Milk for Electrolytes?

After a sweaty soccer session, if you think you need to buy a sports drink for electrolytes, think again! Milk is an excellent choice after a hard workout for many reasons … including the fact it is a good source of the electrolytes (minerals) sodium and potassium. Instead of reaching for a sports drink such as PowerAde to replace sweat losses, chug some lowfat (chocolate) milk. It can be a more effective rehydrator! 

Yup, milk has “electrolytes” (as do all natural foods)! These electrolytes enhance fluid retention and help restore normal fluid balance. This is important if you have limited time to rehydrate before your next bout of exercise, such as in a soccer tournament. 

Too many soccer players are confused consumers and believe they need to purchase a sports drink for “electrolytes” when they can get far more in foods like, well, milk. 

Here’s how low-fat milk compares to PowerAde:

The bottom line: After a hard bout of soccer, the recovery foods that you might consume such as chocolate milk, bagel with peanut butter, or pasta with tomato sauce, offer far more electrolytes than you’ll get in a sports drink. Use the sports drink during exercise, not afterwards!

Source: S.M. Shirreffs, P. Watson, R.J. Maughan "Milk as an effective post-exercise rehydration drink". British Journal of Nutrition. Volume 98, Pages 173-180.

For more information: Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark