AUSTIN, Texas, June 25 When Michael Humphrey, CEO ofAustin-based Human Performance Labs, takes his seat on Sunday in Omaha at theU.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming to cheer on former University of Texasat Austin swimmers Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker and Aaron Peirsol, as well asall-star American swimmer Michael Phelps, he'll have more at stake than Texanor American pride.
As these four former Olympians seek to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Gamesin Beijing, and break a few world records while they're at it, Humphrey willbe preparing for the July 1 launch of his company's product, PureSport, a new,patent-pending class of performance drinks that have been an integral part ofthe Olympic training programs for Hansen, Crocker, Peirsol and Phelps.
"Four of the greatest athletes in the world have made PureSport a staplein their training regimen," says Humphrey. "We are excited to see theseathletes take center stage at the Olympic swimming trials as they prepare toadd to their championship medal count."
"This is the best performance drink I've ever found," says Phelps, whoincorporated PureSport into his training program at the University of Michiganunder coach Bob Bowman. "I wouldn't train without it." Phelps won six goldmedals and two bronze medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Sports performance drinks are a competitive and lucrative category withAmericans drinking more than a billion cases of sports drinks a year,according to Beverage Digest. But PureSport may be moving off the startingblocks with an edge.
PureSport was developed last year by Dr. John Ivy, chair of the Departmentof Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, inconsultation with Eddie Reese, head coach for both UT Austin's men's swim teamand the men's 2008 U.S. Olympic swim team. Ivy developed PureSport with threefactors in mind: the carbohydrate-to-protein ratio, the timing associatedwith drinking performance drinks and compliance with the world's majorgoverning bodies in sports.
"The key factor in a sports performance drink is thecarbohydrate/protein/electrolyte blend," says Ivy, a world-renowned expert onthe role of nutrition in exercise performance. "Carbohydrates provide instantenergy and proteins provide sustaining energy. That balance is critical andPureSport contains the optimal blend of carbohydrate and protein for betterperformance and faster recovery."
In addition to whey protein isolate, which is rich in essential aminoacids and provides quick muscle recovery, PureSport includes Maltodextrin, acomplex carbohydrate for long-lasting, sustained energy; sodium to replenishlosses due to perspiration; magnesium to aid in the protein synthesis thathelps prevent muscle breakdown; and potassium to help keep body fluids inbalance.
PureSport comes in a powder form and the drinks are made by adding water,not milk, a benefit for those who are lactose intolerant. PureSport drinks donot have caffeine.
According to Ivy, another critical factor with respect to performancedrinks is when you drink them and that's why he created two complementaryperformance drinks. PureSport Workout is used prior to and during exercise toimprove endurance and reduce muscle tissue damage while PureSport Recovery isused within 30 minutes of completing a workout to speed the storage of muscleand liver glycogen and promote muscle tissue repair.
"When you exercise," says Ivy, "the muscles become very sensitive tocertain hormones and nutrients, and you can initiate many highly desirabletraining adaptations if you make sure the correct nutrients are present. Thisincreased sensitivity of the muscles only lasts for a limited length of time,so the element of time becomes absolutely crucial. If you miss this window ofopportunity, there's no way you can stimulate the muscle adaptations to thatextent until after the next