We sent BANa to a Chicago athlete named Sara. She says,
"It has the same great salty taste that sport beverages have been you can tell it is not filled with artificial flavors. I look forward to this after a long run or even bring it with me to hot yoga. There really isn’t a bad time to drink it!"
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.
I live in Florida and I enjoy working out. That means I really need to make sure that I am keeping my body hydrated. Especially if I take my run outside! 3 miles when it’s over 90 degrees outside will really wear you out ;)
So, when I had the opportunity to review BANa, I was definitely interested. What is BANa?
Well, it’s the new hydration beverage with the sole aim of naturally replenishing the body with the liquid it needs to perform at its max.
Rather than test BANa out on a long run and risk GI issues, I tried it at home and not even after a particularly grueling day. The first sip caught me off-guard. I had been expecting a tart and artificial berry flavor but instead was greeted by a mild berry taste. The berry flavor worked but along with it came a strange sweet and salty mixture best described as very light syrup. I struggled a bit and felt like I needed a water rinse when I finished the bottle. I felt hydrated and continued to feel that way for a much longer time than I thought normal.
Let's talk hydration. Especially during these summer months, staying hydrating is clutch to successful racing and running. The less hydrated you are, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood. So better hydration equals better performance.
Recently, I've been testing out a new hydration tool. BANa, emphasis on the Na for sodium, is serious rehydration that uses the power of salt to keep you from bonking. Dr. Benjamin Yoo created BANa after treating college athletes for dehydration. He would treat them with a saline solution given intravenously (sometimes requiring multiple bags of the solution to recover), and that's where the idea was born that they could get this treatment in a bottle on their own, no hospital stay required. One of their marketing slogans is that BANa is "an IV in a bottle." Read more about Dr. Yoo and his research here.
This role is typically reserved for oral rehydration salts, which dissolve in water and offer a balance of sugars and salts in order to get your body back to its proper baseline.
However, a company called Bana has recently formulated a drink that does the trick. Created by a physician, Bana serves to do exactly what a saline IV does, except without the hospital visit and the discomfort of a needle and a tube in your arm. Bana comes in convenient plastic bottles similar to Vitamin Water or Powerade.
I have tested Bana on several occasions now. Each time, I have done so after a vigorous workout. The impact is noticeable. In fact, it gives me a sense of rejuvenation after a workout, and I do feel rehydrated after having lost a considerable amount of fluids. I am definitely going to pack a few for my trip back to West Africa, where I will most likely use it whenever I come down with a bit of food poisoning or traveler’s diarrhea.
Serious hydration is the promise of BANA. Serious hydration is what has been needed all summer. I tried out BANA last week on a serious 14 mile run. I was running with a new friend and he likes to run fast. I normally run my long runs at about a 10 minute mile or maybe a little slower. He wanted to “keep it slow” at an 8 or 9 minute pace.
I drank one bottle (500 ml; 16.9 fl oz) of BANA before we met for the run. Before you drink it, you need to know what it is: a drink based on the concept of an IV. A doctor decided that if dehydrated people needed IV fluids, then serious athletes probably should be receiving the contents of an IV. He altered the formula a bit and added cherry flavoring. As you might imagine, it has a high sodium and potassium content as well as many other electrolytes. This means that the berry taste has a very salty character.