· By Thomas Neilson
Why we won't compromise on quality
Founding Hidrate required confidence in a way I’ve never embodied in my previous jobs. This company was my own, my idea, my creation and it required me to be completely proud of what it would bring into the world.
What did we want to be? Looking at the current sports drink market I was knew what I didn’t want: artificial chemicals, food dyes and high sugar from dirty sources (think high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and other complicatedly labelled sugar derivatives). All these things had turned me off electrolyte sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade in the first place. As a sweaty athletic teen I’d tried all those drinks and would end up first feeling jittery from the sugar hit and then burnt out. Delving into the beverage world it was clear that the reason for these bad ingredients stemmed from choosing cheap and accessible substances who’s taste masked the inherent saltiness of a sodium rich electrolyte beverage. That’s when I realized what I wanted - a healthy natural sports drink that was sustainably produced and tasted delicious. That was a product I’d feel good drinking.
We decided to never compromise on health, sustainability or taste.
Creating a healthy product was easy. My wife, Alex, is Hidrate’s co-founder and as a Naturopathic Doctor health is her forte. Her original recipe was made to be healthier than other sports drinks and has a more complete electrolyte profile that contains 6+ essential electrolytes, not just sodium. She researched and realized that most people eat enough sodium in their diet so reducing this in comparison to other sports drinks and instead including significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate and trace minerals would create an easy to absorb and better balanced drink. The next major health component to address was our sugar sources. In high intensity exercise our bodies actually need a minimum amount of carbohydrates AKA sugars to maximize absorption and sustain energy. We wanted the majority of these sugars to come from organic fruit juice but recognized that some faster burning carbohydrates from organic cane sugar would actually be beneficial. These two sugar sources are at the lowest threshold possible to make Hidrate a optimal rehydration drink.
Achieving our second tenet of sustainability required choosing ingredients that were abundant and sourcing locally when possible. We are proud to include pure ocean minerals which are renewable and primarily use fruit juice concentrates from British Columbia We also choose our packaging specifically for its environmentally conscious design. Our package is made with 86% less plastic than is required to make a comparable hard plastic bottle. It’s also 100% recyclable. We also are packaged right here in Burnaby, Canada.
My last requirement of delicious thirst-quenching taste was a no brainer. Hidrate had to be healthy and sustainable without giving up anything in terms of taste. It doesn’t taste candy sweet and will never be bright blue but I can confidently say that for me and the 500+ people who’ve blind tasted it definitely beats our competitors.
I am confident and very proud of Hidrate. It meets and exceeds my requirements for healthy, sustainable taste. As a company, we stand on these tenants and promise that we make our decisions with them in mind, I hold my head high with this integrity.