Got milk?

Thirsty? Listen to the experts.

When in need of a drink, what beverage do you suppose is the most hydrating? Common sense might suggest water—it’s a pure, unadulterated thirst-quencher. But according to a new study from St. Andrews University in Scotland, that might be wrong. It looks like beverages with a little bit of sugar, fat or protein are the best at keeping us hydrated the longest. The nutrient composition of a drink has a lot to do with its hydrating power. Milk, for example, contains lactose, protein, fat and sodium, all of which slow down its release from the stomach and sustains hydration over a longer period of time. These findings basically reinforce the theory that electrolyte-rich and caloric beverages result in slower gastric emptying, increasing a drink’s “quench-factor.” But that doesn’t mean you should grab that soda—concentrated sugars pull water from your body to dilute the excess sugar, so stick with electrolytes and … milk?

Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition