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Making an Effective Hydration Sports Drink

  • 3 min read

Developing NOOMA

What comes to mind when you think of good, healthy nutrition? Is it organic and real ingredients? No added sugar? No artificials? Well, here at NOOMA, that’s what we stand for. Literally. NOOMA’s short for “No More Artificals”. We use only the best, quality ingredients in our formulas. We don’t add any sugar. And we definitely don’t use any unnecessary artificials or chemicals. 

We combined that with the science of sports nutrition to give your body exactly what it needs for quick and efficient hydration during your workout. And to make a sports drink that works, we needed to stick to a couple of rules. Like properly replacing what’s lost through sweat, and selecting the right ratios of ingredients to control the osmolality of the formula. 

Replacing What’s Lost

To properly hydrate during and after your workout, you need to replace what you lose through sweat. When you’re sweating buckets on the Megaformer or the mat, you’re losing way more than just water. Your sweat is full of electrolytes that keep your body operating, and without them, you’ll probably feel the burnout. Cramps, headaches, nausea... you name it. You can learn more about the role electrolytes play in our  Electrolytes Explained article. 

That’s why we packed our hydration products with the essential electrolytes you need to get through those “extra credit” sprints at the end of class. Organic coconut water and Himalayan pink salt provide all the potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium your body requires to keep feeling and performing at its best. Ten more seconds in that hold? Psh, no problem. 

Why Osmolality is Important

You can’t have rapid rehydration of electrolytes without a low osmolality sports drink formula. They go hand in hand. Like kettlebells and swings. Or burpees and swear words.

You’re probably wondering what osmolality even is. Osmolality refers to the concentration of dissolved particles in a liquid. The more particles, or stuff (like carbs and sugar), a fluid has, the higher its osmolality. 

You want a sports drink with a low osmolality because it gets absorbed more quickly into your bloodstream from your gut. Why? Remember that term osmosis from high school science class? 

Osmosis (n) - A process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.

So, for electrolytes to freely flow from your gut to your bloodstream, a sports drink has to have a less concentrated osmolality than your blood (which has an osmolality of 280-300 milliosmoles per liter). From there, your blood (infused with all the essential nutrients and electrolytes from your hydration solution) gets delivered to your cells and helps power your body.

Typical Sports Drinks Have a High Osmolality - That’s No Good

If a sports drink has a high osmolality, it will actually cause water to be pulled from your blood and into your gut in an attempt to balance the two concentrations. That’s not what you want when you need water, blood, and energy directed towards other places in your body (like your muscles, heart, lungs, and brain) while you’re working up a sweat. 

And during the process in which water is being pulled from your blood, those high osmolality fluids will just sit in your stomach and slosh around, causing nausea, stomach aches, and GI discomfort until it’s diluted. Ever get acid reflux after ingesting those bright, fluorescent sports drinks in plastic bottles? You know the ones we’re talking about… Those popular sports drinks that have been touted for decades as a way to hydrate your body actually have the opposite effect. They’re packed with sugar (over 30g!), chemicals, and artificials that create a high osmolality formula and make you feel like garbage while your body takes water out of your blood and into your gut trying to absorb it. 

Bringing it all Together

That’s why our hydration products are specifically formulated with a low osmolality. Take a look at our ingredient labels. Not only are they super clean, but with low sugar and low carbs, those crucial electrolytes get quickly absorbed and hydrate you without sitting in your stomach. That’s why we subscribe to the belief that you should eat for your fuel (i.e. carbohydrates) and drink for your hydration. With our hydration products, you can feel your best and keep crushing workout after workout!

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