Building a Better Sports Drink

Finding a way to increase the body’s ability to retain fluids.


In looking for a means to help people suffering from dehydration to better absorb nutrients, Scientists at Yale University are finding a way to increase the body’s ability to retain fluids by building better sports drink. To rehydrate patients from Cholera scientists identified that short chain fatty acids enhance sodium and water absorption in the large intestine.

They found that resistant starch is the key. Resistant starch travels to the large intestine where bacteria ferments it to short-chain fatty acids. Thus, it increases sodium and fluid absorption capacity.

When trying on patients, it had a marked improvement in rehydration.

Professor Henry J. Binder said, “Dehydration in patients with diarrhea is due to large amounts of electrolyte and fluid loss stimulated by chloride secretion. Resistant starch did better than the World Health Organization’s oral rehydration solution by upwards of 35-50%.”

To bring this discovery at the Commercial platform, scientists are now working with Australian-based Flinders Partners. They are particularly helping athletes retain the fluid they need.

Pro athletes lose significant water and electrolytes during games. An NFL running back could shed four to five pounds of water weight during a game. On the other side, a lineman nearly nine pounds.

Sinead O’Connell, the licensing director of Flinders Partners said, “Studies show a fluid loss of 2% in body weight is common during exercise for many sports, which can reduce athletic performance by as much as 29%.” 

Scientists tested their formula by using two-part hydration strategy. They used resistant starch-based drinks consumed the night before training, and then again midway through training until one hour afterward.

O’connell said, “The athletes started training better hydrated and finished training heavier, meaning they lost less body weight. They also recovered faster.”

Now, scientists are planning to launch this sports drink at $17B in early 2018.

Managing Director, David Vincent said, “Despite the impact of dehydration on athletic performance is a well-understood problem in sports science, the formulation of sports drinks has barely advanced in the past 50 years. PREP’D changes this by using resistant starch to access an untapped hydration potential in the body of up to 30%, allowing athletes to perform at their peak for longer.”

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