It may be a habit to down a sports drink after a workout, but a new study found that milk is an effective recovery drink, reported Time.com.
Thanks to milk and milk alternatives’ natural balance of sodium, carbohydrate and protein, the breakfast beverage helps the body retain fluid. In a study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, researchers studied 15 men after a four rounds of cycling on separate days. After each workout, participants had a different beverage: cow’s milk, soy milk, a milk-based meal supplement, or Powerade. Researchers used blood and urine tests to measure hydration and nutrient levels.
The study found that all of the milk-based products were superior to Powerade, in terms of rehydration, and that the milk-based meal supplement was the best at fluid retention.
Researchers found that the men who drank milk reported feeling more full— likely due to the protein in milk. Powerade was the most pleasant to drink while soy milk was the least.
As for plain water, study authors noted that drinking water after exercise actually causes a drop in sodium levels, potentially leading to even more dehydration.