Dairy Foods, Sports & Fitness

The original rehydration drink

When you train hard, you sweat hard. Milk helps you rehydrate fast by replacing fluid and electrolytes in the right balance. There’s 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 athletes and people who 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 

Rehydrate naturally

Milk naturally provides both fluid and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) that assist with rehydration. The sodium concentration of milk is similar to conventional sports drinks, and because of its other nutrients, it’s better at helping our bodies stay hydrated.

A number of studies have shown that milk is an effective drink for rehydration. A 2007 study found low-fat milk helped dehydrated cyclists replace sweat loss better than water or a sports drink.* 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 either low-fat milk, a sports drink or water to rehydrate. Four hours after exercise, the cyclists who drank milk were better hydrated by an average 600 ml compared with those who drank water or a sports drink.

*Shirreffs SM et al. (2007) Milk as an effective post-exercise rehydration drink. Brit J Nutr 98, 173-80.