Milk Better Than Water to Combat Dehydration?

The vegans I know will be up in (scrawny) arms at the assertions of this scientific study, but they’re a really protein-deprived lot, so I’m not all that scared. Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada say that active whippersnappers (I think that’s a name influenced by a neighboring Québécois term for “rugrats”) will benefit more from a healthy helping of milk than they will from sports drinks or even water as a way to combat dehydration.

The study’s primary researcher, Brian Timmons, says: “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.” Besides being delicious, milk’s a great source of replenishing sodium that gets lost in sweat, which also helps the body more efficiently retain its fluids.

Timmons also reminds us that just one percent dehydration can decrease one’s physical performance by 15 percent while increasing core temperature and heart rate. Then again, if you find yourself trudging across some frozen lake in the middle of an Ontario January, upping that core temperature doesn’t sound like half of a bad idea. I’m just saying.

Milk Better Than Water to Combat Dehydration?As an important aside, I’m only assuming that we’re talking about cow milk, and not the lactose offerings of other mammals common to the northern hemisphere such as moose, beavers, badgers, folk singers, and orcas. But you’re welcome to try and milk a killer whale and let me know how that goes.

I dare you.

Does it come as a surprise that this research was funded by Dairy Farmers of Canada? I’m still waiting on results from a similar series of tests being conducted on subjects ranging from eight to 10-years-old that was bankrolled by Whisky Distillers of Scotland that will likely encourage gradeschoolers to carry flasks in their lunchboxes for midday refreshment and invigoration of spirit.

Cheers, kids!