Does Milk Really Hydrate You Better Than Water?

pouring milk into a glass
pouring milk into a glass - Alvarez/Getty Images

When you're parched and in desperate need of rehydration, chances are you reach straight for a glass of water. It's the first thing you crave in the morning and exactly what you want after some sweaty exercise. Whether you love tap water or swear by bottled water, it doesn't matter; the beverage has a reputation as the healthiest, most fulfilling option. It's the most hydrating drink possible, right? Well, actually, that could be wrong. According to a study from St. Andrews University, experts are saying that milk could be more hydrating than water, and it seems to be a controversial point.

The logic? Milk contains more fats, proteins, and sugars than ordinary water. This simple difference means a glass of milk has much more nutritional value to offer than a glass of water alone. Also, instead of quickly flushing through your stomach, milk requires a longer processing time in your system, essentially lengthening the time dedicated to hydration. While a crisp, clear glass of water may feel more refreshing (especially when ice cold), the nutrients you get from milk could just give it the edge.

Read more: What Happens If You Accidentally Eat Mold?

How Hydration Works

Glass of water
Glass of water - Burke/triolo Productions/Getty Images

Two primary things impact hydration levels: the quantity and quality of the liquid you intake. Experts recommend that the average healthy person drinks a standard number of four to six cups of water per day. As a general rule, the more hydrating the liquid you intake (coffee and alcohol therefore excluded since they act as diuretics), the more hydration you'll achieve. When your beverage has a high nutritional value, it will hydrate you more effectively.

We all know about artificially created hydration drinks like Gatorade, but milk and water get the job done naturally. Both drinks offer an excellent hydration solution if you want to refresh your body and reduce recovery time. But, as you now know now, milk is full of nutrients that may encourage your body to spend just a little longer on hydration. It's worth seeing where you can add it to your lifestyle — perhaps milk instead of water is on the cards for your next hot chocolate?

Read the original article on Tasting Table.