Milk better than water to rehydrate kids


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”McMaster University graduate student Kim Volterman monitors research participant Paige Leonard’s heart rate in the climate chamber at the Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre of McMaster University and the McMaster Children’s Hospital.”]Milk is a more effective way of countering dehydration in active children than sports
drinks or water, say researchers at McMaster.

That's particularly important during hot summer weather, says Brian Timmons, research
director of the Child Health and Exercise Medicine Program and principal investigator of
the study.

“Children become dehydrated during exercise, and it's important they get enough fluids,
particularly before going into a second round of a game. Milk is better than either a
sports drink or water because it is a source of high quality protein, carbohydrates,
calcium and electrolytes.”

He added that milk replaces sodium lost in sweat and helps the body retain fluid better.
The milk also provides protein, needed by children for muscle development and growth,
not found in the other drinks.

The study of children aged 8 to 10 involved exercising in a climate chamber, then
receiving a drink and being measured for hydration.

Timmons, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Michael G. DeGroote School of
Medicine, said active children and adults usually don't drink enough to stay hydrated
during exercise, so they often have a “hydration disadvantage” when they start their
next period of exercise.

He said that one per cent dehydration can cause up to a 15 per cent decrease in
performance, with an increased heart rate, core temperature and less ability to keep
going. More significant dehydration comes with an increased risk of heat-related illness
such as heat stroke.

The study is funded by Dairy Farmers of Canada.

The researchers are now looking for teenagers 14 to 16 years-old to participate in the
second stage of the research. Those interested should contact the Child Health and
Exercise Medicine Program at 905-521-2100, ext. 77566 or