The surprising post-workout drink that'll rehydrate you better than Powerade.

Image: Maybe it’s time to fill your water bottle with something else… (iStock)

When you’ve just finished a hardcore gym class, what’s the first thing you feel like drinking?

A big glass of ice-cold water, most likely. Maybe a sports drink. Or even a beer, on special occasions.

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On the other hand, milk is probably the last liquid you want to put anywhere near your mouth when you’re thirsty, struggling to remain upright after a spin class, and dripping with sweat.

We hear you.

However, drinking milk after a workout might actually be a good choice, according to a new Australian study.

As TIME reports, researchers from Griffith University have found milk and milk alternatives can assist the body in restoring lost fluids, hence speeding up its recovery from exercise.

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Three milk products - Pauls full-cream milk, So Good soy milk and Sustagen Sport - were examined in the study, along with Powerade. Fifteen men were subjected to four rounds of cycling on stationary bikes on different days, while wearing heavy clothing to encourage sweat loss. (Now doesn't that sound like fun?)

At the end of each 'ride', the men stripped down, dried off and were weighed, before consuming one of the test drinks. They were then weighed again three hours later, and also had their blood and urine tested for hydration and nutrient levels.

Find plain ol' water hard to stomach? Try sprucing it up with fruit like these clever Instagrammers:

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As it turns out, all three milk supplements were better at rehydrating the body than Powerade, although the milk-based meal supplement was the most effective. Although none of the drinks made the participants more thirsty than others, the milk beverages made them feel more bloated and full, so there's that.

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But what about water? you ask. Well, the study authors noted that as plain water can reduce the body's sodium levels, it can have the potential to cause more dehydration. Just food for thought; we're not about to tell you to leave your water bottle at home.

There's one thing we know for sure about this study - it makes the best case for a post-gym coffee we've heard yet.

Have you tried drinking milk after a workout? How did it make you feel?