I recently tested a sports drink known as BANa Hydration. BANa Hydration is a beverage started by and ER Physician Benjamin Yoo, MD who saw the need to create a sports drink that replenishes electrolytes in the same manner that IVs due in regards to dehydration.

For more than a decade, Dr. Benjamin Yoo, an ER physician, treated countless athletes needing IV’s due to dehydration. This raised the question, “Why isn’t there a drink similar to an IV bag?” Dr. Yoo envisioned an inexpensive, nonintrusive, yet equally effective product as a saline IV. In 2008 he established BANa Bottling Co, featuring a line of rehydration beverages to treat not only athletes, but people with medical conditions, outdoor workers, and the dreaded hangover.

I tried it after a long run (20 miles)  and can honestly say I didn’t feel as tired or dehydrated but it’s very difficult to base the validity of this product on trying it once. It was a bit salty tasting but it was warm as I didn’t have it refrigerated. After trying a cooler one the taste is really not that bad.

Sodium Fuels Rehydration

Sodium is the key electrolyte used to help the body retain fluids. This is the basis of a Normal Saline IV fluid given in the ER. The only ingredients in a 1 Liter Normal Saline are Salt (NaCl) and Water (H2O) (9,000mg of Salt in 1,000ml of Water). Sodium is the most abundant electrolyte contained in the fluid within the body. When dehydrated, the body sends a signal to the brain, adrenals, and the kidneys. This triggers hormones to be released from the brain and the adrenal gland to let the kidneys know the body needs fluids. During dehydration, through these hormones, sodium is taken from the kidneys through an active transport system. When this occurs, water is passively moved into the body as well. In the kidneys, water cannot be reabsorbed without the active transport of sodium. This is the concept behind IV fluids and BANa.

So Why BANa?

4 Adult BANa’s is comparable to 1L Normal Saline IV

Absorption rate into your body is comparable between oral consumption and IV fluids given in the ER

Hydration equals Performance – both physical performance, and mental acuity

Faster recovery time

The good news? You can drink as much BANa as needed until you feel rehydrated.

Overall Thoughts?

I can’t really give a medical opinion on this as there is no current literature to my knowledge.   What I would say though is too often people drink Gatorade, or sports drinks because the thought is they are “healthy” or they are “good for you”.  If you don’t need it, you simply don’t need it.  It’s not advised to drink a Gatorade with your lunch.   Really the only fluid we should be putting into our body is water.  If you are excessively dehydrated from running etc, and have lost a lot of fluid then a sports drink may certainly have some benefit.  With that said, this new drink may be at the top of the list in terms of what it is supplying the body with. We’ll have to wait and see how the sports community and medical profession respond to this.  I think it’s a good idea!

You can purchase BANa here directly from their website.

Dr. Nick

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