Maybe You Don't Need A Lot Of Water On A Hot Summer Day - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on July 27, 2016

Maybe You Don't Need A Lot Of Water On A Hot Summer Day

A recent study found that there are a number of drinks that can keep you better hydrated than water.

A recent study found that there are
a number of drinks that can keep
you better hydrated than water.

In these dog days of summer, it’s vitally important to stay hydrated. When it’s hot out, we tend to perspire more and that can leave our bodies without the necessary water levels. When we get dehydrated, we can get light-headed, feel lethargic, or worse.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the best way to combat this is to drink water – eight glasses a day.

But is the conventional wisdom right?

A recent study suggests that water may not be the best beverage to keep you hydrated during these hot summer months. Researchers compared water to a variety of beverage options to test which ones kept people more hydrated. The results were surprising, and show that there are a umber of drinks that can keep you better hydrated than water.

Fat-free or Whole Milk

It appears Ron Burgundy may have been wrong when he said, “milk was a bad choice.” Both fat-free and whole milk hit 1.5 on the researcher’s “beverage hydration index,” compared to water’s 1.0.

Research has shown that milk is actually more effective than water for hydration because of its protein, carbohydrates, calcium and electrolytes. Milk also replaces the sodium you lose when you sweat, and helps you retain fluid more effectively. When you drink water, your kidneys begin a process of eliminating extra water in your body. But when you drink a nutritionally dense beverage such as milk it slows that process down, leaving you more hydrated.

Chocolate milk can be especially beneficial after a workout. The added calories and sugar can contribute to the recommended ratio of four grams of carbohydrates for every one gram of protein consumed after your workout.

Be careful though, because milk, especially when it’s flavored, can be high in calories.

Oral Rehydration Solution

Commonly purchased in liquid form or in packets of powder that can be mixed with water, oral rehydration solutions were primarily designed to help children replace fluids lost due to diarrhea. But with flavors like strawberry, bubblegum and grape, you can also use it to make sure you’re staying hydrated on a daily basis.

One of the most popular brands of oral rehydration solution, Pedialyte, has been commonly used by runners dating back about 30 years.

Orange Juice

Orange juice was only slightly more hydrating than water, scoring a 1.1 on the index.

Just like the other options on this list, orange juice restores electrolytes when you might be on the verge of dehydration. It also increases your blood sugar, which can be a good thing after you’ve just finished exercising or have skipped a meal. If you want to reduce the sugar content, you can dilute a glass of orange juice with some water.

Whatever your beverage of choice, it’s important during these hot summer days to drink plenty of fluids, and if you do feel lightheaded or lethargic while outside, take a break. And maybe grab a glass of milk.

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