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Behind the Scenes at First EnduranceBehind the Scenes at First Endurance

February 19, 2010

2 Min Read
Behind the Scenes at First Endurance

Sports nutrition means more than just body building, and entrepreneurs are seeing potential in the endurance performance market. Jordan Rapp of SlowTwitch interviewed Robert Kunz, a founder of First Endurance, to talk about product development, breaking into the market, and using real food for optimal endurance performance. First Endurance offers a line of products designed for racing/training nutrition including the EFS (Electrolyte Fuel System) line, a multivitamin, an ergogenic, performance enhancer and a high-calorie protein/carb powder (Ultragen).

According to Kunz, he and partner Mike Fogarty started the company because, as endurance athletes, they were using bodybuilding products that werent meeting their specific needs. He said, Our only objective was, and still is, to offer safe and legal, scientifically validated sports nutrition that is developed specifically to maximize the performance of endurance athletes.

Further, as Kunz is a scientist and has background in the dietary supplement industry, he said he had a unique understanding of the nutritional requirements of endurance athletes. I know we sweat profusely, burn a ton of calories and put our bodies under tremendous stress all the time, he noted. At one time or another Ive also tried most of the other endurance products while training and racing so I know how they perform, not just how they taste in a lab.

During product development, Kunz takes feedback from sponsored athletes to help fine tune existing products and come up with ideas for new offerings. A board of researchers also works to find the science behind the ingredients and product concept to offer support for the idea, before it heads into prototype development. Kunz said it took two full years, for example, of back and forth testing and formulation to come up with the EFS liquid shot. The companys PreRace product resulted from athletes requesting a product that would provide a mental and cardiac boost before races; after testing and formulation, the company supported a clinical trial to further validate the products efficacy in enhancing cycling endurance.

The company also works to enhance its existing formulations, recently introducing an upgraded version of OptygenHP that uses a higher potency extract of Rhodiola than the previous incarnation, as well as redesigning the full line of EFS drink mixes to improve the flavor profiles and incorporate malic acid for its performance effects.

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