year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 146



BOTTLING ATHLETIC
EXCELLENCE
PhD candidate Shaun Sutehall is working with elite athletes
to develop Swiss company Maurten’s new “hydrogel” drink,
which has the potential to enhance sporting performance.
Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge when
he broke the world marathon record
in 2018.
Sutehall, who is studying for his
MSc/PhD under the co-supervision
of UCT’s Professor Andrew Bosch
and Professor Yannis Pitsiladis of the
University of Brighton in the UK, has
been investigating the gastric emptying
characteristics of the drink, as well as
the rate at which the carbohydrate is
used by the muscles.
He presented his initial findings at
the 35th International Federation
of Sports Medicine (FIMS) World
Congress of Sports Medicine held
in Rio de Janeiro.
Sutehall also works with the Sub2hrs
Project, which is dedicated, through
science, to promoting the achievement
of a sub-two-hour marathon within five
years. “The mix of academic research
and applied work with elite athletes is
a great experience,” he said.
Sutehall has already seen success
among elite marathon runners in
East Africa who have taken the drink
during big races. He has high hopes
that these results can be expanded to
other athletes.
“I believe this drink is a big success
with the elite marathoners as many of
them suffer from stomach problems
while running. This drink now allows
them to consume carbohydrate
without these negative feelings.”
Initially tested on elite athletes
training in Ethiopia, the drink was
found to be very well tolerated at
carbohydrate concentrations much
higher than would normally be
possible to ingest while running.
It was subsequently used in
competition in the Berlin Marathon
in 2016 by Ethiopian Olympic athlete
Kenenisa Bekele, who narrowly
missed the (then) world record.
More recently, Maurten was used by
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