In adults, rehydration after exercise in the heat can be enhanced with a protein-containing beverage; however, whether this applies to children remains unknown. This study examined the effect of milk protein intake on postexercise rehydration in children.
Fifteen children (10–12 years) performed three exercise trials in the heat (34.4 ± 0.2 °C, 47.9 ± 1.1% relative humidity). In a randomized, counterbalanced crossover design, participants consumed iso-caloric and electrolyte-matched beverages containing 0 g (CONT), 0.76 g (Lo-PRO) or 1.5 g (Hi-PRO) of milk protein/100 mL in a volume equal to 150% of their body mass (BM) loss during exercise. BM was then assessed over 4 h of recovery.
Fluid balance demonstrated a significant condition × time interaction (
p= .012) throughout recovery; Hi-PRO was less negative than CONT at 2 hr ( p= .01) and tended to be less negative at 3 h ( p= .07). Compared with CONT, beverage retention was enhanced by Hi-PRO at 2 h ( p< .05). Conclusion:
A postexercise beverage containing milk protein can favorably affect fluid retention in children. Further research is needed to determine the optimal volume and composition of a rehydration beverage for complete restoration of fluid balance.