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Toning up performance and comfort

Source:Food Bev Asia

Date Published:3/8/2019 10:03:14 AM

Set up by sports enthusiasts, Pure Sports Nutrition takes on the market for hydration, endurance and recovery drinks in Asia and the Middle East.

BUSINESS is brisk at Pure Sports Nutrition whose hydration, endurance and recovery drinks are ticking all the boxes for athletes and sports enthusiasts. 

Simon Kraak and Marewa Sutherland are the brother-and-sister team behind the brand that is making the rounds in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. And although the siblings have the sports credentials, they explain that a void in the market is what cut out their work for them.

Marewa is a qualified sports and exercise nutritionist, former New Zealand representative rower and elite road cyclist, and Simon is a keen road cyclist and mountain biker. Years earlier, the siblings were faced with a dilemma of finding natural sports nutrition products that meet their personal needs. “We both led fit and healthy lives but when it came to sports nutrition at the time everything was artificial and full of colours and cheap ingredients,” shares Marewa. Unable to find anything, they made their own.

Pure Sports Nutrition hydration drinks

Pure Sports Nutrition’s sucrose and glucose mix is ideal for those with any stomach issues such as IBS or those having trouble consuming sports drinks.

Expanding global footprint

Pure Sports Nutrition launched its first line-up of Pure Electrolyte Hydration in 2012 in New Zealand, and soon after that in neighbouring Australia. The drink is specifically formulated for use during sports and exercise and is available in Raspberry, Pineapple, Lemon or Superfruits (containing Acai, Goji, Pomegranate, Elderberry, Blackcurrant, Blueberry, Cranberry, Strawberry and Raspberries).

Demand from customers and retailers for before-, during- and after-exercise drinks pushed product development at Pure Sports, and in 2015, the company rolled out its protein range: Pure Whey Protein, Pure Endurance Formula and Pure Exercise Recovery. Additional recovery and pre-exercise range, followed closely afterwards. The company’s markets expanded to include Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East.

Pure Sports Nutrition expects the sports drink market to continue on its growth path. In fact, a recent report1 from Mordor Intelligence cites that global earnings from the line in 2017 was expected to reach 28.05 billion. It also projects a CAGR of 8.6% from 2018 to 2023.  The Asia Pacific takes the third highest percentage share in terms of revenue at 22%; North America is first at 31%, and Europe second at 27%.

Lifestyles are changing these days, and influenced by the health and wellness trend. This has been encouraging active consumers to consider the many choices of protein drinks, herbal drinks, non-protein drinks, and other sports drinks.

Millennials in particular, with their strong interest in sports, inclination towards fitness, greater buying power and willingness to put their money behind health products, are fuelling demand for sports beverages.

The positive outlook for sports beverages inspires manufacturers to develop even more products that can help consumers attain their health goals faster. The introduction of new flavours and added health benefits is also a major growth factor in this segment. Mordor identified light and sugar-free drinks as an experimental market meant to attract female consumers in particular.

The growing inclination towards physical fitness among consumers, as well as the growing number of health clubs and fitness centres, adds to the rosy forecast. The fitness centres and health clubs have projected a CAGR of 7.4%. Advertising also plays a vital role due to which boys have captured the sports drink market with nearly 45%, and girls have about 32% share globally.

Pure Exercise Recovery powder

Pure Exercise Recovery powder is a post-exercise drink with a blend of raw organic cacao powder, milk proteins and New Zealand honey powder.

Knowing the basics

In the case of Pure Sports Nutrition, its success lies in its ability to pack in the right carbohydrates, premium electrolytes, and real fruits and whole foods to its sports drinks.

According to the company, having the right mix of ingredients and formulation of carbohydrates is important especially for sports performance and comfort. Having them in sports drinks helps replace energy that is used up during exercise.

“Our range features a fast-absorbing mix of sucrose and glucose carbohydrates to help keep your body rapidly fuelled during exercise,” shares Marewa.  “When formulating Pure Electrolyte Hydration, we wanted to get a fast absorbing carbohydrate mix but one that was also gentle on the stomach. We also wanted to achieve a great taste profile so our drink wasn’t sweet or sickly.

“A fructose-based mix (the alternative to sucrose or glucose) would be marginally absorbed faster, but we would have ended up with a sweet sickly drink with high stomach-upset issues.  By contrast, our choice of sucrose and glucose mix has the best taste, fast uptake and very low stomach-upset issues. If you have any stomach issues such as IBS or have trouble consuming sports drinks, then Pure Sports Nutrition range should be perfect for you.”

Electrolytes or mineral salts are crucial in helping cells in the body to function and allow the body to work.

“In simple terms, electrolytes are salts which are dissolved in and around the cells in our body,” explains Marewa.  “But these are very important salts that carry charges, which are needed for muscle movement, and help balance fluid levels inside and outside of cells. 

Pure Sports Nutrition uses real freeze-dried fruits to keep its flavouring simple.

Pure Sports Nutrition uses real freeze-dried fruits to keep its flavouring simple. Fruit powder is from New Zealand and Australian manufacturers.

But why exactly are electrolytes needed in sports drinks?

“Firstly, electrolytes are lost in sweat so if you exercise for about 60 to 90 minutes, they need to be replaced to avoid cramps and fatigue and ensure your muscles can still move with ease. They also help hydrate your body by pulling water through from your stomach into your cells. A flow-on effect keeps your body hydrated, helping keep it cooler and avoiding the downward spiral to fatigue. Having electrolytes in a sports drink not only helps to keep you hydrated but also helps keep your muscles balanced and working properly during exercise.”

Sodium is the predominant electrolyte in sweat but calcium, potassium and magnesium are also present, Marewa says. “This is why you will often find these added electrolytes in sports nutrition products helping you to replace those salts, which are lost naturally through sweating.”

It is tricky to determine how much electrolytes a person needs, she says, “because the rate at which we sweat and the concentration of salt levels in sweat is different for everyone. Generally, a sports drink is sufficient to replace your lost electrolytes in exercise of more than 90 minutes or those of high-intensity short stints. Some situations where you may need more include being in a hot and humid environment or if you are prone to muscle cramping.”

Pure Sports Nutrition cautions that not all electrolytes are the same though, and adds that it uses premium electrolytes of sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Citrate-based electrolytes and fresh fruit powder

“After looking at every electrolyte type available, we decided to use citrate-based electrolytes instead of the more commonly used chloride-based ones. They cost up to 100 times more but have a much- improved taste profile and are alkaline so they are gentle on your stomach.”

The company explains that using real freeze-dried fruits helps keep their flavouring simple. “We source the freshest fruit powder from New Zealand and Australian manufacturers due to its fresh flavour profiles. Across our entire range, we use only the best available ingredients, which are sourced locally if possible." These include organic Heilala vanilla beans, organic Maretai cacao, Nelson blackcurrants, New Zealand Ben Yen lemons, Trade Aid Ceylon cinnamon, New Zealand raspberries, and others. “By using real fruit powder and premium natural ingredients, we create a natural, fresher tasting sports nutrition range when compared to fake or lab-based ‘natural’ flavouring additives.”

The company does product development in-house for faster turnaround in testing ingredients and formulations. Each product is trialled in training and racing and customer feedback is taken into consideration before going to market. “Put simply, if we don’t like the taste and performance of a product, then we don’t expect anyone else to like it either.”

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