Elite sports hydration drink off and running

The new range of hydration-boosting drinks developed at Flinders University has gone on the market.

Called PREPD, the drinks are set to transform the way endurance athletes train and compete, according to Flinders University start-up company Preserve Health Pty Ltd.

PREPD is a two-step hydration system backed by more than 20 years of gastrointestinal and human hydration medical research between Flinders University and other partners including Yale University in the US.

Its launch coincides with a key sponsorship with Ironman Oceania and brand ambassadors including V8 Supercars driver Todd Hazelwood and Australian 100km ultra-marathon record holder and world champion, Kirstin Bull.

Launching in two flavours – mango-passionfruit and strawberry-kiwi – the PREPD drinks are low in sugar content and will be available in a 350ml ready-to-drink, smoothie-like format.

“Until now, we have not seen any significant advances in hydration since the first sports drinks were invented more than 50 years ago,” says Preserve Health CEO David Vincent.

“While a 2% drop in hydration can reduce athletic performance by up to 30%, PREPD changes all this by enhancing the effectiveness of water and any sports drink, reducing dehydration and helping athletes to perform at their peak for longer,” Mr Vincent says.

PREPD works by using a unique resistant starch identified as a key factor in promoting hydration in the gut.

Co-inventor Flinders Professor Graeme Young says: “While the human body can’t store water in reserve, the resistant starch in PREPD unlocks the largely unused hydration potential of the large intestine to absorb up to 5 litres of fluid per day.”

PREPD is a two-part system, used pre and post-exercise, to complement sports drinks. PREPD Prime is consumed between 6-18 hours prior to intense physical exertion, to promote better hydration when performing. PREPD Recover is consumed immediately after heavy exertion, to rapidly replenish fluid and electrolytes, while boosting rehydration in recovery.

The ‘revolutionary’ hydration-boosting benefits of PREPD have recently been published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

The Flinders University clinical trial involved 27 players from the Adelaide Football Club. PREPD formulations were incorporated into player hydration regimes to compare the results with normal practice.

The study, ‘Comparison of a sports-hydration drink containing high amylose starch with usual hydration practice in Australian rules footballers during intense summer training‘ 2018 (by Flinders University’s SM O’Connell, RJ Woodman, IL Brown, DJ Vincent, HJ Binder, BS Ramakrishna and GP Young), found that when consuming PREPD pre and post-training, players were significantly better hydrated before, immediately after, and 1 hour after exertion.

The results also showed a 47% decrease in player bodyweight loss between pre-training and recovery.

“These results reflect better hydration before training and at the completion of training as well as 30–60 minutes after commencement of the post-training recovery period,” the researchers say.

“This appears to be the first time that a hydration strategy has been shown to result in better hydration prior to exertion.”

“Given that 2% dehydration in body weight loss leads to decreased performance, the benefits demonstrated by PREPD clearly enhances best practice hydration and is ultimately very likely to improve athletic performance,” adds accredited sports dietitian Anthony Meade.

South Adelaide Football Club captain Keegan Brooksby has given the PREPD Prime pre-game and PREPD Recover post-game product a tryout.

“With the high physicality and endurance component of Australian Rules Football, I would often experience dehydration and muscle cramps late in games,” the former Gold Coast Suns player says.

“After consuming the PREPD Prime pre-game, I noticed significant improvement in these areas, which helped my on-field performance.

“And by then also using PREPD Recover after the game, I noticed a much quicker return back to pre-game condition.”

To coincide with the market launch, Preserve Health and PREPD haves teamed with Ironman Oceania as ‘Official Fluid Absorption Series Partner’.

PREPD is a two-part pre-workout hydration program designed to enhance the body’s hydration effectiveness during intense exertion. PREPD Prime is consumed 6-18 hours before competition, and delivers a resistant starch to prepare the gut to be able to attain it’s full hydration potential. PREPD Recover is consumed immediately after competition, with an optimal blend of electrolytes to replenish fluids and salts.

With the duration and intensity of exertion in ironman events, competitors face enormous hydration challenges, which can significantly impair performance.

The sponsorship will see athletes provided with PREPD products in aid and recovery stations at selected Ironman Oceania events to help boost hydration when they need it most.

Miles Roles, Head of Partnerships Ironman Oceania, says the duration and intensity of ironman events means competitors face enormous hydration challenges that can significantly impair performance.

“We are delighted to welcome PREPD to the Ironman partnership family,” Mr Roles says.

“Athlete satisfaction and enjoyment is at the core of everything we do.

“Given the time and sacrifice our athletes dedicate to competing in our events, I am really pleased we can offer them a hydration specialist in PREPD to use pre and post events.”

The PREPD range is available to purchase at www.prepdhydration.com.au and in select sports specialty stores and gyms.

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