With summer definitely here, and the heat that goes with it, everyone is rushing to bottled water to stay hydrated. But a study shows that water is not necessarily the most effective drink for hydrating the body…
You are thirsty ? Thinking of hydrating yourself with a glass of water? If the role of water in hydrating the body is no longer to be proven, a study conducted by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland shows that other drinks could surpass water in terms of hydration. This research, led by Professor Ronald Maughan of St. Andrews Medical School, found that drinks with a small amount of sugar, fat or protein could keep the body hydrated longer than water, whether still or sparkling.
Drinks more hydrating than water?
The reason for this phenomenon is to be found in our body’s reaction to drinks. The more a drink is consumed in large quantities, the faster it empties from the stomach and is absorbed into the bloodstream, thus diluting body fluids and providing hydration. Furthermore, the nutritional composition of a drink also influences its hydration potential.
For example, milk has been shown to be more hydrating than pure water because it contains lactose (a sugar), proteins and a little fat, which help slow the “emptying” of the stomach, thus ensuring hydration. longer. Milk also contains sodium, which retains water in the body, reducing urine production.
Not all sugars are created equal when it comes to hydration, however. High-sugar drinks, like fruit juice or soda, aren’t as hydrating as their lower-sugar counterparts. Their high sugar concentration prolongs their stay in the stomach, but once in the small intestine, this concentration is diluted by osmosis, a physiological process that “pulls” water from the body to the intestine to dilute the sugar.
The excess sugar in juices and sodas not only decreases their hydrating power, but also adds extra calories that don’t fill us up as much as solid foods. Additionally, our kidneys and liver need water to remove toxins from our body, and water plays a vital role in maintaining skin elasticity and suppleness.
As for alcohol, its diuretic effect may vary depending on the amount consumed. For example, a beer would have a less dehydrating effect than whiskey because it contains more liquid. Strong alcoholic drinks have a dehydrating effect, while diluted ones do not. As for coffee, its hydration potential depends on the level of caffeine. A normal coffee, containing about 80 milligrams of caffeine, would be almost as hydrating as water.