In lieu of recent comments from FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak, MD, vilifying sports supplements and urging players to avoid them, it is refreshing to see a soccer player approach nutrition in a responsible way.
When I first saw the tweet from U.S. men's soccer starhopefully he'll make it back on the national teamand Randers FC forward Charlie Davies (aka CD9) about his new dietary supplement offering, I was cautious. There are so many companies who would jump on this opportunity to work with a highly visible pro athlete, but such an enterprise should be undertaken with care and quality, given the scrutiny on these products. Also, not only are celebrities who endorse products liable for claims and other violations (see here), launching your own products can come with high risk (see story on talk show host Dr. Phil here).
In a hopeful quest, I researched the partnership and reached out to Charlie for more information. I learned a bit about how optimized nutrition aided his amazing recovery from the October 2009 tragic accident in D.C. that could have ended his life, let alone his career. Maybe it should've ended his career, but CD9 battled back, and through an amazing recovery he is back on the pitch and targeting his old form. I also learned more about his nutrition partnership and why he chose this particular dietary supplement manufacturer to share his nutrition with his fans, the greater world of soccer and anyone else interested in improving their health and training.
Let's hear from Charlie:
INSIDER: How much did you know about nutrition and supplements before forming this nutrition product partnership, and did you even take supplements before your accident and recovery?
Charlie: I knew quite a bit about nutrition from being an Olympian and professional soccer player. You need to know what should go in your body for optimal performance. On the national team, they really keep you informed on what's good for your body.
Yes, I did take supplements before, but I didn't really understand the difference in supplement manufacturers until I saw all the independent ratings and hundreds of professional athletes taking their product. I've taken a wide range of different supplements. I've tried to see which ones would give me an advantage, but didn't really see a change until I found this manufacturing partner.*
INSIDER: Do your fellow U.S. men's team players approach nutrition similarly, and is there someone on the team staff that oversees supplement use (considering the concerns about supplements and drug testing)?
Charlie: Every player treats nutrition as a priority. Good health and nutrition keeps you from getting injured and allows you to recover from the rigorous training and matches. When taking a supplement, you usually notify the trainer, and they check to make sure it is safe.
INSIDER: That's good to know, as it seems some athletes take things without first having them checked out, which is just crazy to do in today's environment.
After beginning your regiment of nutritional supplements, how long did it take to notice they were having a positive effect?
Charlie: After coming back from my horrific accident, I really had to focus on getting my body back in shape. With the amount of hard work I was putting in daily, it came to a point where my body couldn't keep up. I needed something to help me recover faster and give me the added energy to get through my workouts. After using the customized pack for just three weeks, I felt a huge impact. The soreness that usually came along with my daily workouts was greatly diminished and allowed me to do the extra work.
INSIDER: I can see why you'd want to share this. However, if the supplements in the CD9 pack were customized for you, during your amazing recovery, what makes them good for other soccer players and fans? And, is this pack just for athletes?
Charlie: We created these packs with all of my fans and soccer enthusiasts in mind. As I've learned, life is precious, and it's MUCH easier to maintain your health than try to regain it after a set back or illness. I am confident that these packs will create a significant health advantage for anyone who takes them and enable them to properly fill in the gaps from their diet to feel their best and stay healthy.
The CD9 Pro Pack was customized specifically for me in my recovery and is the pack I would recommend for the serious or professional athlete who understands the importance of maximizing recovery time in a safe and effective way. The edge that I feel I have now is powerful, however, given the bigger picture, it is my goal that other professional athletes will choose to utilize the pack also, to raise their game and provide this example of optimal health to others.
INSIDER: OK, so what does the CD9 Pack include?
Charlie: There are three different CD9 Packs available. The CD9 Basic Pack includes a proprietary multivitamin, some great omega fatty acids, grape seed extract, and also a vitamin D tablet.
The CD9 Pro Pack includes everything in the Basic and also an advanced joint health formula and a liver health product. This is the pack I take every morning and evening.
The CD9 Multivitamin is just the proprietary multivitamin that I first took and felt benefits on.
We do also have the ability to customize these packs specifically for adolescents or youth players because they, of course, have different nutritional needs than an adult does.
All of these supplements are manufactured at pharmaceutical-grade (so the potency and absorption is guaranteed). Another reason I partnered with this specific manufacturer is they are independently rated as the best in North America and they are NSF Certified for Sport.
INSIDER: It sounds like you did you homework. Congrats. Since you've shared your nutrition with us, when do you share your wife Nina's famous cooking with us?
INSIDER: Charlie?? Charlie???
*In order to keep the focus and customer service on the CD9 nutrition brand and staff, the manufacturer is not named herein; rest assured I am very familiar with this company. The company is a major manufacturer that has been in the supplement industry a long time and has run their products and manufacturing facilities through various audits from the renowned independent, non-profit auditor NSF International. This includes NSF's Certified for Sport program, which assures specifically audited products are free from substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and several pro leagues. It also includes good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification, ensuring the company adheres to the FDA's recently implemented dietary supplement GMPs. The company has also undergone Consumerlab.com testing and is a member of the Utah Natural Products Alliance, which requires its members commit to quality.