Virun CEO Philip Bromley tells BeverageDaily.com how functional energy brands can compete with Monster on crowded fixtures, as VPX Sports claims to redefine the category with a new launch.
VPX Sports launched BANG onto the market last week as an alternative to “high sugar, health robbing beverages”, since it contains several patent-pending compounds and patented compositions.
Jack Owoc, CEO, VPX Sports, described the functional drink (for sale online now and imminently in Southern Florida) as the “first hybrid energy/sports”, designed to increase ATP energy (which transports energy within cells for metabolism), without carbs or other macronutrients such as sugar.
The drink contains a patent-pending novel water stable covalently bonded creatine/glutamine peptide, caffeine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and a patented encapsulated form of CoQ10 (a vitamin-like substance that generates ATP energy).
VPX partnered with VIRUN and the Specialty Products Division at Hormel Foods to combine a patented CoQ10 encapsulation technology exclusive to the BANG formulation and composition.
The company said that access to CoQ10 (a vitamin-like substance that creates ATP energy) patented encapsulation technology from VIRUN/Hormel allowed for the ingredient’s stable inclusion into the drink, a clearer appearance and a reduction in unfavorable flavor notes.
This encapsulation technology is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as a food additive, does not contain detergents and, it is claimed, increases delivery of the active compound.
‘High sugar, health robbing’ beverages
BeverageDaily.com put VPX Sports’ phrase ‘high sugar, health robbing beverages’ to Bromley, and (given the bad press and Senatorial interest in energy) asked whether this lent Virun – given its patented beverage ingredient encapsulation technologies – with a timely opportunity?
Bromley said: “To compete against Monster, you need (1) something unique, and (2) the right timing, because of what’s going on with caffeine, etc. It’s nice to have non-stimulant options that give you the same energy claim.”
“Bang’s ingredients are rare in beverages, and result from VPX Sports collaborating with us, where they brought in compounds from the body building and health and fitness industries.
“We’re able to bring in an ingredient with established and approved health claims that are very science based. A lot of these non-polar compounds are insoluble compounds, such as CoQ10, not commonly seen in beverages at higher doses, because they’re difficult to put in there,” he added.
Energy crash ends?
VPX Sports said that existing energy drinks had high sugar levels that led to ‘crash’ symptoms, whereas BANG used creatine, glutamine and other amino acids including BCAAs to optimize the kinetic and potential need for energy, not just provide an immediate effect.
Unpacking this claim, Bromley said: “This relates to the use of creatine and the branched-chain amino acids. Glutamine and the other BCAAs help with storing energy to allow you to use it later on, whereas sugar is used very quickly and can have negative side effects on your insulin response.
“If you have a lot of sugar coming in, then your insulin proliferates, breaks down that sugar, causes a mild hypoglycemic effect. But if you use BCAA that helps store energy in the mitochondria, then you have that available at a later time, and it’s more sustained energy,” he added.
“Combine that with CoQ10, which helps regulate energy on the cellular level, and you end up with a very conservative means of utilizing that energy without the crash.”