Chalk one up for milk in the ongoing battle between milk, water and sports drinks for superiority when it comes to rehydrating people after physical exercise.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada have found that milk is best when it comes to rehydrating active children.

“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,” says Brian Timmons, research director of the Child Health and Exercise Medicine Program at McMaster University and principal investigator of the study.

This is the latest in a series of findings that affirm the recuperative properties of milk.

Greg Miller, executive vice president of research, regulatory and scientific affairs at Dairy Management Inc. and the National Dairy Council, says the McMaster University research replicates previous research out of the United Kingdom that showed milk was better at rehydrating people than water or a carbohydrate sports beverage.

“We don’t know the mechanism yet, but we believe that the protein and other dairy components cause the water to be slowly released from the stomach, which would slow absorption — sort of a slow-release mechanism that allows for longerterm retention of the water,” Miller says. “When water or a sports drink is consumed, the water is rapidly absorbed. As a result, the kidneys work to remove what it sees as too much.”

Milk 1, sports drink 0