How to hydrate better than water? Milk! It's kind of a super food.
March 17, 2023
Staying hydrated plays a key role in your overall health.
Hydration levels affect so many systems of your body: urologic, gastrointestinal, circulatory, neurological. If you’re not properly hydrated, your physical and mental function will decline. It’s that simple.
In my opinion, hydration (or dehydration) is one of the easiest messages to receive from your body. It’s easier than knowing if you consumed enough protein, vitamin B12, or magnesium. You know what I mean?
When you feel thirsty or dehydrated, it’s pretty basic knowledge that you should drink something. But what? “Drink water,” they say. But, what if there was something better? Something that would hydrate you more and for a longer period of time? As it turns out…
Milk hydrates your body better than water!
March 2016 trial in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms this. It was a randomized trial where 72 active healthy men, each starting with the same hydration level, were each tested with 4 different drinks. They considered 13 different common store bought drinks: still water, sparkling water, cola, diet cola, sports drink, ORS (oral rehydration solution), orange juice, lager, coffee, tea, cold tea, full-fat milk, and skimmed milk.
Following each drink, their urine output was measured over the course of 4 hours. This set a beverage hydration index (BHI) for each drink, which accounted for water content in each beverage. For example, still water contains 100% water, whereas full fat milk is 88% water (and, by the way, this correction had little effect on the final BHI).
The idea was that, the less urine you produced, the more liquid your body retained, the higher the BHI. Pretty simple.
The results? The 4 that came out of top, in order of highest to lowest BHI: skimmed milk, ORS (oral rehydration solution), full-fat milk, and orange juice,
Milk also resulted in lower sodium and higher potassium levels after consumption, making it really come out on top.
ORS (oral rehydration solution) raised sodium significantly after consumption, whereas orange juice and milk lowered it. Orange juice lowered it the most. Since high sodium levels could have negative effects on the body, ORS (oral rehydration solution) should only be used in severe cases of dehydration.
Milk and orange juice increased potassium levels, and ORS (oral rehydration solution) lowered potassium levels. Milk increased it the most.
The study concluded that the most hydration, the best maintenance of fluid balance, comes from drinks containing the highest macronutrient and electrolyte content.
Drinks with a high energy content, whether in the form of carbohydrate, fat, protein, or even alcohol, empty the stomach more slowly. They delay water leaving the body, which gives your body the most time to make use of the water and hydrate!
Let’s put it all together.
If milk from 100% grass fed cows on regenerative pasture produce the most nutritious and highest energy milk, then Miller’s milk would have maximum hydration!
We know our milk is delicious. We know it’s produced to the highest, most natural standards possible. And now we know that it’s super at hydrating, too!
This brings me back to an experiment I did a few years ago - The Great Milk Diet Experiment (as I called it). I heard a strange story about a man who damaged his digestive system as a toddler and drank raw milk only his whole life and was very healthy. So three of the ladies who work on the farm and myself did a milk diet experiment. We consumed milk only for 7-10 days.
The results? We lost a little weight. And, once we got used to not chewing, we felt great. Milk satisfied our hunger completely. And now I think that one reason why is that we were all fully hydrated!