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Hydrating sports drink hits the market

Innovation

A sports drink developed by an Australian university promises to improve the performance of endurance athletes.

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Launched today by Premier Health, a startup from Flinders University in South Australia, the PREPD drink is backed by more than 20 years of medical research originally focussed on treating severe dehydration in children living in developing countries.

Co-inventor Professor Graeme Young from Flinders University said his Adelaide team identified a special resistant starch to promote fluid absorption in the gut and have used this starch in the drinks.

“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 five litres of fluid per day,” he said.

Preserve Health CEO David Vincent said there had not been any significant advances in hydration since the first sports drinks were invented more than 50 years ago.

“Research shows a 2 per cent drop in hydration can reduce athletic performance by up to 30 per cent,” Vincent said.

“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.”

Vincent said PREPD is a two-part system, used pre and post-exercise, to complement sports drinks.

PREPD Prime is consumed between 6-18 hours before intense physical exertion, to promote better hydration when performing and then PREPD Recover is consumed immediately after heavy exertion, to rapidly replenish fluid and electrolytes, while boosting rehydration in recovery.

The smoothie-like drink combination has been tested on performance athletes, including AFL players.

The Flinders University clinical trial involved 27 players from the Adelaide Crows. PREPD formulations were incorporated into player hydration regimes to compare the results with normal practice. The study found that players were significantly better hydrated with a 47 per cent decrease in player bodyweight loss between pre-training and recovery.

The company raised more than $500,000 in seed capital from angel investors in June 2018 to market the formula to endurance athletes.

The company has teamed up with IRONMAN Oceania, a qualifying round for the Ironman World Championship Hawaii, to launch the drink.

The drinks, available in mango-passionfruit and strawberry-kiwi flavours, are being sold in select gyms and stores and for AUD$52 for an 8-pack at their online store.

Early development for PREPD was supported by a South Australian government research commercialisation grant.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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