Development of a sports drink with joint protecting ingredients


Manuela Konrad, Martina Schmidt, Elisabeth Pail.

FH JOANNEUM; University of applied sciences, Kaiser Josef Straße 24. A- 8340 Bad Gleichenberg. Austria.


Little is known about joint-protecting ingredients in sports drinks. Our aim was to develop a sports drink respecting the recommendations on carbohydrate for maximal oxidation and performance, furthermore osmolality, ph-value, sodium and joint-protecting and pain-relieving ingredients like chondroidin and glucosamine (1) and a good taste.


All the ingredients (maltodextrin, glucose, fructose, natriumhydrogencarbonat, citric acid, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, water) were prepared and measured with a scale (Kern & Sohn; type 510-33), mixed and controlled with the freezing point osmometer (OSMOMAT 030- D). To quantify the ph- value oekopharm stripes were used. We mixed 9 different types of drinks in order to have different flavors and different values of osmolarity to compare. 24 experienced runners trained with the drink and gave detailed feedback on the combinations.


There were only very few combinations fulfilling all of our criteria. The one with the best flavor and a stable profile contains 42 g maltodextrin 6, 12 g glucose, 6 g fructose (gluc:fruc ration 2:1) (2), 2 g natriumhydrogencarbonat, 1 g citric acid (to stabalise ph and help taste), 500 mg chondroitin sulfate, 600 mg Glucosamine-HCl and 750 ml of water. We did archive an osmolaltiy of 244 mosm/kg and a ph of 7.2. All the other mixtures where excluded due to taste, ph or osmolality. 


A properly formulated sports drink has a valuable role to play in the diet of all athletes. The combination of carbohydrates and chrondroitin sulfate/glucosamine is a way to have both, energy and the joint supporting and pain relieving impact at the same time, as this is often an issue in runners. We succeeded only one combination with a stable formula and a good taste.

(1) J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother, 2008

(2) Currel & Jeukendrup, Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2008