recent study shows milk can be a better alternative. The reason? Milk is comprised mostly of water but has many other natural benefits that are essential to hydration like electrolytes, carbohydrates, and protein.
These substances slow the absorption of fluid from the stomach and thus extend the period of hydration more than plain water. Here are 5 ways that milk can be better than water for hydration.
1. Electrolyte-rich Composition—
While water effectively quenches thirst, milk does too but additionally boasts a unique composition that can make it an even better hydrating option. Electrolytes are crucial for maintaining proper fluid balance in the body, and milk contains essential electrolytes like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes play a significant role in nerve function, muscle contractions, and maintaining the body’s pH levels. By providing a balanced blend of these vital minerals, milk aids in hydration on a deeper cellular level compared to plain water
2. Carbohydrates for Sustained Hydration –
Another factor that sets milk apart from water is its carbohydrate content. Milk contains natural sugar like lactose. These carbohydrates provide a steady source of energy, making milk an excellent option for maintaining hydration over extended periods. The combination of carbohydrates and proteins in milk results in a well-rounded beverage, delivering both hydration and nourishment to the body.
3. Protein-Packed Powerhouse –
One of milk’s remarkable hydrating qualities lies in its protein content. Unlike water, which lacks nutrients, a serving of milk is packed with 8 grams of high-quality protein. The proteins found in milk are rich in essential amino acids that support muscle repair and growth. Protein also contributes to the feeling of satiety, meaning it helps people to feel full longer and making milk a more satisfying and fulfilling choice for hydration. Athletes and active individuals can benefit significantly from milk’s protein content, helping them recover and perform better during physical activities.
4. Nutrient-Rich Profile –
Water is essentially devoid of nutrients. Milk, on the other hand, has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, B12, calcium, and phosphorus. These nutrients play crucial roles in bone health, immune function, and overall well-being. By choosing milk over water for hydration, you not only quench your thirst but also supply your body with essential nutrients that contribute to long-term health.
5. Enhanced Rehydration with Milk-based Beverages –
While plain milk itself surpasses water in several hydrating aspects, chocolate milk has been shown to be a highly effective post-exercise recovery drink. The combination of carbohydrates and proteins in chocolate milk helps replenish glycogen stores and repair muscles after physical exertion. Chocolate milk generally also has less sugar than sports drinks. Additionally, milkshakes and smoothies made with milk and fruits provide a delicious and hydrating treat that is more satisfying than plain water.
So, next time you’re feeling thirsty or want to avoid getting dehydrated, reach for a glass of milk. Whether you are an athlete looking for a recovery beverage or a mom wanting to give your child a cold drink after play, milk is a natural option that has shown to provide many more benefits than plain water.