Umbro Hypotonic, hailed by its makers as the first of a new generation of sports drinks, gains its UK consumer launch this month (June 2000).

The first million and a half drinks products (500 ml sports bottles, 250 ml cans and 330 ml foil pouch packs) are now rolling off production lines in a move set to shake up the global sports beverage market. The revolutionary sports drink - manufactured by Edinburgh-based GoPack Superdrinks under license to Umbro - is now available in a number of supermarket chains including Tesco, ASDA, Morrison and Safeway stores, as well as Superdrug, Budgeons and major independents across the UK.

Since its trade launch at the Food & Drink Expo show in March this year, Umbro Hypotonic has been attracting world-wide interest by claiming to be the first real innovation in the global sports and energy drinks market in 15 years.

Aimed at fulfilling the needs of genuine sports performers rather than pandering to fashion-led audiences, Umbro Hypotonic has found a ready market amongst the grass roots of UK sport. In the last month, Umbro Sports Drinks has become the official supplier to some 60 professional football clubs from the Nationwide and Scottish leagues, as well as supplying many of the big name rugby league clubs.

"The sports drinks market has stagnated since the launch of the isotonic range of drinks in the mid-1980s," says Steven Scutt spokesman for GoPack Superdrinks. "Sports and energy drinks currently on the market have done little to tackle the real causes of fatigue in sport, and rarely provide any genuine value to regular sports performers."

The makers claim Umbro Hypotonic is the first sports drink in the world to directly address the root cause of fatigue in sport - dehydration. Research has shown that even an hour's gentle exercise can result in sweat or fluid loss approaching two per cent of total body weight - enough to cause a 20 per cent reduction in the ability to perform any basic physical or mental task.

Scutt claims people from all walks of life will benefit from the drink's unique use of a 'hypotonic' formula, which promotes the rapid movement of fluid around the body. The drink also provides an energy boost using a starch-based glucose polymer - similar to a type used in hospital feeds - rather than adding sugary solutions.

"Seven years of intense research and development have produced a thirst quenching drink which combines science with natural ingredients to tackle dehydration head on," he says. "By replacing water and energy fast, drinking Umbro Hypotonic allows anyone who looses fluid during their working day to perform at their optimum physical and mental level."

So far, the claims are ringing true. Research has shown that Umbro Hypotonic rehydrates faster than any other drink available today. Tests reveal it to be up to 50 per cent more effective in the delivery of fluid than isotonic drinks currently on the market.

Umbro Hypotonic has a refreshing orange and pineapple flavour and is made with natural ingredients. The drink is approved by health care providers BUPA and unlike many other sports and energy drinks available today, it is caffeine free, low in sugar and has no added colourings or artificial flavouring. Find out more about Umbro Hypotonic by visiting its website on www.umbrodrinks.com.