Amid an unprecedented global heatwave, the search for effective hydration solutions has become crucial. Surprisingly, recent research from St. Andrews University in Scotland reveals that water isn’t the most hydrating drink, contrary to popular belief.
According to the study, skim milk outperforms all other beverages regarding hydration. While water efficiently hydrates the body in the short term, drinks with low sugar, fat, or protein content are more effective at sustaining hydration over extended periods.
Professor Ronald Maughan, the study’s author from St. Andrews Medical School, explains that a drink’s volume plays a significant role in its hydration capability. The more liquid consumed, the faster it empties from the stomach, gets absorbed into the bloodstream, and dilutes body fluids, providing hydration.
However, the nutritional composition of a beverage is equally crucial. Milk’s lactose, protein, and fat content contribute to a slower rate of fluid emptying from the stomach, resulting in prolonged hydration. Additionally, milk contains salt, which acts like a sponge, retaining water in the body and reducing urine production.
Oral rehydration solutions, often used to treat diarrhea, share similar properties with milk. These solutions contain small amounts of sugar, sodium, and potassium, aiding in water retention and successful rehydration.
Based on their impact on hydration over four hours, typical beverages were ranked by the research team as follows:
- Skimmed milk
- Oral rehydration solutions
- Full-fat dairy
- Orange juice
- Diet Coca-Cola
- Iced tea
- Still water with tea
- Sparkling water
As scorching temperatures continue to plague the world, staying adequately hydrated cannot be emphasized enough. These findings challenge our perception of the best hydrating beverages, with skim milk emerging as a surprising and potent rival to water.
Understanding the significance of dietary content can significantly improve hydration methods and overall well-being during heat waves and everyday life. So, remember to stay hydrated with the right choices for a healthier and more comfortable life!