Today, Nduranz is an increasingly respected brand that creates cutting-edge supplements for endurance athletes. Many elite athletes already use our products with great results, and their numbers are growing every day.
But things haven't always been like that. Before we could proudly stand in front of you, our beloved athletes, there were several tough lessons for us to learn.
This is our story. A story that teaches you that there is no failure as long as you are striving to learn from your mistakes and you are willing to give everything you've got to chase perfection.
2013-2015: THE TIME OF NAIVITY
When Nduranz was founded in 2013, it was based less on the "latest research" and more on widely held beliefs. In 2013, no one had given much thought to what sports nutrition experts recommended, and this was especially true in the area of endurance nutrition.
It was also the time when brands copied each other and only slightly changed product names and adapted their recipes to be safe from legal problems. Well-known ambassadors (e.g., Team Sky) played a decisive role in building further trust in brands and their statements were simply believed and never questioned.
We were eager to deliver the best products for endurance athletes, but at the time, we simply lacked the knowledge to do so.
To be honest, we trusted the mainstream ourselves, which reflected in our products. Instead of developing our own formulas, we simply adopted what the respected giants were doing and went out there to test whether those formulas felt OK to the athletes.
2015-2017: THE TIME OF DENIALS
Over time we have grown. First we were athletes, then entrepreneurs, and we put the little time we had left into research and fact-checking.
We have always been athletes ourselves, and over time, as we improved as athletes and started competing, we realized that the problems occasionally reported by our clients could actually be a real problem. We are talking about gastrointestinal problems, muscle cramps, and a rapid loss of energy.
Initially, we blamed everything that was not part of our products. Bad dinner the day before, stress, too little water, not enough sleep, working all day, skipping meals. This could be true for normal people, but not for the professional athletes who knew what they were doing.
Before we could produce the best supplements for endurance athletes, we needed to accept our shortcomings.
We accepted our shortcoming and started to invest more in research and development. We updated our formulas, and we were sure this would solve our athletes' problems.
We also believed that more is better, so we packed all we could into our products. Our hydration drink contained amino acids and lots of electrolytes. This should have solved the problem, right? No. It only got worse.
2017-2019: THE TIME OF GROWTH
In this period, we got into an argument about hydration. We had an exceptional product line (carefully selected ingredients, high-quality manufacturing process, no artificial ingredients), but unfortunately the formulas were still based on "bro science".
Our biggest misconception was the myth regarding electrolytes. We even worked with a sports physician to help us develop it further. However, we focused our attention on "special supplements" rather than fixing the basics.
We have also worked on the development of VO2 max products and amino acid mixtures. We were aware of the importance of carbohydrates and the limitations of a finite carbohydrate storage in the body. But instead of optimizing the oxidation of the carbohydrates we ingested, we focused on improving training efficiency to promote fat oxidation rates.
There were many lessons to be learned, and we rose to the occasion.
The carbohydrate content in our formulas was, as we now know, suboptimal and was one of the main culprits for the constant reports of gut discomfort, muscle cramps, and lack of energy during high-intensity exercise.
We needed to get real science involved to get our products to the cutting-edge quality they are now.
2019-2021: BULLSHIT WILL NOT MAKE YOU BETTER
The idea of further upgrading our product line came after a big disagreement on social media with a very annoying young exercise, metabolism, and physiology expert, Dr. Tim Podlogar, the biggest authority for cyclists in Slovenia.
This made us think. Maybe it was time for us to take a step back and ask him if he was willing to collaborate on the development of future products. If he was such an expert and not just an annoying nerd, we could create a great story together. After all, constructive disagreements drive the human race forward by encouraging innovation.
Once Dr. Tim Podlogar joined the team, we were able to combine true science with our manufacturing expertise to create a product line endurance athletes of all levels could use to support and improve their athletic performance.
Our goal has always been to deliver the best for our customers and, of course, for ourselves. Who wants to sell products that they do not love and believe in themselves? So we got in touch with Tim and offered to settle our disagreements once and for all.
Tim accepted our invitation, and the takeaway of the meeting was that the only way to move forward was to focus on the latest research. This means that any new product needs to be approved by Tim, because he is the authority in the field of exercise metabolism.
"I don't like to consider myself a scientist. I am an athlete obsessed with perfection. This brought me into the field of research. I am simply passionate about innovations that would result in improved athletic performance. Mine or yours. It doesn't matter." - Dr. Tim Podlogar
Gastrointestinal discomfort and muscle cramps were the problems we wanted to solve or at least minimize. The first updated product was a sports drink, which eventually became Nrgy Unit Drink.
Dr. Tim Podlogar was definitely the right person for this task, given his vast experience with endurance athletes and the knowledge he had gained during his doctoral studies in the field of Carbohydrate Metabolism at the University of Birmingham, UK.
We tested the prototypes in collaboration with the experts from the Human Performance Centre, where Tim is the Head of Science. We also invited our team athletes, including UK triathlete Alex Rhodes, the Italian MTB cycling team Eppinger Team, Croatian Football Team Belupo, Italian triathlete Marco Ganassin to test the prototypes.
Positive feedback from world-class athletes meant we finally succeeded in our mission to create top-quality supplements for endurance athletes.
Despite very positive feedback, we did not want to launch a product prematurely. Therefore we asked another athlete for help. You. And it doesn't matter whether you consider yourself an elite or just a recreational athlete, your feedback always means a lot to us.
This is why our products go through a testing prototype stage.
We finally got the point to be able to set new standards in the world of sports nutrition.
WHAT DID WE LEARN ON OUR JOURNEY?
We gained a lot of experience in manufacturing supplements, designing the best formulas, use the correct scientific approach, and make it all work for you, our beloved athletes.
Our products are based on latest research and there are several features that stand them apart from other supplements for endurance athletes.
The Nduranz Carbohydrate Ratio. We have introduced the 1:0.8 maltodextrin to fructose ratio across our entire carbohydrate-based product range - a ratio that has been scientifically proven to be optimal for both performance and intestinal comfort.
Nduranz Electrolyte Mix. We have chosen the electrolyte composition of the drinks to match the minerals the body actually loses during exercise.
Nrgy Unit. We also introduced Nrgy Unit to make the nutrition planning for training and racing as simple and straightforward as possible.
Maximize Energy Availability. With the recovery drink, we were not just concerned with muscle glycogen, but we stepped back and looked at the carbohydrate storage in the whole body - both the liver and the muscle.
And last but not least, we chose formulas that do not contain artificial sweeteners, colors, or anything that does not belong in the products.