Here are some questions we're commonly asked. If there's something here we haven't answered, don't hesitate to contact us!
How and why was Sword Performance created?
Our interest is in helping athletes like you perform better. We believe the unique challenges athletes face shouldn't be a roadblock, but more an opportunity to learn what each of us are able to overcome. We're here to provide a solution. An outlet for expert advice, product innovation, and experience. We've built a community of like-minded people proud to push their boundaries. If that's you, welcome.
When Dr. Shawn Stasko, Ph.D. and Dr. Scott Black, M.D., our founders, worked with amateur and professional athletes on improving their performance, the most common complaint was that their sports nutrition was far from adequate. From products that were too sweet that left a bad taste in their mouth, to sluggish performance on top of an upset stomach, it was clear to Shawn and Scott that there was reason to dig deeper and innovate. They looked to primary scientific research, medical best practice, and personal athletic experience to find clues on how to solve these nutritional issues.
Putting their research into practice, our founders didn’t head to the lab, but to the kitchen, using real ingredients and what nature had to offer. Taking advantage of local experts in natural flavor creation, they gradually refined their formula and offered it to their athletes as a solution. Friends, family, and training partners of these athletes began to hear about the story and saw the performance success. A local running store in Lexington, KY called Shawn and asked if we sold our drink mix as many athletes were now searching for it. Until that point, their famous zip lock ‘white powder’ drink mix had not yet been sold and needed a name. A month later, a brand based on humble beginnings and athlete demand was born.
[For more information, see the ‘Our Story’ page]
What separates Sword Performance Products from other companies that make similar products?
Professional experience and subject expertise. We create solutions to real issues that athletes face because we’ve been there ourselves, treated it professionally, and if there wasn’t an adequate solution, we’ve made one. Sword is a culmination of our founders' passion and experience to push the boundaries of human performance, one athlete at a time.
Where did the brand name “Sword” come from?
The name “Sword” originally was an acronym coined by our founders when searching for a name to call their drink mix. SW.O.R.D.® is what they eventually decided on which stood for (SW)eat (O)ral (R)ehydration (D)rink, paying tribute to the extensive research on how humans sweat and Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS).
SW.O.R.D.®, along with our SWORD® mark used today, is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office under parent company Sport Geeks, LLC registration #5064626 and #5110628 respectively.
Are Sword Performance Products PED tested and certified clean for sport?
Yes. Created by our co-Founder Dr. Scott Black M.D., our Clean Confidence Program puts each batch of product we produce through an extra level of certification from LGC Laboratories, one of the world’s premier independent drug surveillance laboratories. Level one and two of our internal testing begins with quality control and PED screening of raw ingredients upon delivery, and then full batch testing after production screening for contaminants, quality, and microbial growth.
To request individual product lot # analysis and results, please email email@example.com.
Are Sword Performance Products certified gluten-free?
Yes. SWORD® drink mixes are certified gluten-free from finished manufactured goods. To request individual product lot # certificates of analysis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Are Sword Performance Products ever on sale?
Like you, we too search for the best deal out there on our favorite products. We do our best to support local specialty stores and therefore maintain equal pricing on our website, with any partner distributor, and of course at your local stores. To find sales, check in with your favorite local shop who carries our products, or sign up for our newsletter!
Does Sword Performance Products have an ambassador program?
Absolutely! Our Sword Select program is designed for athletes who want to share their experience with our products. Your unique stories about passion for unrelenting hard work are what inspire us, so why not tell people about it?! Please check out our team and individual applications for perspective.
IMPORTANT: These programs run on the calendar year and have a cap on the number of selected participants. Please sign up for the newsletter (at the bottom of our homepage) to get updates on the program and when it opens up for the next year. Hint: We usually make the announcement late in the calendar year with the hope of getting everyone selected off to a start early in the new year!
What is the shelf life of your products?
+ The recommended shelf life of our SWORD® drink mixes is 18 months. Once mixed, it should be treated like fresh squeezed fruit juice and consumed within 24 hours.
+ SWORD® ready to drink bottles stay fresh for 12 months. Once opened, please consume within 24 hours.
+ ENERGY tablets: 12 months
ALL THINGS SWORD®
Is SWORD® safe for kids?
Absolutely! Our SWORD products are a great option for kids and young adults who are active. With 60% less sugar than traditional sports drinks and flavor from real fruit combinations, our drinks are great options for practice and games, especially during the summer heat. To note, our drinks are much less sweet than other drinks they might be used to, but with none of the excess ingredients like preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial coloring agents, or artificial sweeteners, you can rest assured they'll feel great and have happy tummies!
What does SWORD® taste like?
All of SWORD®'s flavors have a light, crisp, natural flavors from the real fruit and plant combinations used to create it. It actually tastes like you're eating the fruit we put into it! This light flavor is intentional and built to work with an exercising body’s taste buds which change their sensitivity during exercise. For example, have you ever wondered why that drink tastes great at rest, but when sweating and working hard, it might be too sweet or too strong of a flavor? That's your taste buds and how they work during exercise. We know how they work and designed all of our flavors accordingly.
Whoa, when I mix SWORD® why is it completely clear?
No need to be alarmed, SWORD® is an all-natural drink and your body has to work harder to deal with fluids that contain added coloring agents. When first mixed, SWORD® will be cloudy but will become clearer within a minute as the ingredients mingle with water.
How much SWORD® should I drink during exercise?
In general, we recommend consuming one 20-ounce serving of SWORD® per hour of strenuous activity. This ratio can vary by individual, however, and we encourage you to always drink to your personal thirst. The amount of fluid you require will depend on not only the conditions (like temperature and humidity) but also length and intensity (how long, how hard, and how far) of your activity. One easy way to check if you’re drinking enough is to weigh yourself before and after a workout. If you’re losing more than 3% in total body weight, your performance is almost certainly suffering and you probably need to increase your fluid intake.
Can SWORD® be mixed to different concentrations?
Yes. Many athletes have shown that SWORD® can be mixed anywhere between half strength all the way to double strength in 20 ounces and still taste great with a happy stomach. Because SWORD® provides 140 calories and 470 mg of sodium in one 20-ounce serving, it can be applied to meet the needs of athletes who require a specific nutritional regimen for their sport-specific applications. When adjusting the strength of SWORD® to your nutritional regimen, we encourage you to do so on training days and listen to your body.
I’ve heard SWORD® helps stop muscle cramps? Really?
Yes, we’ve experienced it ourselves, and hear from individual people, athletes, and medical and athletic professional community on a regular basis. The reason why muscle cramps occur during exercise has been a hot topic of debate in the scientific research community for well over 3 decades now. The three major theories behind why a muscle cramps are muscular fatigue, an electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration. The formulation of SWORD® addresses each of these three areas.
Why is SWORD® a better choice than the big sports drinks on TV?
SWORD® is a natural product unlike the big brands you might see on television. Your body simply doesn’t need artificial colors and flavors. SWORD® will stay with you longer and you won’t get the sugar spike and crash that can occur with other sports drinks. You will also get less stomach distress as SWORD® is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream due to its low osmolality.
Is SWORD® for endurance athletes only, or can it help team sport athletes playing football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, etc.?
SWORD® is effective whenever the body is working hard. It was originally built for endurance athletes like distance runners, cyclists, and triathletes. However, as we’ve gained more experience with the product, we’ve found that it also increases the performance of athletes in all sports: football, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, ice and field hockey, tennis, weight lifting, etc.
What's the best way to mix SWORD®?
We’ve found the best way to mix without any clumping and to be completely clear is first to put ~10 ounces of water into your container. Next, add your desired amount of powder, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Finally, add the remaining 10 ounces of water to your container. If you’d like to add ice to chill your drink, now is the time to add, or you can always put SWORD® in the refrigerator to cool if you have time.
Is there any difference between the powdered drink mix and the ready to drink SWORD® bottles?
No, the formulations are identical. Our ready-to-drink version is mixed at recommended strength.
ALL THINGS SWORD ENERGY
Does caffeine improve athletic performance?
Absolutely! Decades of scientific research have shown real performance improvement when using caffeine correctly. Hint, more is not always better.
Is caffeine legal in competition?
Yes. However athletes participating in NCAA sanctioned sports have different regulations on consumption that those conforming to WADA standards. In 2017, the World Anti Doping Agency added caffeine to their Monitoring Program so experts could study whether athletes are using the substance "with the intent of enhancing performance". Due to the natural occurrence of caffeine in many of our regularly consumed foodstuff, it seems unlikely to ban completely. We recommend you check with either the current stance from the NCAA or WADA on this topic before choosing to use caffeine (from any source) during competition.
Why not just drink coffee or cola?
Coffee and cola beverages have historically been known to cause an upset stomach when consumed just before and/or during exercise due to the fact that they must first be digested. Sword ENERGY tablets primarily rely on your mouth for caffeine absorption, compelety bypassing your stomach and removing any stomach problems due to it. Plus, coffee and cola products contains many other ingredients that an athlete may not want, like artificial sweeteners, coloring agents, acids, and extra sugar calories. Our tablets are pure caffeine.
How much caffeine is beneficial for my performance?
Scientific research suggests 3mg of caffeine per kilogram of an athlete's body weight. Your personal ideal caffeine amount is also dependent on your daily use of caffeine, and how sensative you are to it naturally. Therefore for some individuals who are sensative to caffeine, only 1 or 2mg / kg is best, while heavy caffeine users already may need 4-6mg / kg respectively. The best way to know what is right for you is to test it during training.
I live outside the USA, can you ship to me?
Yes! We can ship individual orders to many locations across the globe. Email email@example.com for order quotes outside the United States.
How much does shipping cost?
Shipping costs vary a lot based on the contents of your cart and the destination country. The price you are quoted is the DHL or UPS International rate which is the best rate we can get. We understand the shipping costs aren't cheap but know that it will be easy to track, and it will get there real fast! And, we don't add on any handling fees, the cost you see is what they are charging us.
I just got my order and I have an extra invoice from the carrier? Who pays that?
Those papers are likely import duties or tariffs that can be imposed on food products at the discretion of the importing country. Those duties are separate from Sword Performance Products shipping charges and are your responsibility to pay! Sorry.