Performance Nutrition, Created By Athletes
Brainiac pros took workout and recovery fuel into their own hands by developing these products.
When it comes to nutrition, no one knows how to properly fuel and hydrate before, during and after your workouts better than the pros. And conveniently, handfuls of elite athletes also happen to have science and nutrition backgrounds. Put these brains-plus-brawn busybodies in the kitchen and a host of new nutrition products emerge. Here are just some of the latest products that were created by athletes, for athletes.
Created by: Husband and wife duo Jesse Thomas (pro triathlete) and Lauren Fleshman (pro runner)
What: As a triathlete, Jesse was looking for a bar that was all-natural yet still had performance benefits that weren’t offered by other “real food” bars. His wife Lauren, who in addition to being a professional runner also has a degree in science and athletic performance from Stanford, helped him create it. Each bar is gluten-free, and contains primarily organic and superfood ingredients.
Created by: Pro runner Nick Symmonds
What: Symmonds also happens to be a biochemist. His brainchild: A performance-boosting gum that provides runners with a caffeine kick without anything else—no calories or sugar. It purports to convey a boost 5 times faster than other caffeinated products.
Created by: Pro cyclist Ally Stacher, a member of Team Specialized-Lululemon, and her cyclist husband John Murphy
What: Ally was known as the team chef. She would make smoothies and juices and energy cookies/bites for her teammates, and they loved them. Eventually they encouraged her to make a healthy, natural bar that tastes good, and she did. The vegan-friendly, all-natural bar is made primarily from sweet potato, dates and quinoa, with nearly all of the ingredients sourced from organic farms.
Giddy Up Bar
Created by: Timothy O’Shea, an elite coach to professional cyclists and cyclocross riders
What: Annoyed with his athletes’ bad eating behaviors, O’Shea started to cook for them. These bars were one of his creations. The quinoa-based bars contain a simple mix of carbs and protein, healthy fats and antioxidants, with ingredients like flax, cashew butter, pumpkin seeds and tart cherries.
Created by: Brian Maslach, an endurance athlete
What: Maslach, who has studied exercise science and sport nutrition and was a VP at a major nutritional supplement company, is an endurance athlete at his core. On a search for something that tasted better, didn’t contain any fillers or junk and was still effective at improving performance, he began experimenting with ingredients and kept tweaking until he got it right. His athlete friends in Colorado helped test for him. Each ingredient is selected for a purpose and combined into bite-sized food that’s easy to eat while racing.
Created by: Jason Winn, a former Division 1 quarterback-turned-triathlete, and Chris Frank, a Category 1 road cyclist
What: Now the Official Energy Bar of the Ironman Triathlon series and the Official Bar of USA Cycling, Bonk Breaker bars are gluten- and dairy-free, and are made with 10 to 12 real ingredients.
Created by: Jess Cerra, pro mountain biker and Xterra athlete
What: The Harmony Bar is one item produced by Fit Food by Jess, which Cerra founded in 2009. She prepares fresh, healthy, seasonal food for families and athletes, using wholesome, flavorful, simple food. She also writes a recipe and cooking column bi-monthly for Triathlete magazine.