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Milk Rehydrates Kids Better Than Water

August 18, 2011

1 Min Read
Milk Rehydrates Kids Better Than Water

HAMILTON, OntarioMany children reach for a sports drink or water to rehydrate after vigorous exercise; however, drinking an ice-cold glass of milk has been found to be more effective beverage choice to counter dehydration, according to new research conducted at McMaster University.

For the study, the team asked a group of children between the ages of 8 and 10 to exercise in a climate chamber. They were then given a drink before researchers measured their level of hydration. They found milk helped replace sodium lost in sweat, helped the body retain fluid better, and provided protein needed that is critical for muscle development and growth.

Children become dehydrated during exercise, and it's important they get enough fluids, particularly before going into a second round of a game. Milk is better than either a sports drink or water because it is a source of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, calcium and electrolytes," said Brian Timmons, research director of the Child Health and Exercise Medicine Program and principal investigator of the study.

The researchers noted active children and adults usually don't drink enough to stay hydrated during exercise, so they often have a "hydration disadvantage" when they start their next period of exercise. A person measuring 1% dehydration can experience a 15% decrease in performance, with an increased heart rate, core temperature and less stamina. More significant dehydration comes with an increased risk of heat-related illness such as heat stroke.

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