Lance Armstrong's trainer helps PowerBar create performance sports drinks

PowerBar's Endurance and Recovery drinks were launched at Interbike. At a presentation Sunday night, former pro cyclist Chris Carmichael, now the acclaimed trainer of the world's best known cyclist, gave the low down on why the 17-year old bar-and-gel company was now getting into drinks
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Carmichael started by saying he's had connections with PowerBar from the start. He saw the original bar mix being stirred by the founders in their kitchen and was instrumental in getting his 7-Eleven pro cycle team to spec it as a performance food.

He jokingly admitted that he should have taken shares in the company when he had the chance.

Carmichael is president of CTS, Carmichael Training Systems, founded in 1999, a coaching company. CTS is the coaching company of the US Postal Service Team and the Trek/VW MTB team.

PowerBar sponsors Lance Armstrong.

It was therefore natural for PowerBar to approach CTS to help formulate the energy and recovery drinks it wanted to launch.

With citrus, all-natural flavours, PowerBar's Beverage System will be launched to consumers in Spring 2004.

Claiming many other drinks on the market suffered from "mumbo-jumbo, marketing junk", Carmichael said the PowerBar drinks were low-fructose, high carb drinks that tasted good (a high priority) and didn't include any what he called unproven ingredients such as creatine, ginsing, or unnecessay ingredients such as protein. The recovery drink has the highest sodium content of "leading carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks," said Carmichael but don't taste salty.

The product would be priced "at the lower-end of the high-end" segment of energy drinks."

Carmichael said other sports drinks revealed several unmet needs:

"I've found that many athletes using today's sports beverages need to dilute their overly sweet taste, which reduces the drink's carbohydrate concentration and leads to inadequate muscle fueling.

"Also, our athletes reported stomach cramping and bloating when using leading sports drinks during activity. I wanted a drink with a formulation that I could recommend to my athletes, something that was effective without being overly fortified."

Stephanie Brendel, PowerBar Inc's US marketing manager, said:

"Response to date from athletes testing the PowerBar Beverage System has been outstanding. Through extensive field testing with Carmichael Training Systems' coached athletes and our elite athlete testing group, together we were able to hone the formulas for PowerBar Endurance and PowerBar Recovery to specifically address the issues athletes were experiencing with many of today's sports drinks."

PowerBar Endurance will be available in a lemon-lime flavor in single-serve packets for 20-ounce water bottles and in a 900-gram canister with 20, 20-ounce servings. The tangerine- orange flavor of PowerBar Recovery will be offered in a 735-gram canister with 15, 16-ounce servings, and single serve packets.

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