You'll never guess which drink is more hydrating than water

According to researchers from the Scottish University of Saint Andrews, water is not the most hydrating drink. Indeed, in a study* published by the journal The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists affirm that skimmed milk would in fact be more hydrating… over time.

Water for rapid hydration

Researchers conducted a study to understand the impact of different drinks on hydration. They tested 13 different drinks, including water, coffee, soda, milk, orange juice and sports drinks, on a group of 72 exclusively male participants. The results are clear, water comes 10th in the ranking and would allow you to hydrate quickly, but not to maintain long-term hydration as effectively as other drinks.

To assess the good hydration of a drink, two factors are taken into account: the quantity and quality of hydration. The amount of hydration is directly related to the speed at which the drink leaves the stomach to be absorbed into the bloodstream and hydrate the body. Put simply, the more we drink, the faster this process takes place. The quality of hydration depends on the nutritional composition of the drink. This quality influences the length of time the body remains hydrated. Drinks containing electrolytes, for example, prolong fluid retention compared to plain water.

Skimmed milk hydrates the longest

In short, to properly hydrate, a drink must not only be absorbed quickly, but also contain nutritional elements that promote lasting hydration. Drinks containing a slight amount of sugar, fat or protein would therefore ultimately be more effective for prolonged hydration. This is precisely the case with milk, which not only contains water, but also electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which retain water in the body. Additionally, the proteins and carbohydrates found in milk contribute to slower water absorption.

Obviously, water remains the preferred drink for good hydration, consuming it regularly and several times during the day, approximately 6 to 8 glasses or between 1.5 and 2 liters per day. Unlike other drinks like milk, water contains no calories or sugars, and remains the preferred choice to avoid dehydration.

* Trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index

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