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A new hydration enhancer that has been found to boost athletic performance has been launched this week by a Flinders University start-up.

The new beverage range will transform the way endurance athletes train and compete, according to its developer Preserve Health.

PREPD is a two-step hydration system backed by more than 20 years of medical research between Flinders and Yale Universities, and is the first significant advance in hydration since the first sports drinks were invented over fifty years ago, Preserve Health CEO David Vincent says.

“Research shows a two per cent drop in hydration can reduce athletic performance by up to 30 per cent. PREPD changes all this by enhancing the effectiveness of water and any sports drink, reducing dehydration and helping athletes to perform at their peak for longer,” Vincent says.

PREPD works by using a unique resistant starch identified as a key factor in promoting hydration in the gut. Co-inventor Prof. Graeme Young from Flinders says, “While the human body can’t store water in reserve, the resistant starch in PREPD unlocks the largely unused hydration potential of the large intestine to absorb up to 5l of fluid per day.”

Its hydration-boosting benefits were recently been published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The Flinders University clinical trial involved 27 players from the Adelaide Football Club.

PREPD formulations were incorporated into player hydration regimes to compare the results with normal practice. The study found that when consuming PREPD pre and post-training, players were significantly better hydrated before, immediately after, and 1 hour after exertion. The results also showed a 47 per cent decrease in player bodyweight loss between pre-training and recovery.

PREPD has been designed as a two-part system that is used pre and post-exercise to complement sports drinks. PREPD Prime is consumed between 6-18 hours prior to intense physical exertion to promote better hydration when performing. PREPD Recover is consumed immediately after heavy exertion to rapidly replenish fluid and electrolytes while boosting rehydration in recovery.

Accredited Sports Dietitian Anthony Meade says that as a two per cent dehydration in bodyweight loss leads to decreased performance, “the benefits demonstrated by PREPD clearly enhances best practice hydration and is ultimately very likely to improve athletic performance”.

To coincide with the market launch, PREPD has teamed up with IRONMAN Oceania as its Official Fluid Absorption Series Partner. With the duration and intensity of exertion in IRONMAN events, competitors face enormous hydration challenges, which can significantly impair performance.

The sponsorship will see athletes provided with PREPD products in aid and recovery stations at selected IRONMAN Oceania events to help boost hydration when they need it most.

PREPD will also launch with brand ambassadors including V8 Supercars driver Todd Hazelwood and Australian 100km ultra-marathon record holder and world champion, Kirstin Bull.

The PREPD drinks are low in sugar content and will be available in a 350ml ready-to-drink, smoothie-like format and are launching in two flavours – Mango-Passionfruit and Strawberry-Kiwi.

PREPD will be available to purchase at www.prepdhydration.com.au and in select sports specialty stores and gyms.