The Most Hydrating Beverage?

The Most Hydrating Beverage?

Fluid Is Fluid Right?

“As long as I’m drinking some kind of fluid I’m helping my body stay hydrated”.

Unfortunately this is not the case!

When in a hydrated state, the amount of fluid retained by the body thus helping to maintain hydration status over a period of time differs from drink to drink. Factors such as macronutrient content, electrolyte content and the presence of nutrients with diuretic actions are thought play a role in fluid retention.

What Does The Research Say?

Maughan et al. (2016) conducted a study investigating fluid balance responses to the ingestion of commonly consumed beverages when in a hydrated state (water balance within the optimal homeostatic range).

It was hypothesised that drinks containing a high electrolyte content or high energy content would have greater fluid retention and therefore a higher beverage hydration index than plain water.

The beverage hydration index (BHI) describes a beverages effectiveness to maintain hydration status over a period of time after ingestion.

The Results

The 12 beverages were classified in the following order according BHI score.

1 = Most Hydrating (more fluid retained). 

12 = Least Hydrating (least fluid retained).

  1. Skimmed milk
  2. Oral rehydration solution
  3. Orange juice
  4. Cola
  5. Cold Tea
  6. Tea
  7. Diet cola
  8. Sports drink
  9. Still water
  10. Sparkling water
  11. Lager
  12. Coffee

As you can see the results revealed that drinks containing the highest macronutrient and electrolyte contents were indeed the most effective at maintaining fluid balance.

Additionally beverages containing high levels of nutrients with diuretic effects such as coffee and lager were the least effective at maintaining fluid balance.

Want to find out more? Read the full article here.



Maughan, R.J., Watson, P., Cordery, P.A., Walsh, N.P., Oliver, S.J., Dolci, A., Rodriguez-Sanchez, N. and Galloway, S.D., 2016. A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. The American journal of clinical nutrition103(3), pp.717-723.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published