A Griffith University study, Comparing the rehydration potential of different milk-based drinks to a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage, found that Pauls brand full cream milk, So Good brand soy milk, and Nestlé milk-based liquid meal supplement, Sustagen Sport, were "more effective rehydration options" than Powerade.
An average of 65.1% of the Sustagen Sport consumed by participants after a period of exercise was retained.
Meanwhile, an average of 46.9% of So Good soy milk was retained, 40% of Pauls full cream milk, and 16.6% of Powerade.
The" superior fluid recovery" experienced by those that drank Sustagen Sport was attributed by the Griffith University team to the product's "additional energy, protein, and sodium" - components that have previously demonstrated a capacity to positively influence post-exercise fluid retention.
As detailed in the study, published in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism journal, 15 "recreationally active" men wearing heavy clothing rode stationary bikes to encourage sweat loss.
The participant cycled at 70% to 80% of their age-predicted maximum heart rate until 1.8% of their initial body mass was lost.
Following this, each consumed one of the four beverages in volumes equivalent to 150% of their body mass loss over the course of an hour. Blood and urine samples were taken and body mass and gastrointestinal tolerance were measured over a four-hour resting period.
The Griffith University team discovered that net body mass was "significantly less" in participants that drank Powerade, and those that consumed milk and Sustagen Sport reported higher "bloating and fullness" ratings than the Powerade drinkers.
Overall thirst ratings were, however, "not different between beverages" and milk-based drinks were found to be "more effective rehydration options compared with traditional sports drinks."
"In summary, this investigation further demonstrates the capacity of commercially available milk-based beverages to enhance the replacement of lost fluid following exercise in comparison with carbohydrate electrolyte drink," it added.
Source: Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2014-0174
Title: Comparing the rehydration potential of different milk based drinks to a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage
Authors: B Desbrow, S Jansen, A Barrett, M Leveritt, C Irwin