Q&A With The Professionals: Product Development Unpacked

Q&A With The Professionals: Product Development Unpacked

At For Wellness, we’re proudly driven by performance and informed by experience.

With elite performance coach Dave Phillips at the helm, each new product we create starts with his first-hand insights into what fuels America’s top sporting bodies and how they maintain their health.

Once a product idea comes to mind, Dave and our food scientist Jaime begin a meticulous process, researching, testing, trialing, researching again, tweaking recipes, and finally - launch day. Then it’s on the next big idea!

We sat down with Dave and Jaime to learn more about their process and how they created our all-new Recovery Gummies™ Hydration.

FW: Talk us through why we made these gummies and what problem they solve.

Dave: So the whole gummy line, the whole recovery line, is really based around the fact that most athletes these days are focused more on recovery than anything else. To me, it's huge. Everybody is talking about recovery.

The way we went after the blueberry was to touch on this hydration side, which no one's really done. I'm out here at a golf tournament and it's hot and everybody's pouring these sachets into their water and shaking them up and they give them magnesium and they give them salts, but a lot of the time you have to go find water and so on.

I just wanted to hit hydration, where the gummy replenishes some of the things that you lose through sport or during the day when you're out in the hot climate. That's a great option for an athlete or someone who doesn't have access to water all the time. Just carry these gummies with you and get that hydration support.

They're blueberry because blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, and they still do a lot of the same things the tart cherry gummy does. However, this is combined with this boost for the hydration side, away from the inflammation side, which is what we were targeting with the tart cherry.

FW: The key element of these gummies is their electrolyte content. We've added magnesium, plus a specific ratio of potassium and sodium. Can you unpack that?

Jaime: Yes, there’s more than two times the potassium versus the sodium and the magnesium. For your sodium potassium pump, you need more potassium than sodium to move the ATP around your muscles to help with hydration and muscle recovery. The other thing that ratio of potassium to sodium is going to do is hold water in your body. It keeps your body from releasing all of its water, so the water you are going to drink is going to stay longer.

Dave: The space I'm in, I see this all the time. Being hydrated is such a big deal today, not only for your cognitive function, but also for your muscles and your joints. 

Why did we choose VitaBlue® for the blueberry?

Dave: When I looked into this blueberry supplement, they make it the same way as the tart cherry we use. They use the whole fruit, which I thought was really good. Also, a lot of people like a blueberry flavor!

Jaime: Yeah, not only does the VitaBlue® taste great and look great, but it has the exact same chemical composition as if you were going to have a serving of blueberries, so that includes all of your anthocyanins.

Why are anthocyanins something we were looking to include in these gummies?

Jaime: Phenolic compounds and anthocyanins offer a range of benefits. Blueberries, in particular, have a high ORAC value (that refers to the amount of antioxidants), so they are anti-inflammatory, boost the immune system, and promote skin health.

Anthocyanins are free radical scavengers, so they help reduce instances of inflammation and can help reduce your risk of developing cancer in certain parts of your body, specifically your limbs. So they're very, very important.

It’s sort of like when my generation was told a glass of red wine a day is very good for you because of the high polyphenols and anthocyanins in there. The healthy compounds were in the grape skins of the wine grapes and blueberry skins in particular have a lot of these same types of compounds. So again, just anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, immune system boosting is really what those compounds provide.

FW: Who should be taking Recovery Gummies™ Hydration?

Dave: I think basically you're always going to need this. If you're an active person you need some of what we're providing from these gummies as part of your staple.

FW: When might someone start seeing the benefits of these gummies?

Jaime: If you talk to a nutritionist or a registered dietician, that's going to walk you through being an athlete, or even just someone who works a physical job or is undergoing stress induction - there's usually a two-week uptake in your body of any type of dietary supplement you take to reduce those risks. So, a nutritionist is going to tell you to take any dietary supplement for at least two weeks before you start seeing the benefits. Your body has to absorb those nutrients, your body has to get used to absorbing those nutrients.

If you're taking something like the VitaCherry® or the VitaBlue® gummy or you're not somebody that eats a lot of high ORAC fruit, it's going to take your body a couple of weeks to get used to those benefits. 

FW: Dave, in your work you would see an endless conga line of performance products. How did that influence your process?

Dave: They taste amazing, and that's because of how Jaime has developed them. But also, you know, the high antioxidant value is huge. The free radical aspect is huge, as is having magnesium in there with potassium.

FW: When should you take the tart cherry Recovery Gummies™ Restore and when should you take the blueberry Recovery Gummies™ Hydration?

Dave: I want people to think “What am I recovering from? Well, I'm dehydrated, I’ll use the Hydration gummy”. Or “I’ve been in the gym and my muscles are sore, I have inflammation there, so I’ll have the Restore gummy”.

FW: The serving size for these gummies is 2 compared with 3 for the Recovery Gummies™ Restore. Why is that?

Jaime: With the tart cherry the active dose is almost three times the amount of the blueberry, so there was no physical way to fit that into two gummies.

FW: They're certainly jam-packed!

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