“We went for a more sophisticated look. We wanted to appeal to everyone from the professional athlete to the office worker that goes to the gym once a week.”
Mix and match
While the former will have different nutritional needs to the latter, both can benefit from Herbalife24 products, insists Heiss, who is director, sports and fitness, worldwide product marketing at LA-based Herbalife and a former category II competitive cyclist.
“It's a customizable range, so you can use the products that fit your lifestyle.
“We’ve created a ‘customize your routine’ tool on the Herbalife24 website enabling you to determine your day-to-day needs based on activity levels and training demands," adds Heiss, an expert in the nutritional needs of endurance athletes.
“We wanted to move beyond the traditional pre-, during and post-workout model and develop a complete product line offering 24-hour nutrition based on the latest science.”
Formula 1 Sport: Milk protein for lean muscle mass; a carb blend for immediate and sustained energy; L-Glutamine for muscle growth and immune function, plus antioxidants for protection.
Hydrate: A low calorie source of bioavailable electrolytes designed for advanced hydration.
Prepare: L-Arginine, L-citrulline and L-ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate to support blood flow to working muscles plus creatine to support fast-twitch muscle contraction
Prolong: A dual-source carb blend for immediate and sustained energy; whey protein isolate to reduce muscle breakdown; electrolytes to support proper muscle function; B Vitamins to support carb metabolism, plus Vitamin C.
Rebuild Endurance: Branched-chain amino acids, whey and casein proteins create a rapid and sustained protein-building state; a carb blend to replenish muscle glycogen; a blend of free amino acids, whey and casein proteins to help rebuild muscle and speed recovery; L-Glutamine to support immune function and promote muscle repair, plus L-Carnitine to reduce recovery time.
Rebuild Strength: Whey and casein proteins for rapid and sustained protein-building; a blend of free amino acids, whey and casein proteins to help rebuild muscle and speed recovery; iron for red blood cell protection; branched-chain amino acids to support muscle growth, and L-Glutamine to support immune function and promote muscle repair.
Restore: Curcumin to help combat exercise-induced inflammation; elderberry and amla fruit extracts to scavenge free radicals, plus Vitamin C and beta-carotene to support immune function.
Beyond the traditional pre-, during and post-workout model
Instead of making a one-size-fits-all recovery product, for example, Herbalife24 has two post-workout products.
One (Rebuild Endurance) is tailored to help athletes recover after aerobically demanding workouts and another (Rebuild Strength) is tailored to speed up recovery after a heavy session in the gym pumping iron.
We went back to the primary literature
While the ingredients in Herbalife24 are not especially unusual, this does not mean it is a ‘me too’ range, stresses Heiss.
"What is special is the science behind the formulations. We went back to the primary literature and spent six months researching exactly what is the right amount of L-glutamine to use in a recovery product? What precise combination of fast and slow release carbs or fast (whey) and slow (casein) digesting proteins should we use and why?
“Take L-carnitine. It’s not new, but it’s usually associated with fat burning products. We’re using it in a post workout recovery product for endurance athletes.”
What is the clinically effective dose for creatine in a pre-workout product?
As for creatine, the key is getting the right dose, he says.
“It used to be the more the better, and some athletes were taking 10-20g a day. They were literally swelling up because creatine pulls water into muscle cells causing them to expand. But this makes you more prone to injury.
“We know now that the clinically effective dose for creatine monohydrate - which we use in our ‘Prepare’ pre-workout product for fast twitch muscle contraction, enabling you to do more reps, work out that bit longer - is actually around 2g.”
Prepare, which also contains ingredients that boost nitric oxide production and support blood flow to working muscles, delivers a benefit whether you are a serious athlete or a weekend warrior, he says.
“Without adequate oxygen reaching muscles, performance can be inhibited.”
The ‘Hydrate’ electrolyte supplement, meanwhile, contains “bioavailable electrolytes that are efficiently absorbed for improved hydration”, says Heiss.
“Sodium citrate, sea salt, potassium gluconate and magnesium ascorbate quickly replenish the salts and mineral lost throughout the day. Unlike many sports drinks it is intentionally low in sugar, so it works for everyone, even those that are not so active.”
So essential electrolyte replacement for a triathlete or hardcore jogger - and a pleasant low-cal alternative to a sugary sports drink for the rest of us…
Finally, all the products are tested for banned substances and are free from artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, he says.
Launched in the US last May, Herbalife24 was rolled out to Europe in September 2011 and is now sold in 20 countries, says Heiss, who argues it is also helping Herbalife appeal to a new, younger, generation of distributors and customers beyond its core weight management audience.
“It’s doing fantastic things for the Herbalife brand and creating a lot of excitement.”