The term “Electrolyte drink” can be a little misleading as there are vast differences in the electrolyte amounts and ratios you will find in different products.
Typically sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar and only moderate amounts of electrolytes that don’t truly reflect the levels that we lose in sweat. SOS, as an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) contains important electrolytes, in particular sodium and potassium, in the levels that are stipulated by the World Health Organisation to meet their standards of an optimal rehydration formula. For example, SOS contains 3 times the sodium of the market leading sports drink.
The ratio of electrolytes to sugar and water also governs how quickly and effectively the fluid will be absorbed. Most sports drinks are isotonic or hypertonic which means their osmolarity is equal to or higher than the bodies. This leads to slower gastric emptying and absorption. SOS is hypotonic or lower than the bodies osmolarity, which in turn leads to a quicker path throw the digestive tract and faster absorption in the small bowel.