I’m excited to tell you that our new range of all-natural electrolyte drink mixes are now available. We’ve been developing them with some of the top tier professional sports teams in the US and UK and they’ve been in the works for quite some time now, so it’s a big moment in the history of our little company to finally be able to tell you about them.
I’ve been using them myself in various stages of development for about 9 months. But, given that my wife is due to give birth soon, I’ll stop short of making any comparisons to bringing a new child into the world! Despite all of our hard work to get to this point, I’m sure she’s been through a lot more than we have just recently…
Hopefully, like us, you’re a big fan of our existing electrolyte products. So, you probably have a few questions about the new stuff. I’ve tried to anticipate some of them here, but do ask anything I’ve missed via the comments or firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll follow up with you directly, or in another post very soon.
What’s the new stuff called?
The new drinks are simply called ‘Precision Hydration 250’, ‘Precision Hydration 500’, etc.
What's it designed to do?
Nothing’s changed here. As with the H2Pro Hydrate effervescent tablets, the aim is to offer athletes Personalised Hydration Plans using multi-strength electrolyte drinks that match how they sweat.
The range still includes drinks that contain 250, 500, 1000 or 1500mg of sodium per litre (and yes, you can still refer to them as ‘the green one’, ‘the yellow one’, ‘the orange one’ and ‘the purple one’), but these are now delivered in a new format: single-serving sachets containing 20g of all-natural, powdered drink mix (15g for the 250s, because they contain less sugar, but more on that later). The sachets will come in rather nice, recyclable, matt black Precision Hydration boxes, if that sort of thing floats your boat too.
Why powder and not a tablet?
We’ve re-formulated the drinks for several reasons…
1) To remove the need to use any artificial sweeteners or other synthetic ingredients. That’s something that a lot of athletes have been asking us for, increasingly so in recent years. But, it’s actually really hard to make an all-natural effervescent tablet. Whilst possible in theory, in the R&D process we really weren’t happy with the results, so we moved to a powdered drink mix format instead because we didn’t want to compromise on function or taste.
2) We wanted to add a very light (3%) glucose solution to the drink to increase fluid absorption in the gut and increase how quickly they can hydrate athletes. Our hypotonic formula uses ‘sodium glucose co-transport’ to maximise the speed at which the fluid gets into your body. When water has glucose and sodium added to it, the rate of movement from the intestine into the body is increased. This is something that has been used in medicine for many years, but it's been slower to catch on in the sports drink world. But, more on that later. Again, whilst technically this can be done in tablet form, the tablet has to be really big and it just doesn’t dissolve well, so powder was just a much better option.
3) We also wanted to offer single-servings that athletes can carry more easily on the move and powders are a great choice for this as they are packed into single, waterproof sachets. Again, that’s something that a lot of our athletes have been asking for. In many sports, it’s just not convenient to carry a full tube of electrolyte tablets around with you when you’re training and competing. Now, you’ll be able to take just a couple of servings out with you to keep you hydrated when it counts.
What do they taste like?
Very much like H2Pro Hydrate. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. They’re a similarly light citrus flavour - but we think they taste even better than before (especially the 1500s)! We gave some of our pro athletes early access to the new stuff and they seem to agree with us on that…
But, do try them for yourself and let us know what you think…
What’s in them?
The new mixes contain just 8 ingredients.
As before, the key one is obviously sodium and in the new drinks this comes in the form of Sodium Citrate. Although it’s more expensive than Sodium Bicarbonate and Sodium Chloride (a.k.a table salt), it’s alkaline and therefore much easier to drink in larger volumes and more suitable for the body when exercising. In other words, the new stuff is even kinder on your stomach than our existing range. Which is great if you're prone to GI issues on longer/hotter events when you're drinking more.
The flavouring comes solely from natural fruit extracts; the glucose comes from simple cane sugar (see below for more on this).
They also still contain base amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium, similar to the low levels found in normal human sweat. Oh, and there’s also a little bit of citric acid and vitamin C, just to help with the taste and improve the stability of the products when they’re stored before use.
The bottom line is that there are no artificial or synthetic ingredients in the new products. This was really important to us as we are aware that more and more athletes are seeking to minimise or eliminate these from their diets. The drinks are suitable for vegetarians and vegans and they’re gluten, dairy and GMO free. We followed the basic principle that we’d only put in exactly what was needed to make a useful and great tasting hydration drink. Nothing more.
Why is there sugar in the new formula?
Our all-natural electrolyte drinks contain a bit of sugar and some people may ask questions about that as sugar has a bit of a bad rep these days. But, when Mary Poppins sang “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, she really was on to something. You see, a small amount of sugar (Glucose) in solution significantly improves the movement of water into the body when paired with plenty of sodium.
Our hypotonic hydration formulas take advantage of this using a well-researched mechanism called ‘sodium glucose co-transport’ to increase the rate at which fluid gets into your body. It's basically the same concept used in medical oral rehydration solutions to rapidly rehydrate those suffering from severe dehydration from sickness and diarrhoea (who can’t be given a drip), so it has a lot of weight behind it.
Check out our full infographic for 5 reasons to love the new range.
As well as helping you absorb fluid faster to stay hydrated, sugar also has the side benefit of helping keep your energy levels up during prolonged exercise. Don’t misunderstand us here, sugar, like anything in excess, is not good for you and these are in no way ‘energy drinks’. But, for athletes, consuming sugar appropriately really makes a lot of sense, especially when you’re working hard.
In actual fact (and despite the bashing they receive in the popular press on a regular basis), carbohydrates are still up there as the most proven and potent substances athletes can legally consume to maintain endurance performance.
But as with most things in life, moderation is the key word here. A single serving of Precision Hydration (mixed into 500ml/16oz of water as directed) creates a hypotonic 3% carbohydrate solution. That’s the optimal amount for fluid absorption and less than half the level found in typical isotonic drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade and Lucozade Sport.
It delivers just under 70 Kcal per 500ml/16oz serving and approximately 15g of carbohydrate. This means that most athletes will definitely still need to get the majority of their calories from foods or other solid nutrition products. But that's exactly how it should be: Rapidly absorbed fluids from your bottles and calories from solid foods. You can then dial hydration, sodium and calorie requirements up and down independently to suit whatever you're doing, whatever the conditions.
What about the other electrolytes?
They’re still there too. The new products provide 250mg of potassium, 48mg of calcium and 24mg of magnesium per litre. That's plenty to keep those topped up as, as you probably know, sodium is the main electrolyte lost in your sweat (which is why we focus on it).
So, what's changing in my Personalised Hydration Plan?
Not much in actual fact. If you're currently using H2Pro Hydrate 500 in training, you'll switch to Precision Hydration 500 when you next top up, and so on. One sachet is the equivalent to one of the effervescent tablets, and you'll still mix in one serving per 500ml/16oz of water.
What you’ll just have to factor in is that you’ll be getting just under 70 Kcal (c.15g of carbohydrate) with every 500ml/16oz serving, so you may want to reduce your energy intake from bars/gels or solid food by a corresponding amount to keep that balanced. Other than that, you can just use as you would have before.
Sounds awesome, how do I get my hands on some?
They're available now in our store, but to begin with there's limited stock as much of this initial batch is going out to the pro sports teams we developed them with.
If you drink H2Pro Hydrate 250, you'll have to wait just a little bit longer for the new Precision Hydration 250s, as all of that has gone out to the pros. But, we think it'll be worth the wait.