It seems to me many mothers and fathers of my generation have been traumatised by the memory of lukewarm miniature bottles of free school milk left curdling in the sun before break time – bleh! As an adult I had to reacquaint myself with the white stuff when children came along. As the boys have had their heads turned by one highly publicised sports drink after another, it led me to do some homework into what actually works and what is a waste of money.
Cutting a long story short the answer is – MILK. It is a veritable cocktail of goodness and hydration, serving you and them better after a workout than either water or high sugar sports drinks. There are numerous different brands on the market, some tweaked to offer cholesterol lowering benefits, some for the lactose intolerant, some fortified with extra vitamins and Omega threes. Take your pick. I’m of the view it’s difficult to go wrong with buying locally sourced milk, which usually can be bought in your closest supermarket.
“Want a cookie? Sure, have it with a glass of milk.”
Recent research undertaken by Professor Alice Roberts for Britain’s Favourite Foods: Are They Good For You?, did some comparative testing for rehydration with three different drinks – milk, water and a sports drink. Milk won this competition staying in the system much longer than the other two. Together with its powerful range of nutrients including protein, calcium, zinc, vitamins A & D and iodine, it is difficult to beat. Milk is about the quickest way to source calcium, which we all know strengthens the bones whilst growing and throughout life. One glass contains 300mg of calcium, taking your teen well on the way to the 1000mg they should be having a day. Only eating (bones in) tinned pilchards or sardines have more calcium weight for weight than milk does.
Water is great, obviously, but it doesn’t have the same power cocktail that milk possesses to replace all that children have lost when they’re running about. Consider filling the thermos with cold or warm milk next time you’re packing a lunch or post match meal – their bones will thank you for it,it’ll fill them up quicker and rehydrate more effectively.