Prevent Winter Dehydration with Dairy

man preparing protein shake with milk

In a college athletic department, there is always a sport in season. During these unprecedented times, there may be new guidelines to follow in athletics, but at least one thing remains the same – athletes still need to focus on fuel and hydration to compete in their sport!

As temperatures begin to drop, athletes tend to focus less on hydration, but it is during these cooler months that hydration status can be a game changer in any sport. If you’re a collegiate athlete or just trying to stay active in your spare time, focusing on what you eat and drink can help you stay hydrated all winter long. 

Sip on warm beverages to increase fluid intake during winter. After a chilly run or early morning practice, try heating up 8 ounces of low-fat milk, 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder, and 2 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix. This satisfying treat provides fluid, electrolytes, carbohydrates, and high-quality protein your body needs to recover after a workout!

Southeast Dairy Association - Greek Yogurt Bowl

The nutrition benefits of dairy go beyond calcium and vitamin D to include hydration! A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition aimed to develop a beverage hydration index (BHI) that compares common beverages and their effects on hydration status. A higher BHI is shown to support hydration status for a longer period. The researchers compared thirteen beverages including water, milk, juice, and a sports drink based on their energy density, volume consumed, presence of diuretic agents, and electrolyte status. The results concluded that skim and whole milk both had a higher BHI than the other beverages.

In addition to beverages, focus on foods to help you stay hydrated. A Greek Yogurt Bowl, cereal with milk, or fresh fruit with string cheese are great options to add more fluid to your snack routine.

Visit The Dairy Alliance recipe page for more delicious dairy recipes to help you stay hydrated this season. 

Becky Schroeder, RD, MAEd, LDN, CSSD joined the Cardinal Athletic department in May 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado. Becky accepted a dietetic internship at Andrews University and became a registered dietitian in June of 2014. As a Sports Dietitian, Becky works as a lead dietitian for Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving, Women’s Soccer, Lacrosse, and Men’s and Women’s Tennis. With her culinary background, she also works closely with chefs and staff at the student athlete dining center to create menus and recipes. As of July 2017, she became a certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD). Becky is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She grew up on a blueberry farm that her family has owned and operated for over 100 years.

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