The lactose, protein and fat content causes the body to retain milk in the stomach longer than water, to better metabolize the elements
No one had ever doubted it. But science did it, who discovered that the most hydrating drink is not water. It is the milk: research carried out on theSaint Andrews University in Scotland, which compared the moisturizing power of some beverages. Even if its intake remains fundamental in order not to exceed calories, allow liver and kidney functions and maintain skin elasticity, water «quenches short-term, while liquids containing small amounts of sugars, fats or proteins allow a longer hydration of organs and tissues ", as explained by Ronald Maughan, author of the study.
It is the nutrient composition of milk that makes it more moisturizing: the content of lactose (which is a sugar), protein and fat causes the body to keep it longer, compared to water, in the stomach, to metabolize the elements. Sodium also contributes to its persistence in the body: it holds liquids like a sponge and prevents them from being eliminated too quickly with urine.
On the other hand, it is the same principle on which the rehydrating solutions that are taken in case of diarrhea are based: the small amounts of sugar, sodium and potassium which they contain favor the retention of liquids in the body, to compensate for those lost. Electrolytes contribute to effective hydration, while a small amount of calories keeps the liquid longer in the body.
Be careful though: this does not mean that very sweetened drinks are more moisturizing. Instead, they push the liquid into the small intestine ready to be eliminated. The best solution is alternate water with milk skimmed or whole, or orange juice and tea in moderate quantities.
More than 75% of the body and cells are water, which is lost through breathing, perspiration and sweating, and which must be replenished. "It is sufficient, in fact, a slight dehydration, equal to 2% of body weight", explains Maurizio Muscaritoli, president of Sinuc (Italian Society of clinical nutrition and metabolism), "to unleash a sense of confusion and disorientation, fatigue, loss of strength, coordination and cognitive functions in general. The consequences of this mild deficiency can be falls, traumas and accidents, but also damage to the kidneys and muscles, increased risk of contracting infections ". This is why remembering to drink is really essential for health.