GoodSport Nutrition, a Chicago-based start-up, has launched their 97% dairy sports drink, GoodSport, sold on Amazon and the GoodSport Nutrition website.
CEO and founder Michelle McBride said she was “frustrated” with the lack of sports drink selection, and after support from the Dairy Checkoff and other dairy groups, she decided to do something about it.
“I didn’t want my son drinking sports drinks filled with artificial ingredients that were being offered to him at his baseball games,” McBride said. “I gave him chocolate milk as a healthier alternative after his workouts and it provided the inspiration to look at milk as a source of hydration during physical activity.”
Milk provides the necessary electrolytes and carbohydrates that the body uses to rehydrate and re-energize after physical activity, according to a press release. The company claimed some scientific studies have shown milk to hydrate better than other sports drinks and water.
However, the consistency and slow digestion of protein prevented plain milk from being a viable alternative. McBride’s company created the formula of a clear dairy-based drink that delivers less sugar and more electrolytes than competing sports drinks. It also provides calcium and B vitamins, it’s lactose-free and it doesn’t require refrigeration.
Dairy Management Inc. helped McBride see her vision come to life by helping her connect with industry experts and market her product. Greg Miller of the National Dairy Council also serves on GoodSport Nutrition’s scientific advisory board. McBride grew her company rapidly through the 90-day start-up program offered by Dairy Farmers of America.
“GoodSport carries dairy’s healthy halo,” said Pennsylvania dairy farmer Marilyn Hershey, who serves as chair of DMI. “It not only offers delicious refreshment and nutrition from dairy, but it supports our industry’s sustainability mission. This is giving people a new way to talk about milk and that’s exciting for dairy farmers.”
McBride also received support from Kimberlee Burrington, dairy ingredient, cultured products and beverages coordinator at the Center for Dairy Research at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Burrington helped McBride learn about ultrafiltration that helped turn milk into a “clear, light beverage with a mouthfeel that consumers expect from a sports drink” while retaining the electrolytes and other nutrients.
GoodSport also uses permeate, the byproduct from using ultrafiltration to make cheese and other dairy products that often is seen as waste. McBride’s product was later tested at Pennsylvania State University for hydration – the study found that the drink hydrates for two hours at a time.
“Having spent my career in hydration and exercise performance research, I’ve known milk has the ingredients to provide superior hydration, but never before has anyone found a way to transform milk into an extremely effective and refreshing sports drink,” said Bob Murray, co-founder and former director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute who helped oversee GoodSport’s formulation. “It’s exciting to be part of the team that’s bringing something entirely new with superior hydration to the sports drink category.”
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