Unlike other fluids, it contains the perfect mix of sodium, carbs and protein to help the body rehydrate faster.
To see how a sports drinks stacked up against different kinds of milk products, researchers from Griffith University subjected 15 participants to four rounds of cycling on separate days.
After each session, they consumed a different beverage: cow’s milk, soy milk, a milk-based meal supplement and a sports drink. Their blood and urine was then analysed to determine hydration and nutrient levels.
While the milk-based meal supplement promoted better fluid retention overall, all of the milk-based products proved superior to the sports drink in terms of rehydrating the body.
However, there was one (major) downside to the findings.
The participants reported feeling more bloated and full after pounding milk (which the researchers put down to the protein factor.) Plus, they found the sports drink option way more palatable.
But how does plain old water compare after exercise?
Interestingly, the study's authors noted that it actually causes sodium levels to drop, which can potentially lead to even more dehydration.
So, all those fitness fanatics out there, take note: maybe milk’s not such a bad choice after all.