Jansen, S., Irwin, C., Leveritt, M., & Desbrow, B. (2012). Are all milks equal? Comparing the rehydration potential of popular milk based beverages. Presentation 2290 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study examined several varieties of milk to evaluate their ability to rehydrate following exercise-induced fluid losses. Males (N = 6; average age 25.7 years) lost ~2.1% body weight through intermittent cycle exercise before consuming a different beverage on four separate occasions. Drinks included Cow’s milk (0.6 cal/mL), Soy milk (0.6 cal/mL), a milk-based liquid meal replacement (Sustagen; 1.1 cal/mL), and a Sports drink (0.3 cal/mL). Beverages were consumed over one hour in volumes equivalent to 150% of body weight loss during exercise. Body weight, blood and urine samples, and measures of gastrointestinal tolerance were obtained before and for four hours after beverage consumption.

Net fluid balance at the conclusion of the trial was significantly enhanced on the Sustagen trial compared to the Sports Drink, which was largely a result of significant differences in total urine output between treatments. Overall measures of gastrointestinal tolerance and hematological markers did not differ between milk-based trials.

Implication. Milk-based drinks are more effective rehydration options when compared to a traditional sports drink. The consumption of a high calorie milk-based liquid meal replacement maximizes the recovery of fluid losses following exercise and should be recommended to individuals requiring rapid fluid restoration.

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