The ‘nutty professors’ revolutionising long range athlete fuel | Resilient Nutrition
Ali and Greg, the founders of Resilient Nutrition, began their journey after meeting at a biohacking conference in Stockholm. With Ali coming from a data and intelligence background, and Greg from a human performance and science background, the decision to put their heads together to create a product that would meaningfully impact human performance promised an exciting endeavour – it was “love at first sight” laughs Greg.
Resilient Nutrition was formed out of both a gap in the market and, in part, frustration: “It’s about this opportunity to create a range of products that help not just elite athletes, but every day people [to] perform at their best…in a meaningful way whilst respecting the environment,” Ali explains, “so one of the things we care about is the people involved in making our products and what we do to the planet when we go through that process.”
Resilient Nutrition also noted that many nutrition products on the market were not only ineffective at impacting performance, but were also cross-contaminated with banned substances. According to a 2018 study in the Sports Health journal, since 2002 ‘20% of legally sold sports nutrition products’ contained potent, synthetic oral anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs) ‘with many bona-fide AASs listed openly on product labels’*. Athletes are consequently at risk of inadvertent doping. Thus, it was decided that a sustainable, impactful and safe product was essential.
The first Resilient Nutrition products emerged from prototypes that the pair created for the Resilient:X crew, Dave Spelman and Max Thorpe, who were participating in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. The rowers required nutrition which combatted not only physical tiredness, but mental, emotional tiredness too for a period of nearly 38 days. Resilient Nutrition therefore needed to go beyond traditional sport nutrition views, selecting high quality, scientifically-backed ingredients to form a food that really worked.
In response to the challenge of fuelling a gruelling endurance race across the ocean, Resilient Nutrition created four different variants of Long Range Fuel: ‘Energise’ products, ‘Calm’ products, plus ‘Energise & Rebuild’ products and ‘Calm & Rebuild’ products which have added protein. The founders chose these variations “because we need different effects from products at different times of day and in different circumstances”. Greg used the example of Ali running an ultramarathon which spans both day and night: he needed “something that’s going to keep him alert and support his brain function” as well as powering his body.
Discussing the Energise products, Greg explained in layman’s terms how it works: “Inside the Energise products there are two active ingredients. One is caffeine, the most widely psychoactive drug in the world, and caffeine improves both cognitive function and physical performance in the short term…in terms of physical performance, a dose of caffeine, which is perhaps between 3-6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, has repeatedly been shown to improve both endurance exercise performance and the strength and power exercise performance. And those beneficial effects are probably slightly stronger for endurance exercise.”
However, to prevent the dreaded caffeine-jitters, an amino acid commonly found in tea known as L-Theanine is added. The benefits of L-Theanine are highly favoured by Resilient Nutrition, with the amino acid helping those who ingest it cope with stress better by reducing anxiety. It has been studied in combination with caffeine too and has shown to offset certain negative effects of caffeine. Not only are the products dosed in accordance with scientific research, but Resilient Nutrition “only use the best studied forms of the active ingredients” Greg comments.
The ‘Calm’ products by Resilient Nutrition are also somewhat wondrous. They contain a herb known as Ashwagandha (KSM-66 Ashwagandha, specifically) which is known to promote relaxation in the body. Not only this, but the use of Ashwagandha can lead to faster increases in muscle mass from strength training and support cardio metabolic health. The added protein products, known as the ‘Rebuild’ line, help the consumer with body composition, supporting not only fat-free mass but also immune function, bone health – the list goes on.
What is also exciting about Resilient Nutrition is their commitment to be a sustainable brand and business, ensuring their “environmental footprint [is] to be as small as possible”. Resilient Nutrition does this in various ways, one being minimising the use of plastic, and another being extensive use of recycled and recyclable materials.
Both Ali and Greg have spent extended periods of time abroad, particularly the jungle, therefore Resilient Nutrition “give[s] one percent of [our] sales to a charity named the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, which works with governments and communities and countries to help people responsibly manage their rainforest and thereby protect biodiversity and help mitigate climate change.”
Resilient Nutrition’s commitment is not only to environmental sustainability, but also to nutritional sustainability: “if nutrition is to be sustainable, then it has to involve consuming things that we actually want to consume and find the ease to consume. And so what this means is that we make products that are both practically packaged and really, really tasty”. The products are made to support performance in the short and long term, this meaning that the products “are very specific and targeted to the particular activities that we want to boost performance in, but also support numerous different facets of our health”.
Although Resilient Nutrition may be the new kids on the block as far as nutrition products are concerned, it is certain that their products are effective and ethical. As the brand begins to gain momentum, Ali and Greg have a few more projects up their sleeves.
“We are currently going through Informed Sport certification, and I’m hoping that next month we should be launching our Elite range” Ali comments. Resilient Nutrition have developed complimentary products and identified partners in order to create a nutritionally complete, lightweight, performance enhancing food system that forms part of an innovative trial with the military. They also have a couple of interesting trials running that will hopefully lead to additional products that have both performance and sustainability benefit “so there’s plenty to look out for.”
Ali is currently trying to break the World Record for Cinnamon and Cashew Calm & Rebuild Long Range Fuelconsumption but secretly admits to fuelling his days and the occasional all-nighter with Coffee & Pecan Energise, whilst Greg is particularly partial to Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Calm & Rebuild Long Range Fuel.
* Source: Prohibited Contaminants in Dietary Supplements – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5753965/
For more information on Resilient Nutrition pls go to https://resilientnutrition.com.