Diver’s D\lyte: a pricey scuba sports drink

The past few years have seen a plethora of products reach the market with the goal of increasing energy and hydration. Some of these products are suitable for divers and some are not. A quick look in any convenience store will show racks of “energy drinks.” Most are not much more than liquid caffeine and sugar. Caffeine is known to increase dehydration. Therefore, these products are not suitable for remaining hydrated. The leading hydration drinks propose to replenish electrolytes but not much else. Most of both types of products come with a fairly high sugar load which can also lead to a sugar crash when it wears off. This lose of energy is not particularly helpful when diving.

There are a couple of products on the market that are geared specifically to divers. The newest one, Diver’s D/lyte, comes in a powder form that is mixed with water. It is free of caffeine and sugar. Even though it is sugar free, it has a sweet taste. It is made of a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and Noni fruit extract. The combination of which reportedly act to increase energy and hydration without the crash associated with other energy drinks. This mixture is also designed to help by replacing lost electrolytes, increasing fluid retention, and improving blood oxygen circulation and respiration. When added to water, it forms a solution which is designed to decrease circulatory bubbles and reduce the chances of decompression sickness when consumed before a dive.

As with other hydration products on the market, Diver’s D/lyte has even garnered celebrity endorsement. Competitive spear-divers Kelsey Albert and Don Silveira are using the product. World renowned technical diver, videographer, and wreck racing league racer David Ulloa is also endorsing the product.

The key feature of Diver’s D/lyte is that the creators carefully thought about what a diver needs. As with any product, the big question is “Does it do what it is advertised to do?” That will be up to each individual user to answer for themselves. Any product that encourages divers to stay hydrated and has no discernible negative effects is always worth a look. I purchased the product and tried it on a few dives. It has a pleasant taste and I found no ill effects. Was it better than my standard pre-dive banana and water? I don’t know. It was at least as good. At around $5 per serving (one liter), it is more costly than my normal routine. Especially when you factor in that Diver’s D/lyte recommends 3-4 servings per day. No matter what routine or product you use, stay hydrated and enjoy your dives.

What does DAN think?

A LYTE SIDEBAR

We did enjoy a bit of comic relief in noticing the bold headline that clearly suggests using the Dive’s D\Lyte “during” the dive. There is also mention of in a few places of how Diver’s D\Lyte is a great “hangover helper.” Which made us wonder if that has been tested by team from the dive TV show Into the Drink, which is linked on the DD blog site.

In an interview with  Dr. Nicholas Bird, M.D., Divers Alert Network (DAN) CEO and Chief Medical Officer we talked about the Diver’s D\Lyte product. Dr. Bird said the DAN staff has discussed the product and he is “unaware of any data that supports the claims that they make on the website.” He pointed out that although Divers D\Light claims have softened over the past year, the still employ quite a bit of scientific sounding jargon (e.g. “…Krebs Cycle and Urea Cycle deep in the body…”) to strongly imply that there is hard scientific evidence that the product will make your diving safer and even reduce the chance of DCS. The Diver’s D\Lyte website boldly and directly says, “Diver’s D\Lyte™ added to water forms a hyperosmotic solution, which decreases circulatory bubbles and reduces the chances of decompression sickness when consumed before a dive.”

Dr. Bird also illustrated how the claims on the website are actually two steps removed from the facts. He said that even with all the research that has been done, dive medicine experts cannot even say with any certainty how hydration levels and electrolyte levels are going to effect your chance of getting DCS. Furthermore, when they go another step by implying that their product can solve a problem that we cannot even be sure exists, the chances of being accurate are slim.

The web pitch also attempts to start visitors off with a false assumption that “Diving is a physically demanding sport.” But Dr. Bird again points out that

Most diving requires limited physical demands relative to other activities like running or cycling. As such, there is no supporting evidence that divers require electrolyte replacement due to the stress of diving. (See our previous article “Don’t Count on Diving for Fitness…”  at http://www.scubagadget.com/?p=113)

Bottom Line

While the Diver’s D\Lyte pitch seems to be a bit overzealous, we and Dr. Bird agreed that, like the chicken soup cliché, “at lease it couldn’t hurt.” As a sports drink, although quite pricey, this natural, sugar-free, caffeine-free, and antioxidant-rich, Diver’s D\Lyte certainly seems like a much healthier choice than the caffeine and sugar-laden drinks from the convenience store coolers.


Editor’s Commentary: I want to thank Dr Bird and let divers know that I have always found the DAN staff to be readily available to help anyone in the dive industry dispel myths and understand what we do and don’t know about diving physiology. I hope the Diver’s D\Lyte team will review their website, focus on selling the product on its merits and remove the questionable scientific sounding jargon which can lead to misunderstandings for all divers.

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