Steel Manufacturer Recognizes the High Stakes of Dehydration

When you work around a blast furnace, you learn just how quickly the body can become dehydrated in extreme temperatures.

Research shows that even mild dehydration (i.e. 1-2% body water loss) can negatively affect your cognitive function1. Add to that the already inherent risk involved in industries like heavy manufacturing, mining and construction and hydration suddenly becomes a high-stakes game.

That’s why United States Steel Corporation, more commonly known as U.S. Steel, an American integrated steel producer headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA has made this a priority by partnering with Sword Performance, a company focused on delivering performance hydration solutions that defend against heat stress and fatigue-related illness.

"Our CEO previously came from a steel mill and understood the need for hydration in an industrial space,” Shawn Stasko, co-founder of Sword Performance explained. “We bring a scientific advantage from the athletic world to the industrial space and the industrial athlete. Before, the products available to them either tasted good but didn't work or they medically worked but tasted terrible. Sword Performance offers effective, all-natural performance hydration.“

John Preffer has worked for U.S. Steel for 11 years is responsible for the safety and health of all workers in the Mon Valley. Preffer knows first-hand how challenging the environment is, specifically blast furnace and coke making. Preffer relies on preparation, education and his employees recognizing and stopping when they see signs and symptoms of heat stress, but that isn’t always enough.

“I was very excited when I sat in the room for the first time it got to hear what Sword Performance had to offer,” Preffer revealed. “Having an onsite evaluation and a hydration plan where we can actually show people the amount of fluids, why it's important and when to drink it – that's an advantage that we didn't have before.”

In 2019 Sword Performance collected on-site environmental and workforce physiologic data then designed and implemented Fluid Replacement Schedule (FRS) using SWORD® and SHIELD® products. That year, U.S. Steel saw an 81% reduction in heat stress illnesses, improved workplace safety and employee morale, and decreased costs associated with injury.

“Since we've implemented this program, we've had reduced injuries,” Preffer noted. “Is that the only reason? No, but I think that it's a major factor. Communicating to employees that SWORD is just like every other PPE that you have – that it’s going to keep you safe just like your hardhat – has made an impact.”

About Sword Performance

Sword Performance, Inc. was founded with a purpose: to provide great-tasting, effective hydration to hard-working men and women everywhere. From stadium lights to job sites, Sword Performance hydration products are designed to work with the body to battle dehydration and fatigue.

Developed by research scientists and sports medicine doctors with a focus on natural, clean ingredients, we tested each version ourselves, and then with our friends - from training Olympians to weekend warriors to firefighters. We spent over 18 months refining each ingredient's source, concentration, and performance contribution.

Finally, we reached our goal: healthy hydration so you can work stronger, longer.

Contact us to Learn More!

For more information about Sword Performance hydration solutions, please contact

 [1] The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance APA Citation: Riebl, S. K., & Davy, B. M. (2013). The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance. ACSM's health & fitness journal, 17(6), 21–28. 

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