Food and Drink Magazine

2008 Editors Choice

Food & Drink Magazine

Kathryn Jones

Food & Drink – Fall 2008 Cover

"Benjamin Yoo, CEO of BANa Bottling Co., invented what he calls “an I.V. bag you can drink.”

BANa Bottling Co. CEO Benjamin Yoo is no ordinary business executive. A board-certified family medicine physician, Yoo invented BANa, or what he calls “an I.V. bag you can drink.” It’s a rehydration beverage that contains much of the same ingredients emergency room doctors prescribe in an IV bag – electrolytes, potassium, chloride, biocarbonate and sodium – but BANa has a sweet berry taste.

When Food and Drink first interviewed Yoo in June, he and his eight associates – friends of Yoo’s from various industries who offer him business advice and help with marketing – were just getting BANa off the ground. “All of this is a learning curve for me,” he said at the time. “I’m a medical doctor; I don’t know much about the beverage business, but I’m learning quite a bit as far as what it takes.”

His plan was to debut the product at the 11th annual Americas Food and Beverage Trade Show and Conference 2008 in Miami Beach, which was held in September. “We’re trying to get the word out that this is a global drink – eventually,” he explained. “We’re too small right now, and it’s too early to think about something like that.”

Now it’s six months later, and BANa is on a fast track to international success after some well played networking with major industry players at the convention. “We had a tremendous amount of interest in our product,” Yoo says. “Everyone from Mexico, Latin America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia would come up to us and ask about this product. We ended up establishing a relationship with a broker, as well as a distributor. We’ll place some of our drinks in approximately 50 stores in Miami.”

Lucrative deals with the American Red Cross, pharmaceutical companies and other health organizations are in the mix, he adds. “We went from zero to 60 in less than a day,” Yoo says. “I was just focusing on the Charleston, S.C., area, and things have evolved so fast. This has been a great opportunity for us, so we’re just going to wait and see what happens.”

Dehydration and Rehydration: Get the Facts

The primary impetus for rehydration is sodium-chloride replacement, but minerals such as potassium are important in restoring intracellular hydration.

In addition to replacing the sodium lost in perspiration, the presence of sodium in a hydration beverage stimulates thirst, which leads to more fluid consumption and more efficient rehydration.

Since water cannot replace the minerals lost during exercise-induced sweating, it is advisable to consume a supplement that contains electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and calcium before and after strenuous exercise.

To help prevent dehydration, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children with diarrhea be given a commercial rehydration fluid within four to six hours after an episode.

Alcohol consumption causes the loss of sodium and water in the kidneys, and therefore is a major contributing factor to dehydration. Low levels of dehydration can have physiological consequences, including reduced performance and impaired judgment, concentration and decision-making.

Source: BANa Bottling Co.

Who Should Use BANa?

  • Ideal for serious athletes ranging from high school and college athletes to professional players; 
  • Great for laborers, such as construction workers, miners and postal workers; 
  • Beneficial to children and adults with vomiting, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms; and 
  • Aids those suffering the effects of too much alcohol.

This story originally ran in the fall issue of Food and Drink.

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