SWORD 101 | 05. OsmolalityThere is a shared experience among most people who are engaged in athletics. You want to feel your best during the event. You take a sip of the sports drink provided. Mmm. Sugary. You finish the cup and move on. In a few minutes you can feel it. You can actually feel the liquid sloshing around in your stomach. “What is that,” you wonder?
That could be osmolality gone wrong.
You drink to thirst. The sugary drink goes into your stomach and then into your small intestine. There, it should be absorbed into your bloodstream so you can benefit from it. However, the concentration of the drink is higher than the concentration of your blood. Before it can be absorbed, the sports drink now has to be diluted. To do this, extra fluid is pulled from your bloodstream into your small intestine. In other words, fluid is moving in the wrong direction at first. Now we have concentrated fluid in the small intestine, additional fluid is being pulled into the intestine from the blood, and the brakes are being put on stomach emptying. This adds up to a lot of uncomfortable sloshing.
But, not only is the sloshing uncomfortable; the fluid isn’t doing its job. When you drink something you want it to replace what you are losing as quickly as possible. This is where SWORD® comes in. With an osmolality of 190 mOsm/L, that well below blood [~290 mOsm/L], it gets in there and does its job so you can do yours.
We have carefully considered everything that goes into SWORD®, partly because of our minimalist philosophy, but partly because any added thing increases osmolality and can cause problems for you. We want to maximize the fuel and the speed at which it can be absorbed by your body. Because we know you have one goal: to go farther, faster.
This is the final installment in our Sword 101 series. Read about Room for Improvement in the Sports Drink next.