Fueling Olympians

Fueling Olympians

Michael Phelps drank it on his way to winning the most medals in modern Olympic history.

In fact, Phelps swears by the UT Austin creation, calling it “the best performance drink I’ve ever found.”

PureSport is the brainchild of Dr. John Ivy, chair of the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. Ivy developed PureSport last year after consulting with Eddie Reese, head coach for the UT Austin men’s swim team and the 2008 U.S. Olympic swim team. The goal: to create a beverage with the optimal ratio of carbohydrates to proteins. The drink would also have to pass muster with the world’s main sports-governing bodies.

Phelps used PureSport this past year during training at the University of Michigan. Olympic medalists, former UT Austin swimmers, and Phelps teammates Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker, and Aaron Peirsol also use PureSport, as does Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic gold medalist in all-around women’s gymnastics.

Ivy is an internationally renowned exercise physiologist and an expert on what nutrients are needed — and when — to maximize physical performance and recovery.

“The key factor in a sports performance drink is the carbohydrate/protein/electrolyte blend,” Ivy says. “Carbohydrates provide instant energy, and proteins provide sustaining energy. That balance is critical.”

PureSport contains whey protein isolate, which is rich in essential amino acids and provides quick muscle recovery; maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate for long-lasting, sustained energy; sodium to replenish losses due to perspiration; magnesium to aid in the protein synthesis that helps prevent muscle breakdown; and potassium to help keep body fluids in balance.

PureSport comes in two versions, one to be taken before and during a workout and one afterward. PureSport Workout is used to improve endurance and reduce muscle tissue damage; PureSport Recovery is taken within 30 minutes after a workout to speed the storage of muscle and liver glycogen and to promote muscle tissue repair.

Austin-based Human Performance Labs CEO Michael Humphrey developed an interest in PureSport in late 2007. Human Performance Labs produces and markets PureSport, which went on sale to the public July 1.