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.
Summer is here, which means playing outside in the hot sun. It is very easy to get dehydrated especially children and myself as a bariatric patient. I was contacted by BANa to try their drink, and since it’s getting warmer and warmer out, it was perfect timing.
I have never heard of BANa drinks before until they contacted me. I went to their site to see exactly what it is and how it can help you. “Despite the fact that dehydration is 100% preventable, it is one of the most frequently diagnosed and treated concerns in emergency rooms. You see, water is one of the body’s most important nutrients. Not only does it make up more than half of our bodies, but also is responsible for regulating body temperature and helping our body with waste removal, oxygen distribution and organ function. Normal daily activities alone typically result in the loss of 10 cups of fluid. Increased physical activity and illness place an even greater strain on the body’s water supply. Failure to supply the body with the water it needs causes dehydration, resulting in everything from loss of energy and lethargy to constipation and muscle cramping.”
US – Move over, Gatorade, there’s another rehydration drink on the block – BANa, a drink that’s been on the market since 2008.
Benjamin Yoo, Owner BANa Bottling Company LLC, “Most people don’t realize that you actually need salt to get rehydrated because that’s what retains fluid in your body.”
That’s the idea behind Yoo’s rehydration drink BANa. Think of it as a saline bag in a bottle. There is a whopping 800 milligrams of sodium in one 16 fluid ounce bottle. That’s almost four times more sodium than what Gatorade has.
You says, “We wanted to make sure that it was palatable to most of the consumers. We noticed that 800mg of sodium is about the right solution as far as the taste for consumers.”
The science may be sound, but some hardcore marathon runners put the beverage to the taste test.
Dr. Benjamin Yoo believes he holds the secret to proper hydration -- and he can’t wait to share it with the rest of the world.
An M.D. from Charleston, South Carolina, Yoo began developing a new sports drink in 2008 when he was hooking dehydrated athletes to IV bags. If a drink can be absorbed with relatively the same speed as a fluid injected into the body through a needle, he thought, why couldn’t doctors simplify the process of overcoming dehydration?
Yoo ran a series of tests, and the result was a beverage he described as an “IV in a bottle.” It’s called BANa Hydration Drink, and it packs 800 milligrams of sodium in each 17-ounce, calorie- and fat-free bottle (which translates to 33 percent of a suggested daily intake). Sweetened with Stevia to offset the salty taste, BANa has a berry flavor and, like other sports drinks, is best when refrigerated. The name is a spin-off on the IV known as a “Banana Bag,” and the “Na” portion of the name is, predictably, an ode to the Periodic Table symbol for sodium.
For years, Gatorade and Powerade have cornered the market when it came to rehydrating athletes. But a newcomer to the game is quickly making an impact across the country. BANa rehydration drink, created by Charleston based Dr. Benjamin Yoo, provides 4X the amount of salt that the other sports drinks have with zero calories and no sugar. It’s marketed as an “IV in a bottle” with a berry taste that is essential to runners, football players, endurance athletes and more.
“The only electrolyte you need for rehydration is salt,” Yoo says, “The normal saline is 9000Mg of salt and water. It has nothing else inside an IV bag. As a doctor we know you need salt, not magnesium or calcium to rehydrate. As a runner you lose salt and water. There are no calories or sugar—it’s all natural. We use sea salt and stevia, but the whole reason why it works so effectively is the salt. You really don’t need anything else. BANa works just as good as an IV. Once you get hydrated, the nausea and cramps go away in about 15-30 minutes.”
"Dr. Benjamin Yoo believes in the power of salt, and he has spent the last four years trying to win converts. As the creator of BANa, a high-sodium sports drink that he markets as 'an IV in a bottle,' he spends a lot of time convincing athletic trainers that the tried-and-true Gatorade formula is salt-deficient"
"The Business Journal and Force Protection Inc. will present the Health Care Heroes 2011 awards Nov. 17 at the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston.
The annual awards honor men and women who volunteer their time, exceed expectations and put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis in service to the community."
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.
Just in time for the onset of the annual summer swelter, BANa, a rehydration drink created by a Charleston emergency room physician, is available on the shelves of Bi-Lo grocery stores in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. It's also available at Piggly Wiggly stores in Charleston, Hilton Head, Columbia and Myrtle Beach as well as several gyms.
Developed by Dr. Benjamin Yoo, BANa was created for athletes, but also works for laborers and anyone who is frequently outdoors such as boaters, people with flulike symptoms and anyone with a hangover.
BANa Capitalizes on the Hydrating Properties of Sodium to Help Before, During and After the Race. Sample BANa at the Cooper River Bridge Run’s Expo and Finish Festival, play the Bridge Run Trek on SCVNGR and play the “Drink BANa, Not That” game to learn more.
You probably know what to eat and what stretches to do before Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run or any race. But do you know the best way to prevent and treat dehydration””BANa, the serious rehydration drink.
A rehydration drink created by a Charleston physician, BANa is based on the concept of the saline IV. It was designed to work faster, cheaper and without invasive measures. Drink an ice cold BANa before the race to pre-hydrate and prevent dehydration, during to stay hydrated and after to ease any symptoms of dehydration, like muscle cramps and nausea.