Does Milk Count as Fluid?

Milk has been labeled as an essential part of a stable and healthy diet for ages. From growing children to healthy adults, milk is often one of the go-to foods to get some nutrients. Maintaining hydration is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy body. Hence, people need to maintain their water intake.

Many people often grab milk instead of water to quench their thirst. It is indeed healthy, and often some cold milk tastes excellent while you are thirsty.

But does it help you to maintain your fluid balance? Does milk count as fluid? Let's learn more about milk, its nutrients, and its status as a fluid.

Does Milk Count as a Fluid?

Fluid refers to those compounds or substances that flow easily and do not have any fixed shape like solids. The fluids can flow freely and easily due to the increased distance in the intermolecular space. In general, liquids and gases are considered fluids.

Milk is a liquid that can also be considered a fluid. It contains nearly 80% water and other nutrients, and like any fluid, milk also flows freely without maintaining any shape.

The Nutritional value of milk

Milk has been considered a balanced food item as it contains a lot of water and other nutrients. Let's check out the nutritional value of one cup of 240 ml cow's milk −

  • Water: 90% by weight

  • Calories: 149%

  • Fat(total):12%( 8 g)

  • Saturated fat:25%( 5g)

  • Trans fat: 0

  • Cholesterol:8%(24mg)

  • Sodium:4%(104mg) TO 5%(125MG)

  • Potassium: 7.4%(349 mg)

  • Total carbs: 4%(12g)

  • Dietary fiber:0

  • Sugar: 12g

  • Protein:16%(8g)

  • Calcium: 28%

  • Vitamin A: 8%(68 mcg)

  • Vitamin b16: 0

  • Magnesium:0

  • Vitamin D: 2.45mcg

How much Hydration can Milk Provide?

Like the dairy, plant-based milk variations like soy, coconut, almond, and oat milk also have good nutrient values. But, these plant-based variations are low in protein content.

When the fat amount decreases in milk variations, the water level increases. The skimmed milk has 90% water content, while the whole fat milk contains only 88% water. Due to this, skimmed milk and coconut milk are often the best milk variations to get hydration.

Can you Drink Milk During Dehydration?

For human physiology, fluids, especially water, are required to keep the body hydrated. If you are dehydrated, you will have to increase the fluid intake to ensure the body returns to a healthy state to function properly. In the case of hydration, the electrolyte inside the fluid matters most. If we check out milk, especially cow's milk, it is one of the easiest sources to get sodium and potassium. Both of these are known as essential electrolytes for your body. These electrically charged particles maintain the human body's fluid volume and blood volume, and density.

Besides, milk also contains enough carbs except dietary fiber, which helps prevent dehydration. Dehydration happens when your body does not get enough fluid and electrolytes. Milk can be a good choice due to its high sodium, potassium, and other beneficial components. As per a 2015 study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, cow's milk can be on par with the ORS or oral rehydration solution to maintain hydration inside your body.

Is Milk enough to replace the water in case of Rehydrating your Body?

Even though milk is excellent for rehydrating your body, it may not suit everyone. While a fully healthy person may get some benefit, those suffering from some health condition may not benefit at all.

As per a PUBMED study conducted in 2007, milk helps to get better rehydration in case of mild dehydration caused by mild to moderate level exercise. In this case, low-fat milk was used to test.

But milk has a few downsides as well. It takes time to digest milk fully; some people are even allergic to it.

Those severely dehydrated or suffering from food poisoning may be unable to digest milk. Such people will have a weakened stomach, and consuming milk can alleviate their condition.

On the other hand, the calorie content of milk is also a crucial factor here. While it is rich in electrolytes, a cup of milk has higher calories than a cup of water or even an Oral rehydration solution. Hence, it can cause other issues as well.

Besides that, milk also contains lactose, which can cause allergic reactions in some people. For them, drinking milk as a fluid to get rehydration is not recommended.

Milk also has a high satiety level and can keep you full for longer. Hence, it can help those who exercise but not those already suffering from severe dehydration.

Additionally, milk also does not contain many other nutrients or trace elements. Hence, you will not get complete nutrition if you drink only milk instead of water.

How to Drink Milk?

You can make milk a fluid in your diet to maintain hydration. It cannot replace water. But milk should be a part of your daily fluid intake to get electrolytes and calcium. Here are some ways that you can drink milk to get the best rehydration-

Always choose skimmed or low-fat milk

Despite being fluid, milk can contain a good amount of fat. Hence, if you want some duration, get the skimmed or low-fat version with a fat content of 0% to less than 3%. It will allow you to get all the benefits of milk without consuming unnecessary fat.

Modern PubMed studies have also proved that skimmed milk is better as a hydrating fluid compared to its full-fat version.

Go for non-dairy milk

Plant-based milk variations like coconut, oat, unsweetened almond, and soy milk all contain high amounts of sodium and potassium, making these excellent choices for hydrating your body. But, these may contain unnecessary sugar and less amount of protein.


Milk is a fluid that can help humans to get hydrated faster in case of milk or moderate dehydration among healthy individuals. Even though it contains a good amount of beneficial electrolytes, it is not suitable for those who have severe dehydration. On top of that, it is not an alternative to water, the primary fluid consumed by humans. It can be consumed besides water and other fluids to maintain the body's hydration level.

Updated on: 13-Mar-2023


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