IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION

Water makes up approximately 70% of the human body. In order to function optimally we must maintain hydration as water is integral to so many systems within our bodies. From maintaining blood volume in order to reduce cardiac stress to aiding in digestion and regulating body temperature maintaining hydration allows our bodies to run more smoothly.

REHYDRATION DRINKS

SOS Hydration Mango Sports Drink Powder MixWhen we exercise or are unwell our bodies have extra stresses placed on them and maintaining hydration is of greater importance to maintain or regain homeostasis in the body. Effectively replacing fluids lost through sweat and overheating is imperative.

Dehydration of 2% or greater loss of body weight through fluid loss can significantly affect your welfare and performance both physiologically and mentally.

Keeping yourself well-hydrated is one of the simplest ways to look after your base health and your body before, during and after exercise.

Effective hydration is not only about drinking enough fluid but making sure that fluid is being absorbed properly so that it can assist the body in its normal functions and when under stress. SOS has been formulated to ensure that the fluid you drink is absorbed quickly and effectively.

ABOUT SOS HYDRATION

SOS Hydration is an electrolyte drink that meets the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standard for Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS). SOS was formulated by a medical doctor with a gastro-intestinal specialty for optimal fluid absorption and vital electrolyte replacement.
When compared to sports drinks SOS contains a greater amount of vital electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium and far less sugar and energy. SOS also contains no artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives.

Proper hydration does not require large amounts of sugar.

SOS Hydration is packaged as a powder in convenient little stix and is available in 4 refreshing flavours: Citrus, Berry, Mango and Coconut.

SOS Hydration is also Informed Sport approved and certified meaning that our products are batch tested by an independent third party to not contain contaminants or ingredients that will return a positive doping test.

HOW SOS HYDRATION WORKS

Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) are specifically designed to aid fluid absorption. This is achieved by controlling the ingredients and also the ratios of those ingredients to produce a formula that the takes advantage of the body’s natural systems.

The major electrolyte involved in fluid balance in the body is sodium. Sodium is also the electrolyte that we lose in highest concentrations through sweat.

Therefore the amount of sodium in SOS serves two functions:

  • Replace the sodium that is lost through sweat
  • Aid the absorption of water in the body

Sodium: glucose co-transport system

In order to aid the absorption of water, sodium and a small amount of glucose (sugar) work together in the gastro-intestinal system. This occurs through the Sodium: Glucose co-transport system in the small intestine. When a molecule of glucose crosses the membrane from the small intestine into the blood stream a molecule of sodium binds to it and crosses also. Though osmotic forces water will follow sodium and so this process facilitates the water being absorbed into the blood stream to maintain blood volume and allow the body to continually cool itself.

Potassium further assists with sodium regulation in the body also.

Knowing that glucose is necessary in small amounts for optimal absorption may change the way you look at completely sugar free options that use artificial sweeteners for flavour posing as hydration drinks.

Sports drinks typically contain too much glucose (sugar) and not enough sodium to facilitate this process. The large amount of sugar in sports drinks can often slow gastric emptying whilst exercising, leading to a bloated feeling as the fluid will not move through the gut. Not only is this uncomfortable but it also inhibits the absorption rate of the fluid.

Osmolarity

Osmolarity refers to the number of particles in a solution. With respect to hydration we are primarily interested in the osmolarity of blood and of the fluids we drink. Further to this it is the ratio of sodium to water that is of greatest interest.

SOS is formulated to be hypotonic, meaning that it has a lower osmolarity than that in the bloodstream. Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) are hypotonic and this again utilises natural osmotic mechanisms in the body to drive fluid into the cells.

Most sports drink are Isotonic (same as blood stream) or Hypertonic (higher than blood stream). This results in a slower and less effective absorption rate than SOS Hydration.

How to use SOS Hydration

General recommendations:

  • Whether unwell or exercising aim to alternate SOS with plain water at a 1:1 ratio.
    eg. 500ml of SOS and then 500ml plain water
  • Aim to maintain fluid balance.
    This means for every litre of sweat you lose drink a litre of fluid (1kg of body weight = 1L of fluid lost). This can be measured by weighing yourself before and after exercise regularly to understand your sweat rate.
  • If you are in fluid deficit post training / competition then aim to replace 25 – 50% more fluid than you have lost over the next 2 hours.
    eg. If you have lost 1kg during training, then aim to drink 1.25L – 2.5L

Advanced recommendations:

  1. Calculate your individual sweat rate.
  2. Ensure you are adequately hydrated prior to exercise
  3. Weigh yourself before exercise with minimal clothing
  4. Also weigh your drink bottle(s)
  5. Exercise
  6. Weigh yourself after exercise with minimal clothing (remove sweat soaked clothes and towel off without wetting your hair)
  7. Weigh your drink bottles after exercise
  8. Add the weight you have lost to the weight in fluid you have consumed
  9. This weight will be equivalent to the amount a fluid you have sweat out
  10. Using the duration of your exercise session convert this to Litres per hour (L/hr) – this is your hourly sweat rate in those conditions
  11. Aim to replace the fluid you sweat out to maintain fluid balance. We recommend in most instances to maintain your body weight to within 2% of pre-exercise weight (ie. 2% dehydration) for best performance.
  12. Maintain SOS to plain water ratio of 1:1 unless advised otherwise by a sports dietitian

Personalised Hydration Plan:

  • The amount of sodium lost through sweat is highly variable between individuals and there exists no simple way to estimate this without undertaking a sweat profile test
  • When the specific amount of sodium that you sweat out is measured, that, coupled with your sweat rate provides the basis for understanding your fluid and electrolyte (primarily sodium) replacement needs for optimal performance and wellbeing.
  • Despite some alternatives on the market, the only accurate sweat profile tests require a sweat sample to be collected by specifically trained professionals whilst exercising and then analysed by qualified lab technicians.
  • With this in mind The Sweat Lab, Powered by SOS (www.thesweatlab.com.au) was developed in Melbourne by the SOS Sports Science team.
  • SOS recommends personalised hydration, sweat rate and sweat sodium testing at The Sweat Lab for best practice individualised hydration and electrolyte replacement planning.
  • SOS also recommends consulting with a sports dietitian or sports nutritionist for further guidance with personalised hydration strategies.

SOS Development / Technical Team

James & Tom Mayo – Product Developers
Brothers James (Ex British Champ) and Tom Mayo (Sub 4 minute Miler) were both international middle distance athletes representing Great Britain.

Through their own experiences with the lack of effective hydration products on the market and an overabundance of high sugar low electrolyte sports drinks being promoted James and Tom used to develop their own formulas.

James & Tom continue as the leaders of the Global SOS team.

Dr Blanca Lizaola – Product Formulator
Blanca is married to James and so with the wisdom of athletic experience of the Mayo brothers and the medical understanding of Blanca the look towards formulas that mirrored some of the medical hydration formulas used in third world countries was how the idea for SOS was conceived.

Further development of the formula to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards and meet the needs of athletes and the greatest need to taste great without adding too much sugar or any artificial ingredients created SOS Rehydrate.

Dr Lizaola continues as the Chief Medical Officer and technical advisor for SOS Rehydrate globally.

Andrew Shaw & the SOS Hydration Australia Team
Andrew Shaw leads the team as the Managing Director at SOS Rehydrate Australia. Andrew’s team is responsible for all Australian operations and works closely as part of the Global SOS network.

From elite athletic program management, retail sales, and hydration education to emergency service provision and military and occupational hydration solution development the SOS Australia team covers hydration in all applications.

Andy Garlick – Director of Sports Science
Andy Garlick is the Director of Sports Science for SOS Rehydrate and leads the technical advisory team for SOS in Australia. Andy works closely with Dr Lizaola and the global SOS team in research, development and education activities.

Andy is also the lead exercise scientist at The Sweat Lab, Powered by SOS, an elite testing facility developed by SOS to guide best practice personalised hydration strategies through complex sweat analysis.

The Sweat Lab is located in Melbourne and services Australia through a network of qualified sports scientists and dietitians. The Sweat Lab – SOS Hydration Australia.

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