drink milk

Milk for Hydration?

Milk for Hydration?

In “Water Rich Foods” I wrote about some foods that can add to your daily hydration, like tomatoes, pineapple, celery and cantaloupe.  Now I’d like to explain how some beverages other than water can also contribute to hydration. 

First, let’s define “beverage”.  Merriam-Webster dictionary says it’s  “any drinkable liquid”, so let’s take a look at some typical beverages to see how they stack up in the hydration department.  This post will be focused on milk.  Others will follow.

           MILK…88% water!         Did you know that a glass of this white liquid is about 88% water?  I’ve been drinking milk since my childhood and I never thought about it…till now.  That’s a good amount of water towards daily intake. 

 What else is in that glass of milk?  Well, there’s:

*Fat…about 3.5%

           *Lactose…about 5%

                         *Protein…about 3.2%

Note:  the amount of fat depends on whether it’s whole or skim.  Percentages also vary according to the type of cow that produced the milk: 

For example, a Brown Swiss cow   will provide milk with about 4% fat content whereas a Jersey cow will supply 5.5% fat in its milk.”  

So, how well does Milk hydrate us?  Surprisingly, studies have shown that milk may do a better job than water because it stays in the body longer than water and sports drinks.  It releases slowly and is gradually absorbed by the body.  It helps the body hold on to fluids longer.

**Here’s an interesting fact…recent studies showed that milk rehydrates better than sports drinks like Gatorade.  During and after exercise we lose electrolytes.  These are essential minerals that carry an electric charge and are found in our blood, sweat and urine.  They’re crucial to keeping our nervous system and muscles functioning and our internal environment balanced.  They include:

  • Sodium                          
  • Potassium           
  • Chloride                         
  • Calcium                                
  • Magnesium                                               
  • Phosphate
  • Bicarbonate                                         ]

When you sweat, you’re also losing fats, amino acids and water.  Milk outperformed sports drinks as a recovery beverage after workouts.  “It is well retained and is a great source of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals.”  (quoted from source below)


Bottom Line:   Drinking milk during workouts might feel uncomfortable because it might take a little while to digest.   I haven’t tried it yet.  I know I’ve had that problem with bananas.  I do drink it after workouts like hitting the tennis ball against the wall for a ½ hour.  It takes me a few minutes to get home and  I drink it there.  That agrees with me.  Don’t know if I’m willing to try it during a tennis match.  I’ll let you know if I do.

Conclusion:  Milk is a great hydration drink for normal daily routines, and a strong recovery beverage after exercise.  Let me know what happens if you try it during an intense workout.    





Posted by DSaull in Nutrition