Rapid Sodium Replacement is Critical to a Smart Hydration Plan

Susan Kitchen

 By Susan Kitchen

Registered dietitian, board certified sports nutritionist, a USA Triathlon Level II and IRONMAN certified endurance coach, and a lifelong endurance athlete. 

Original article posted on Racesmart.com


I’m so excited to announce a new solution to the age-old problem of sodium replacement in training/racing. It’s called BOA (Blast of Optimized Actives) ENDURE.

BOA ENDURE is a fast-acting, convenient, concentrated sodium replacement for athletes in training and competition to delay the onset of fatigue by delaying dehydration. 

BOA uses a novel system whereby oxygen is the compressed air that forces BOA’s unique mixture through a small valve - so that the molecules are atomized and then powerfully blasted into the mouth.

You simply spray it in your mouth, what the company calls a “BLAST,” thoroughly coating the inside of your mouth and wait about 8-10 seconds to drink or swallow. One serving is a 2-second, continuous spray that delivers 150mg of sodium. 

This is where it gets good! Instead of going through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for delayed, partial absorption, BOA is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream up to ten times faster, so fluids consumed from the athlete’s hydration strategy can get pulled into the cells faster, therefore, delaying a decline in performance.

In endurance events, as the body fatigues, so does the GI system. Therefore, absorption of hydration and fuel becomes less effective over the event, especially when dehydration sets it. BOA’s oral aerosol system and rapid absorption provide the sodium needed to support the absorption of fluids and help maintain blood plasma volume. 

With BOA ENDURE, athletes are better positioned from a hydration standpoint to execute for the long haul in hot/humid environments by delaying fatigue, heat exhaustion, and a slow performance decline. 

Why is hydration so important? Research shows that performance begins declining at 2% of body weight loss. Regardless of your fitness level and training preparation, if a proper hydration strategy is not in place (and even when it is), blood plasma levels decrease, and internal body temps rise, driving heart rate up and a steep decline in performance.  Once dehydration reaches 2-4% body weight loss, the athlete cannot recover during the event. 


The sodium conundrum. Having participated in Eight IRONMANS, including Kona twice, numerous 70.3 races, 30+ marathons - including Boston twice - and having coached endurance athletes for many years, one of the most important facets of an athlete’s hydration regimen is sodium replacement. Unfortunately, sports drinks don’t always provide enough sodium to replace individual sodium sweat loss. And to date, there hasn’t been a great solution…until now! BOA’s innovation means no more electrolyte capsules and salt powders that are messy, hard to use, and contribute to GI distress for so many. 

Sweat contains electrolytes: sodium, potassium, chloride, and small amounts of minerals (iron, calcium, and magnesium). Of all these, sodium takes the biggest hit from sweat loss and plays a critical role in absorbing fluids; thus, it’s the most important to replace. Generally speaking, most athletes lose about 500+mg sodium per pound of sweat loss, and salty sweaters can lose more than 2000+mg sodium each hour; yep – that’s a lot!

Signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • Dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness
  • Dry lips, mouth, skin
  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Decreased pace and performance
  • Darkened urine (one of the first indicators)
  • Increased body temperature, HR, and Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

I’ve used BOA Endure this summer in the NC heat and humidity. I’ve felt better hydrated, able to push harder to the finish, and my recovery is faster – simply because I’m not overly dehydrated at the end of a long session. It’s convenient and easy to use.  BOA easily fits in the back pocket of my jersey or bento box, and I take a 2-sec blast every 30-45 min – according to my hydration plan. Did I mention, it’s a yummy berry flavor with a perfect blend of salty and sweet? It’s so good that I’m not in a rush to wash it out after 10 seconds.

I believe BOA is a huge breakthrough for endurance athletes. A few of my coached athletes have had the chance to test-drive BOA in training and racing (70.3 and IRONMAN distance) successfully.  

BOA is highly concentrated and comes in three sizes:  (I carry the 2 oz.)

  • 2 oz. containing 3,750mg sodium (25 servings)
  • 4 oz. containing 7,500mg sodium (50 servings)
  • 8 oz. containing 15,000mg sodium (100 servings)

You can pre-order now at www.boablast.com and the company expects to start shipping in mid October. Personally, I wouldn’t wait long to place an order.