Milk, water, cola, or beer? What drinks are better saturated with moisture

Most of the factors that affect how our body reacts and perceives various beverages have been studied quite extensively. But until recently, no one compared drinks by their ability to saturate the body with moisture.

But in vain. Theoretically, the more fluid you drink before and during exercise, the more likely it is to enter the bloodstream and be actively used. This is especially true in situations where access to water/other drinks is limited, or where there is no opportunity to use the toilet often.

Recently, a group of British (yes) scientists published a study comparing the hydration potential of different beverages.

Here are the drinks compared:

  • the water
  • sparkling water
  • light beer (lager)
  • Orange juice
  • coffee
  • tea
  • skimmed milk and regular fat milk
  • rehydration solution (regidron)
  • sports drink
  • diet and regular cola

How was the experience?

The study compared how well each drink was retained by the body within 2-3 hours of consumption.

The volunteers drank a liter of fluid and then the urine was checked to determine how much fluid was left in the body. Every drink has been awarded the hydration index BHI (Beverage Hydration Index).

Plain water was used as a benchmark with a hydration index of 1. So if the BHI of a drink was, say, 1.3, that meant that 2 hours after drinking that drink, 30% more remains in the body compared to non-carbonated water.

What did the results show?

The highest hydration index was in Region, milk, and orange juice.

The region became the only drink whose index was one and a half times higher than that of water. This means that 2 hours after using Region, 50% more fluid remained in the body compared to ordinary water.

The most likely reason for such a high index is that this drink reduces urine production due to the high amount of electrolytes – components such as sugar, fats, and electrolytes have long been known to increase water retention in the body.

Coffee and beer, which were considered to have a strong diuretic effect, showed a lower hydration index than water. The index of beer was found to be higher than that of coffee, due to its high-calorie content, which slows down the passage time in the stomach. It’s important to note that the amounts of alcohol and caffeine consumed in beer and coffee during the study were actually quite low.

But sports drinks did not live up to expectations and also showed an even lower index than plain water. The selected drink contained a relatively low amount of electrolytes and sugar – 450 mg / l of sodium and 6% carbohydrates. This is one of the reasons why you should choose isotonically.

How will this help in practice?

Although most of the results fall into the “I knew it without research” category, there are a few surprises.

Has been rehabilitated coffee was previously thought to cause dehydration even in small amounts.

So loved by many ultramarathoners a car did not justify confidence: its index is close to water, but the high sugar content makes it unsuitable for replenishing the water balance after daily training. So it’s best to leave the cola to the more hardcore races.

But if you want Beer after the competition – it is quite possible to treat yourself to a drink without remorse.

High-calorie drinks such as Milk (and, logically, recovery shakes) can help with rehydration more than we imagined. They are useful both after intensive training and after an intense running session when you need to consume both calories and fluids to help the body quickly regain its strength.


Nothing better than the water still not invented (surprise, right?). For short workouts of 30-60 minutes, water is the ideal choice and you certainly won’t be consuming too many calories.

Caffeine has a diuretic effect, which is why many believe that tea and coffee are dehydrating. In fact, caffeinated beverages are fine if consumed in small amounts – no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day, or about three medium-sized cups of coffee. Pregnant women are advised to consume only 200mg or about two cups.

Milk – An excellent choice for replenishing the balance of fluids in the body (if you do not have lactose intolerance). In addition to a high hydration index, milk saturates the body with calcium, protein and B vitamins.

Fruit juices and smoothies also have a higher hydration index than water, but their quantity should be limited due to the high calorie and sugar content. Similarly, you should track calories in the case of soft drinks, for example, various lemonades.