When you train hard, you sweat hard. Milk helps you rehydrate fast by replacing fluid and electrolytes in the right balance. There is no more natural way to give your body what it needs most after exercise.
Why is hydration important?
Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but people who play sport and exercise regularly have an even greater need to maintain proper hydration. Fluid deficits as low as 2% (i.e. a deficit of 1.2 litres for a 60 kg athlete) can have negative effects on performance. Unless fluid losses are replaced during exercise, dehydration can occur. The side effects of dehydration can include:
- increased heart rate
- impaired heat regulation
- increased perceived exertion
- reduced mental function
- reduced skill level
Milk naturally provides both fluid and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to assist with rehydration. The electrolyte concentration of milk is similar to conventional sports drinks and fluid retention is aided by other nutrients.
A number of studies have shown that milk is an effective drink for rehydration. For example a 2007 study found low-fat milk helped dehydrated cyclists replace sweat loss better than water or a sports drink.1 In four separate trials, volunteers undertook a series of cycling exercises until they had lost about 1.8% of their body mass. They were then given low-fat milk, a sports drink or water to re-hydrate. The cyclists who drank milk were better hydrated by an average 600mL, compared with water and the sports drink four hours after exercise.
A reason to smile
The consumption of sugary and acidic drinks commonly found at sporting venues can increase the risk of tooth decay. Milk on the other hand has been linked to a decreased risk of cavities, making it a good drink choice after sport2. Plain or flavoured milk provides the rehydration benefits you need after sport and has the added advantage of containing a unique combination of special anti-decay nutrients – calcium, phosphorus and the protein, casein.
For more information visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au/sport
1. Shirreffs SM et al. (2007) Milk as an effective post-exercise rehydration drink. Brit J Nutr 98, 173-80.
2. Moynihan P & Peterson PE (2004) Diet, nutrition and the prevention of dental diseases. Public Health Nutrition, 7: 201-226.