In a move to bring the highest level of nutritional science and quality to the well-being of their athletes, elite and professional teams are vetting the most effective and safest nutritional supplements to support athlete health. Seven U.S. national governing bodies have signed partnership agreements with Thorne Research to be their exclusive nutritional supplement partner, and agreements with several additional NGBs are pending. These multi-year agreements will launch in 2016.
Thorne Research’s participation, in collaboration with the NGBs’ coaches, doctors and sports science specialists, will be integral to the health and wellness programs within these prestigious governing bodies, including USRowing. “Our athletes’ health is our highest priority and cannot be placed at risk. Athletes may have nutritional or physiological demands that require supplementation, and USRowing’s partnership with Thorne Research will ensure that our athletes are receiving safe, clean and carefully monitored and tested nutritional supplements," says Dr. Jo Hannafin, USRowing’s head team physician. “It is critically important to ensure that standards for quality, safety and content be demonstrated for nutritional supplements that may be used by our athletes."
As part of the NGB partnerships, Thorne Research will provide the NGBs’ national team members nutritional supplement products with the highest level of certification, baseline nutritional-level testing through WellnessFX, educational materials and risk protection with product liability insurance. In addition, these elite athletes will have access to reliable health information from the Mayo Clinic, which has been compiled for easy access on the Thorne Research website. This content will help athletes evaluate nutritional supplement usage and better understand nutritional supplement labels, manufacturing and regulation, all provided by an objective resource. Thorne Research is also embarking on several clinical research studies at the Mayo Clinic, including the effect of nicotinamide riboside on brain health in collegiate football players, the effect of nicotinamide riboside on altitude acclimatization and team cohesion during an ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and a study of the microbiome in elite athletes.
Steve Penny, CEO of USA Gymnastics, is keenly aware of the unique demands placed on athletes. Mr. Penny stated: “Athlete performance is a function of many variables, and proper nutrition is a key fundamental element. The human body is designed to perform at its optimal level when the right balance of nutrients is provided to keep the athlete healthy and strong. Often times, the competition environment can make it difficult for an athlete to have access to food products that meet their individual nutritional needs, especially when traveling abroad.”
Major advances in the development, medical research and monitoring of nutritional supplements have enabled Thorne Research to provide elite athletes with nutritional supplements that can assist in accelerating recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage that can result from the day-to-day rigors of training and competition.
“Our partnership addresses a great need on the part of competitive and elite athletes. No longer must these athletes fend for themselves trying to figure out which nutritional supplements to take, and where to obtain a safe, clean and reliable source of nutritional supplements. This partnership follows years of hard work by the NGBs to help the athletes address that problem. We are honored that these prestigious national governing bodies are working with us because of our approach to providing nutritional supplements that are scientifically formulated, rigorously studied, clinically researched, and NSF Certified for Sport,” states Paul Jacobson, CEO of Thorne Research.
As athletes reach the highest levels of competition and become more efficient in their sport, they stress specific groups of muscles day in and day out. This daily process of stress and repair requires that their bodies receive very specific ranges of vitamins, minerals and botanicals in order to perform optimally. For example, competing in a high-stress environment – that is also away from home – requires nutritional supplement products, such as a probiotic supplement that provides optimal balance of good bacteria in the gut and an iron supplement that promotes the formation of new red blood cells, thus optimizing the body’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the athlete’s body.