During National Dairy Month, we honor hardworking dairy farmers and celebrate the nutritious milk they produce. There are so many reasons to celebrate real dairy milk, including its power to help you stay hydrated.
As it heats up here in the South, many people are probably reaching for sports drinks to make sure they stay hydrated, but studies show that real dairy milk is one of the best beverages for hydration. Researchers credit milk’s natural electrolytes, carbohydrates, and high-quality protein for being effective at improving hydration status and keeping you hydrated longer than water and sports drinks. Another thing I love about milk is that it’s so affordable. Compared to pricey sports drinks, milk offers electrolytes for hydration and 8 grams of protein at just around 25 cents per glass.
One of my favorite ways to stay hydrated on a hot day is with a cool, refreshing smoothie. Combine fruit and/or vegetables with dairy milk to ensure you are getting electrolytes for hydration along with 13 essential nutrients.
- This Refreshingly Raspberry Smoothie also includes Greek yogurt for a double dose of high-quality protein to help you rebuild muscle mass after an intense workout, along with cucumber and mint, making it the ultimate summertime refreshment.
- This Tropical Smoothie Refresher features naturally sweet banana and tropical fruit alongside baby spinach or kale and is a great way to get kids to consume green leafy vegetables.
- If you’re looking for something new and fun to make with your kids, try this Dragon Fruit Superfood Smoothie that’s as pretty as it is delicious.
Another way to stay hydrated this summer is to start each day off with a glass of ice-cold milk as part of a balanced breakfast. Milk pairs perfectly with whole grain cereals, toast, or waffles, and dairy and whole grains is a winning combination, providing all four nutrients that most Americans are not getting enough of: fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Add a serving of fruit and/or vegetables to complete the meal.
- Keep it simple on busy mornings with a bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal topped with milk and berries or a slice of whole-grain peanut butter and banana toast served with a glass of milk.
- Get your kids in the kitchen and whip up some Cinnamon Swirl Yogurt French Toast for a fun family activity. Be sure to add a glass of milk!
- Make these Blueberry-Buckwheat Pancakes in advance and freeze them for easy future meals where all that’s left to do is pour a glass of milk.
Jessica Ivey is a Registered Dietitian and chef with a passion for teaching people to eat healthy for a happy and delicious life. She loves spending time in the kitchen creating original recipes to help busy families eat well and enjoy more meals together. Jessica lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, three children, and dog.