Klean Athlete was launched by Douglas in 2012 to help counteract the rising tide of athletes, whether rightly or wrongly, blaming positive doping tests on having unintentionally ingested banned substances in their supplements. It was also meant to provide a differentiation from the cadre of companies active in the sports nutrition sphere that have been associated over the years in cases over the years that have included FDA warning letters that have cited undeclared APIs or other illegal ingredients such as steroids in supplements.
“We wanted to create a line of products that are not so much operating at the fringe of sports nutrition. We wanted to help people to be healthy athletes to begin with, to be clean athletes to begin with. We wanted something that you would not be afraid to recommend to someone you train with or your kids if they want to take the products,” Tim Monk, senior vice president of marketing for Douglas told NutraIngredients-USA at the time of the brand’s launch. Monk was himself an All-America swimmer in college in the 90s with the University of Denver.
As part of the partnership, Klean Athlete will provide the teams with supplements and nutrition education.
"As we gear up for Rio next year, we want to provide our teams with that competitive edge. Klean Athlete will not only help our national teams reach peak performance, it's also NSF Certified for Sport®, which means our athletes can be assured of the highest safety and quality," said Jeff Dyrek, USA Water Polo director of marketing.
As part of its ongoing commitment to nutritional supplement education and safety, Klean Athlete is also offering informational sessions to the USA Water Polo athletes to educate them about the importance of NSF Certified for Sport certification and the performance benefits of building a solid nutritional foundation. The first education session took place this past weekend prior to the USA Women's National Team match against China.
"We believe fueling and fortifying a healthy foundation is the most important factor contributing to an athlete's performance," said Monk.
The Klean Athlete line has some crossover with many other general product lines in that it features a multivitamin, an antioxidant formula and a probiotic supplement. It also includes products more focused on active athletes, such as a cognitive support offering, a whey protein isolate product, an electrolyte replacement supplement and an endurance chew that includes ribose.
All of the supplements are certified through the NSF Certified for Sport program, which ensures that they are free from any trace of more than 180 substances on the World Anti Doping Agency’s banned list. This is becoming an important distinction in the sports space, as doping tests don’t afford the same kind of minute wiggle room that other standards might. There can’t be any detectable level of these substances in the athletes’ urine. Period.
Douglas Labs, based in Pittsburgh, PA, has a 60-year history of selling supplements in the health practitioner channel. Around the time that Douglas launched its Klean Athlete line, fellow practitioner channel specialist, Thorne Research, launched its own sports nutrition line, called Thorne Performance.