Wa­ter isn’t the best to stay hy­drated. Try skimmed milk

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Sunday Special -

When thirst strikes, which drink comes to your mind? Wa­ter? The an­swer might be yes for most peo­ple, but it isn’t the best drink for hy­dra­tion.

Sim­ple H2O isn’t the most hy­drat­ing bev­er­age around, ac­cord­ing to a study from Scot­land’s St An­drews Univer­sity. While both still and sparkling wa­ter can quench thirst, it can be de­feated by sweet, fat or pro­tein-rich bev­er­ages in keep­ing a per­son hy­drated, re­searchers have found.

Ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished i n The Ameri c a n Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nu­tri­tion, skimmed milk is most hy­drat­ing fol­lowed by oral re­hy­dra­tion so­lu­tions, full-fat milk, or­ange juice, cola, diet cola, cold tea, tea, sports drink, still wa­ter, sparkling wa­ter, lager, and cof­fee.

The rea­son lies in how our bod­ies re­spond to bev­er­ages, ac­cord­ing to study au­thor Ron­ald Maughan, a professor at St An­drews’ School of Medicine. One fac­tor is the vol­ume of a given drink: The more you drink, the faster it is ab­sorbed into the blood­stream, where it di­lutes the body’s f lu­ids and hy­drates you.

An­other fac­tor is con­nected with the drink’s nutri­ent com­po­si­tion. For ex­am­ple, milk was found to be even more hy­drat­ing than wa­ter be­cause it con­tains the sugar lac­tose, some pro­tein and some fat.

Milk also has sodium, which be­haves like a sponge and holds onto wa­ter in the body and re­sults i n less urine pro­duced.

This idea can also be put forth for oral re­hy­dra­tion so­lu­tions used in treat­ing diar­rhoea. They con­tain small amounts of sugar, along with sodium and potas­sium, pro­mot­ing wa­ter re­ten­tion in the body. The catch here is the fact that bev­er­ages with more con­cen­trated sug­ars — fruit juice, cola — might not be as hy­drat­ing as their lower-sugar cousins.

How­ever, if the choice is be­tween soda and wa­ter for hy­dra­tion, go with wa­ter ev­ery time

Pics: Getty Im­ages

Bev­er­ages with a lit­tle sugar, fat or pro­tein do a bet­ter job than wa­ter in keep­ing us hy­drated

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