(CNN) - When you're thirsty and in need of a drink, water usually seems like the most refreshing idea. However, as refreshing as water is, it may not be the most hydrating choice.
That’s according to a study from Scotland’s St. Andrew’s University. Researchers compared the hydration responses of several different drinks and found that water does a pretty good job, but drinks with low amounts of sugar, fat or protein do an even better job of keeping the body hydrated for longer period of time.
The study's author and professor, Ronald Maughan, says one reason has to do with how our bodies respond to certain beverages.
Consider the volume. The more you drink, the faster the drink empties from your stomach and gets into the bloodstream, where it can dilute the body's fluids and hydrate you.
Another contributing factor is a drink's nutrient composition.
Researchers tested 13 beverages to see which would keep you hydrated for at least a four-hour period. The top five are:
- Skim milk
- Oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte
- Full fat milk
- Orange juice
Water and sparkling water ranked 10th and 11th, respectively.