For about two years now, Mason High School athletes have been drinking Hoist. All thanks to Athletic Trainer Kathy Bernard, who discovered it accidentally. “I didn’t really know we had options outside of Gatorade or similar competitors,” she said.

Then one day, Kathy went to a Greater Cincinnati Athletic Trainers’ Meeting and heard Hoist’s Rachel Trotta talk about the drink. Rachel explained how most sports drinks have a high density of carbohydrates and electrolytes, which means they actually delay hydration because the body has to pull stored water into the gut. This process can cause sluggishness and cramping. The solution? Hoist, an isotonic beverage that has a perfect balance of all three: carbohydrates, electrolytes and water.  

“I realized I HAD seen students experience some of these cramping issues,” said Kathy. She had seen other problems with dehydration, too. When kids hadn’t been drinking enough fluid, even during the school day, long before practice, they might already have a headache or feel tired. Often, they’d struggle to focus on what coach was saying. This all in addition to the cramping, which sometimes got so severe that a student would have to sit out for an entire game.

Kathy decided to give this new drink a try.

When the kids tried it for the first time, they loved the taste—and they loved taste-testing, though consensus seems to be Lemon Lime. “Hydrating felt forced before,” says Kathy. “The sports drinks were so sugary. The first thing they said to me was, ‘Hey, this is something I can drink while I’m playing!’” For Kathy, who strives not only to provide access to fluids, but to inspire kids to recognize their importance and take advantage of them, this was a big win.

She decided to give it a year. Now, there’s Hoist concentrate, but during Mason High School’s trial year, Hoist only came in bottles. So they bought full gallon bottles and lugged as many as they could to away games to dump in coolers. “It was so heavy,” says Kathy. “It was worth it, but it’s so much easier to provide 20-30 gallons now.”

Mason High School has switched to concentrate because they stuck with Hoist. “When it worked, we thought, ‘Why go back?!’” says Kathy. And it did work. She says significantly fewer players struggle with cramps. “Before, they’d be out for 15 minutes or so, recovering. Now, they’re on the field when they need to be.”

Kathy has told a lot of other people about Hoist, too. Her husband drank Hoist to prep for the Flying Pig marathon. Sure enough, no cramps! And some of the adult clients with whom she does personal training have tested it. Elderly clients who have a hard time drinking while they work out have found this to be the key to their hydration.

“A big part of my role as Athletic Trainer is to make sure athletes understand the importance of preventing dehydration, especially in the heat. I work to help them see the impact hydration has on their performance,” Kathy says. “Now the impact is more obvious. Hoist keeps them in the game.”