2013-2015: THE TIME OF NAIVITY
When Nduranz was founded in 2013, it was based on the "latest research" and more on widely held beliefs. In 2013, no one had given much thought to what sports nutrition experts recommend, 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. To be honest, even we trusted the mainstream and made our products that way. Instead of developing our own formulations, we simply adopted what the respected giants were doing and just went out there to test whether those formulations 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 problems that were 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 - on the problems we normal people have, but not on the professional athletes who are fully supplied. On this basis, we started to invest more in research and development, we updated our formulations that we thought would solve the problems of the customers. We were also sure that more is better, so our hydration drink contained amino acids, lots of electrolytes - we actually put everything we could into it. This should have fixed the problem, correct? If magnesium cannot do it, what can and who can? Right? NO. It only got worse.
2017-2019: TIME OF THE GROWTH
About three years ago, we got into an argument about hydration. We had an exceptional product line (carefully selected ingredients, high quality manufacturing process, non artificial ingredients), but unfortunately the formulations were still based on the basic "bro science". The biggest of them was the myth with the 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 worked on the development of VO2 MAX products and amino acid mixtures. We were aware of the importance of carbohydrates and the limitations of finite carbohydrate storage in the body. But instead of optimising the oxidation of the carbohydrates we ingested, we focused on improving training efficiency to promote fat oxidation rates. The carbohydrate content in our formulations was, as we now know, suboptimal and was probably one reason for the constant reports of gut discomfort, muscle cramps and lack of energy during high-intensity exercise.
2019-2021: BULLSHIT WILL NOT MAKE YOU BETTER
The idea of further upgrading our line came after a big disagreement social media with a very annoying young exercise metabolism and physiology expert Tim Podlogar, who was the biggest authority for cyclists in Slovenia at the time. This made us think. "Maybe it is time for us to take a step back and ask him if he is willing to collaborate on development of future products. If he is such an expert and not just an annoying nerd, we can create a great story together". Especially given the fact that we know that having disagreements occasionally drives the human race forward by encouraging innovation. In fact, our goal has always been to deliver the best for our customers and, of course, for ourselves. That makes sense, does it not? Who would want to sell products that they themselves do not love and of course do not believe in! So we got in touch with Tim. "What is up man? - We are not sure what you have against us, but let's meet and discuss the disputes as normal people - in conversation." He agreed with this, and the message 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 simply a nerd in the field of exercise metabolism.
I don't like to consider myself as 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."
Gastrointestinal discomfort and muscle cramps were the problems we wanted to solve or at least minimise. The first updated product was a hydration drink. Dr Tim Podlogar was definitely the person to ask, 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 Human Performance Centre, where Tim is the head of science. We also asked 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. Despite very positive feedback, we did not want to launch a product prematurely. Therefore we asked another athlete for help. You. And you can consider yourself an elite or just a recreational athlete. We repeated the same storey with a recovery drink.
We know that we are creating new standards for sports nutrition products.
SO WHAT IS NEW?
The products are scientifically based, which means that we have based their development on the very latest scientific findings.
1:0.8 Ratio. We have introduced the 1:0.8 maltodextrin:fructose ratio across our entire product range - a ratio that has been scientifically proven to be optimal from both performance and intestinal comfort points of view.
Human sweat based isotonic. Then we have chosen the electrolyte composition of the drinks to match what the body actually loses during exercise. We call this isotonicity based on human sweat.
Energy units. We also introduced Energy Units, that make the nutrition planning for training and racing as simple and straightforward as possible.
Whole body carbohydrate storage. 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 carbohydrate storage - liver and muscle.
Only the ingredients that make an impact. And last but not least, we chose formulations that do not contain artificial sweeteners, colourings or anything else that does not belong in the products.
The man behind the science Dr Tim Podlogar
He holds a PhD from exercise metabolism from the University of Birmingham and is currently affiliated with University of Primorska, Jozef Stefan Institute and Human Performance Centre. In 2020 he got an award in the field of sports nutrition research at the annual congress of European College of Sports Science and is regarded as a true expert of nutrition in the field of endurance sports. In his spare time he is a keen cyclist with a critical power well above 5 W/kg.