Milk in the Summertime – A Splendid Choice

Jul 7, 2021Dairy Council® of Arizona

In the 2004 comedy Anchorman, a dethroned Will Ferrell staggers down the streets on a hot afternoon. He’s filthy, he’s grown an enormous beard, and he’s chugging milk from a tall, red carton. When he shouts to his friends, they ignore him and walk away. Milk trickling all over his beard, he cries out in agony“It’s so hot…. milk was a baaad choice!Chalk it up to Hollywood, or Ferrell’s rambunctious style, but the line’s dead wrong.

Research shows the oppositemilk and dairy products are among the best choices you can make to stay hydrated during the hot summer months. From proteins and electrolytes that bolster hydration to properties that help sunburnand not forgetting classic treats like smoothies, shakes and ice creammilk and dairy deserve more credit for keeping kids and adults healthy, hydrated, and stoked for summer.   


 Milk is better than either a sports drink or water because it is a source of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and electrolytes.” When temperatures break into the 100’s, you’re better off reaching for that glass of skim, one percent, or nonfat than most other beverages. While water remains the gold standard for hydration, a number of studies are confirming that cold milk, despite being thicker, hydrates just as well.

And for growing children, it’s even better. Unlike water, soda, and many sports drinks, milk replenishes proteins, carbohydrates, and electrolytesnot to mention calcium, vitamin D, and the sodium that trickles out through sweat. As a cool-down drink, milk slakes thirst while helping kids retain the fluids, compounds, and ingredients they need to keep growing.

While it makes a lot of sense, it’s increasingly seen in scientific findings. A 2011 Canadian study at McMaster University maintains that milk is actually the best choice for keeping kids hydrating during extended exercise or outdoor heat. That’s good news, considering most children, (along with adults), don’t drink enough to stay hydrated when the weather’s hot, or when they’re out exercising.

So when your kids, (or even those grown-up friends and relatives), are begging for that showy, brightly-colored sports drink, consider pouring them a tall, white glass that performs, and satisfies, even better.

Sunburn Relief

“A milk compress can help calm inflamed skin … proteins in the milk coat and soothe the skin,” – Dr. Joshua Zeichner We’re serious. Not yanking your tail with this one.  A growing number of dieticians, physicians, and even dermatologists, are recommending milk, dairy, and especially yogurt as a natural, soothing sunburn remedy. Nutritionists, both home and abroad in India and Canada, are encouraging salmon-red sunbathers to dab their skin with cold compresses doused in milk.

While it soothes burned skin, many claim that milk’s proteins, natural fat, and ph levels act as an anti-inflammatory. New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner goes even farther. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he claims that the milk in your fridge is the best remedy for both pain, and the skin and cellular damage caused by too many UV rays. He recommends keeping it cold, and not using cream milk in the compress. “A milk compress can help calm inflamed skin…  proteins in the milk coat and soothe the skin,’ Dr. Zeichner said. Zeichner points out that milk also contains antioxidants and vitamins A and D which promote healing, along with fat, amino acids, and lactic acid, and the proteins whey and casein.

He explains that lactic acid prompts the skin to drop dead cells, which means less inflammation and less attention from the immune system, which tries to heal them. Another remedy involves spreading cold yogurt, which has helpful enzymes, over sunburnt skin. Move over and make room, aloe vera. 

Let’s Not Forget: Dairy is Delicious

If keeping you hydrated and treating your excessive sunburns aren’t enough, then head on over for that frozen yogurt, cold milkshake, or gourmet ice cream. It’s no secret that when the heat’s on full blast, dairy’s got something sweet and cool for every palette. Need another reason to treat yourself?  July is National Ice Cream Month, and July 15th is National Ice Cream Day. The tradition started in 1984 when a Kentucky senator introduced the idea and President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. It’s been cool and delicious ever since. If you’re looking to change up your soft, frozen treat of choice, Arizona Milk has some suggestions. Check out our blog and website for recipes on rolled ice cream, and ice cream pie, to name a few. You can also hang out in the shade, pull out some half and half, and make your own ice cream in a bag, (or in a bowl, or a bathtub… whatever gets your juices flowing). Whatever you choose, know that milk’s a solid choice when it comes to cooling off, surviving summer, helping kids grow, or just making an afternoon a little bit sweeter. Unlike Will Ferrell, Arizona Milk gets it. And with fresh milk being produced daily….we’re as ready for summer as you are. 

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