There seems to be plenty of product choice on the market when it comes to sports nutrition – but not many can say they are developed specifically to aid the performance of athletes over a certain age. However, Elivar Sports Nutrition is designed to do exactly that. The brand is the brain child of Donal Hanrahan and Len Dunne who both have a background in endurance sports, including (International) rowing and triathlons. Using their own experiences, in early 2012 the pair began extensive research into their idea – speaking to athletes and nutritional professionals. 18 months later they officially launched their somewhat unique brand – Elivar.
Most energy products consist of high glycaemic index (GI) sugars which cause indigestion as they pass through the stomach and blood sugar spikes & crashes when they enter the blood stream. Hardly the way you want to treat your body!
ENDURE delivers sustained release energy which avoids sugar spikes and reduces the likelihood of an upset stomach. ENDURE also contains Protein – in a 4:1 Carb to Protein ratio. This helps the absorption of the carbs and provides a source of protein which aids the recovery process during endurance events.
We all know it takes longer to recover these days. The body changes as we age and so does our need for recovery support. RECOVER has been designed to deliver the right energy and proteins at the right time for athletes over 35.
Not surprising that 65% of people who tried RECOVER found they recovered better and with fewer aches than with their current recovery product. Time to switch and experience the difference for yourself.
The Weekend Endurance Pack is the perfect way to road test the Elivar range of During and After Training products. You’ll notice the sustained release energy of ENDURE, the quality electrolytes in Hydrate Plus and the Award winning recover benefits of RECOVER. Try all the flavours. Each pack contains 2 x Endure, 2 x Hydrate Plus sachets and 2 x Recover sachets.
BEHIND THE BRAND
After learning about the product range, we wanted to find out a bit more about what and who is behind Elivar – so we put some questions to founders – Donal and Len about their brand.
First of all – the name. Where does Elivar come from and who’s idea was it?
Len & I spent a long time working through names for our business. We had three criteria for a name. We wanted something that had positive, sporting connotations. It had to be available as a trademark and domain (.com, .co.uk etc.). And finally it couldn’t have any other associations or meanings in languages other than English. “Elivar” came up during one of those naming sessions as a play on “elevate”.
Your products are specifically designed for athletes – 35+ but why is that the magic age?
There is no magic age per say however 35 is the age at which most of the scientific research reference as the age from which the effects of ageing first start to be seen. For example, sarcopenia, the natural tendency of the body to reduce in muscle mass typically first starts to be seen from the age of 35 in the general population.
35+ is also the age from which people start to become more health conscious and sport forms part of an overall set of healthy lifestyle choices. People who are over 35 are generally aware of the dangers of high-GI or fructose based products within a healthy diet so are more open to products like Elivar where we address those concerns with alternative sustained energy sources.
We see you participate in endurance events – do you feel this has been important in the development of Elivar products?
It was our own journey as consumers that led us to Elivar. We were both in our late 38’s and active in endurance sports but were struggling to find sports nutrition products that met our performance needs while supporting our health goals. We found the energy products were High GI which led to weight gain and stomach upset during training. We found the recovery products were focused on replacing energy rather than delivering quality proteins to aid muscle repair.
So we recruited a team of sports nutritionists, clinical nutritionists and food scientists with whom we worked to develop the products we needed. The outcome was Elivar’s range of products.
What was the first product you/Elivar designed/made?
Our initial focus was on recovery so our RECOVER products was the first one to go into development, however our Endure range was right behind. The During Training and After Training products on the market were so obviously wrong for our age group that it just made sense to develop the two of them straight away.
What do you feel is the brand’s biggest/proudest achievement to date?
We’ve had a lot of really nice moments along the way. Seeing people on Twitter or Facebook using our product or walking into a bike store and seeing our products on display is always great. It validates our original idea that there was a need for products that delivered a more health conscious approach to sports nutrition for the over 35’s.
Vision(s) for the future – what’s next?
Building on our original idea to develop products that enabled us to keep training hard into our 40’s and beyond, we are always looking at product ideas which could deliver performance and health benefits. There are a few things in the pipeline.
We’re also seeing a significant uptake in bike stores stocking our products so we are working hard to support that roll out. The independent bike stores are an important part of the Bike/Tri community. While you might be able to buy something cheaper on the internet, you can’t beat the bike store for advice so we’re keen to work with stores to help add to their offering.
What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to launch a new brand?
Get lots of sleep now while you can! There are so many things to get right. From scratch you’re developing products, packaging, websites, manufacturing, logistics, pricing, legislation, industry contacts, social media, PR and then you’ve a business to run! Accounting, staffing, office, IT systems.
However, like climbing the Alpe d’Huez, the buzz when you get there is worth the effort.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Donal and Len for taking the time to speak to AATR. For more information on the Elivar product range either click on one of the products listed above or check out – https://elivar.com/