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13 Jun 2014

Scientists set out to develop first ever Hydration Index

Scientists at Loughborough University are developing an index to identify which drinks provide the most hydration.

Not all drinks are equally hydrating, and their individual composition plays a large role in influencing the rates they are absorbed by, and excreted from, the body.

Hydration isn’t only important for sports performance; studies show hydration levels can also affect performance and attention span at work.

Researchers will test drinks including water, milk, orange juice, tea, coffee, regular and diet fizzy drinks, sports drinks, and lager.

Loughborough experts are hoping to develop the index, which would be the hydration equivalent of the Glycaemic Index (GI) which defines blood glucose response to the ingestion of food.

This is the first time such a wide selection of drinks has been compared within the same study.

Lead researcher Dr Phil Cordery from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, explains:                            

“We want to quantify the differences between as many drinks as possible to be able to provide guidance on which provide the best levels of hydration.

“By comparing a wide range of drinks, and verifying results in a series of follow-up studies, we hope to develop a Hydration Index that can be used by the general public as well as elite athletes.”

Researchers are looking for healthy males aged 18 to 35 to take part in the study. Volunteers will be asked to attend the Loughborough University labs on five separate occasions, each visit lasting up to five hours.   

To find out more or register your interest contact Dr Cordery on 01509 226 347 or email                     

The study has been funded by the European Hydration Institute.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 14/118

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

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