Hydration – what drink is best?

glass-of-waterA recent study by Ron Maughan et al published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at how well different drinks hydrated us.

The results are surprising. I can’t imagine using milk to remain hydrated during a long run as I suspect I’d end up feeling sick. Some races I’ve participated in offer sports drinks at hydration stations and one even offered Coca-Cola.

But this study offered some interesting results.


Source: Sport Science Infographics

After a long run, I usually grab a glass or two of cold water from the tap. Then I pull down a bottle of sports drink with some electrolytes. I mix that myself from powder rather than buying it pre-bottled as the store-bought drinks are too strong for my taste. In the occasions where I buy a bottle from the supermarket, I dilute it by half.

I also try to stay hydrated as I run with either water of diluted electrolyte in a hydration pack. On shorter runs I’ll often sip from drinking fountains whenever I go past them – particularly on hot days.

The full title of the study is “A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index” and it can be read here [PDF Link].

What’s your preferred sports drink?

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