After a long bike ride or a hot day, we long for a large glass of water. It quenches our thirst and we can take it again. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, but is water really the most hydrating drink there is? No. Believe it or not, it’s milk. According to a study from Scotland’s St. Andrews University, it appears that a cow’s white drink has the best hydration response.
The researchers found that water, whether still or sparkling, hydrates the body fairly quickly. But drinks with a little sugar, fat or protein scored even better. These types of drinks are said to keep your body hydrated for longer, but how does that work?
According to Ronald Maughan, a professor at St. Andrews’ School of Medicine and the study’s author, the reason has to do with how our bodies react to beverages. One factor is the amount of any given drink: the more you drink, the faster the drink is absorbed into your bloodstream in your stomach. Drinking it will then dilute body fluids and hydrate your body.
Milk is more hydrating than water
The other factor that affects how well a drink hydrates is the nutritional composition of a drink. For example, milk was found to be more hydrating than plain water because it contains sugar lactose, which in turn consists of protein and fat. This slows down the process of emptying your stomach, keeping your body hydrated for longer. In addition, milk also contains sodium, which retains water in the body like a sponge. As a result, less urine is produced. Products you use to treat diarrhea also contain small amounts of sugar, sodium and potassium. These ingredients can also help promote water retention in the body.
“This study tells us much of what we already knew: electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, contribute to better hydration. While calories in beverages actually slow gastric emptying and thus slower release of urine,” said Melissa Majumdar, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who was not involved in the study. CNN.
Too much is never good
But now we should pay attention: drinks with more concentrated sugars, such as fruit juices or colas, are not necessarily as hydrating as drinks with a lower sugar content. They may spend a bit more time in the stomach compared to water, but once these drinks enter the small intestine, their high concentration of sugars is diluted in a process called osmosis. Osmosis basically “pulls” water out of the body into the small intestine to dilute the sugar contained in these drinks. And technically, everything in the gut is outside your body.
“It is common knowledge that juice and soft drinks contain extra sugars and calories, which will not fill us up as much as solid food,” explains Majumdar. “If the choice is between soda and water for hydration, choose water every time. After all, our kidneys and liver depend on water to remove toxins from our body.” In addition, water is also important for keeping the skin healthy. A moisturizer that just comes out of the tap.
Beer is better than whiskey
When you are really thirsty, your body will tell you to hang under the tap and hydrate yourself. But what about alcohol, is there a difference in hydration reactions? We all know that you often visit the toilet while drinking alcohol. “Beer would result in less water loss than whisky, because you get more moisture with beer,” says Maughan. “Strong alcoholic drinks are drying, diluted alcoholic drinks are not.” Because you often have to go to the toilet when consuming alcohol, your body does not stay hydrated for long. It is therefore important to drink water while consuming alcohol. It prevents dehydration, making the hangover less intense the next day.
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