After a Hard Workout, Milk Will Rehydrate You Better Than Sports Drinks

By Mike Pomranz |

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On a hot, sweaty day, going for a glass of milk might seem like—to borrow a popular Will Ferrell line—“a bad choice.” But apparently it isn’t. A recent Australian study found that milk-based drinks are better at rehydrating people than the popular sports drink Powerade. Pass the 2 percent.

The study, conducted by a team at Griffith University and published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, looked at 15 “recreationally active” men who rode stationary bikes while wearing heavy clothes to encourage sweating. Participants then consumed one of four beverages: Powerade, full-cream milk, soy milk or Sustagen Sport—a milk-based meal supplement made by Nestlé. What they found was that, across the board, more of the milk-based drinks were retained than the Powerade—significantly so, in fact. Powerade retention was just 16.6 percent, compared to 40 percent of milk, 46.9 percent of soy milk and 65.1 percent of the Sustagen Sport.

In conclusion, the authors determined milk-based drinks to be “more effective rehydration options compared with traditional sports drinks.” Though it might not sound appealing, next time you need to get hydrated, you may want to try hitting the dairy case.

Now, whether we’ll be seeing victorious football players dumping a cooler full of milk over their coach’s head anytime soon…that I wouldn’t count on.

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