Not even water on the winner’s podium

(Picture: Giorgio Trovato - Unsplash)

(Picture: Giorgio Trovato – Unsplash)

When you’re thirsty, the best thing to do is drink water – right? After all, water is the reason for our existence. But a Scottish research team from St Andrews University found otherwise.

When it comes to supplying the human body with liquid for as long and efficiently as possible, pure water doesn’t even land on the winner’s podium.

What hydrates us anyway?

To answer this question, we have toback to chemistry class. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together. It’s not that bad.

On a chemical level, water is dihydrogen oxide, or H₂O. This is about the distilled form of water and not the liquid we normally drink from a bottle or tap. Drinking distilled water can help in the long run Electrolyte balance messed up bring.

(Image: Manki Kim - Unsplash)

(Image: Manki Kim – Unsplash)

Electrolytes, in turn, are important, among other thingsto bind fluid in the body. These include, for example, magnesium, potassium or calcium. These substances bind to the water and, by maintaining an electrical charge, regulate certain chemical reactions in our body, such as fluid balance.

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It was therefore necessary to find drinks that contained the most electrolytes. Mineral water is of course better than distilled water, but there is more to it than that.

That’s the top 3

The researchers tested 13 commonly consumed beverages. Criteria included how quickly and for how long you hydrate, based on how much you’re consuming.

The researchers were able to find that lactose, protein and fat help to slow down the leakage of body fluid.

The three drinks that are even more hydrating than water are milk, orange juice and ORS. Milk comes first, ORS second and orange juice third. Only then does water come.

What is ORS you ask? The parents among you may know it. It is »Oral Rehydration Solution«, also known as WHO drinking solution. It is used to provide babies with liquid as efficiently as possible. For example with diarrhea.

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How was measured?

(Image: Anita Jankovic - Unsplash)

(Image: Anita Jankovic – Unsplash)

This is where the BWI is crucial. This stands for Beverage Hydration Index and is measured on the excreted urine. Milk achieved an outstanding value of 99 percent. Orange juice is 95 percent. Water is just under 95 percent.

If your thirst for knowledge is not yet quenched, then feel free to have a look at our other science articles. Colleague Alex explains to you what the Neanderthal DNA in our bodies does to us:

Did you know that milk is more hydrating than water? It’s just a pity that it’s so difficult to take milk with you to very warm events. However, this is good to know for the sweaty summer day in the home office. What is the best way to quench your thirst? Write us the best thirst quenchers in the comments! We’re looking forward to.

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