Low-fat milk is thought to be an effective postexercise rehydration beverage in adults; however, little is known about milk's rehydration ability in children after exercising in the heat. This study tested the hypothesis that because of its electrolyte and protein content, skim milk (SM) would be more effective than both water (W) and a carbohydrate/electrolyte solution (CES) in replacing body fluid losses in children following exercise in the heat. Thirty-eight (19 females) heat-acclimated pre- to early pubertal (PEP, aged 7-11 years) and mid- to late-pubertal (MLP, aged 14-17 years) children performed 3 sessions in 34.5 °C, 47.3% relative humidity, consisting of 2 × 20-min cycling bouts at 60% peak oxygen uptake followed by consumption of either W, CES, or SM. Each beverage was consumed immediately after exercise in a volume equal to 100% of their body mass loss during exercise. Urine samples were collected before, during, and after exercise, as well as the 2-h period following beverage consumption. On average, children dehydrated 1.3% ± 0.4%. Children ingested 0.40 ± 0.11 L (PEP) and 0.74 ± 0.20 L (MLP) of fluid. The fraction of the ingested beverage retained at 2 h of recovery was greater with SM (74% ± 18%) than W (47% ± 26%) and CES (59% ± 20%, p < 0.001 for both), and greater in CES than W (p < 0.001). All participants were in a hypohydrated state after 2 h of recovery, following the pattern SM < CES < W. In both PEP and MLP children, SM is more effective than W and CES at replacing fluid losses that occur during exercise in the heat.
Keywords: adolescents; children; enfants; fluid balance; protein; protéine; équilibre hydrique.