The product joins a raft of UK start-ups, including Green Monkey, Impact Sports and Drink 420 in targeting CBD-infused beverages, oils and balms to the sports sector as well as the ordinary consumer.
“People of the sporting world have talked about the positive benefits that they have experienced whilst taking CBD, so our objective was then to find a product that we could incorporate CBD in to that would appeal to that market,” explains Pardeep Sooch, Endo Sport’s business development director.
“Our drink not only offers all the benefits of an isotonic sports drink, such as replacing lost electrolytes through physical activity, but the consumer will also experience the benefits associated to CBD in pre and post workout regimes.”
It’s launch coincides with the recent explosion of hemp-related product launches in the UK and Europe, which according to a report from Persistence Market Research, has seen 256 new food and drink products launched across the region from 2008–2017.
This growth is in no small part to the interest in the role that CBD can play in the sporting world.
With professional athletes from rugby, MMA and the NFL using CBD as part of their nutritional preparation, interest from amateur athletes and fitness enthusiasts has followed suit.
“English Rugby players James Haskell and George Kruis have both recently launched CBD sports supplements, so it looks like the industry is only going to keep getting bigger,” says Sooch.
“Endo Sport fits naturally alongside these other brands, giving users a great-tasting sports drinking with the added benefit of CBD.”
Much of this industry interest is on the ingredient’s purported benefits to pain management, where CBD oil is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties that prove useful during sports recovery.
One recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) points to evidence that cannabis is effective in treating chronic pain.
However, a review from Cochrane, found “a lack of good evidence that any cannabis-derived product works for any chronic neuropathic pain."
Other reported benefits include CBD’s role in reducing anxiety, where the ingredient is thought to relieve feelings of anxiety or stress that can prove useful for keeping athletes focused before a big event.
The recovery aspect extends to CBD’s role in promoting better sleep quality, where the oil form is said to help athletes get to sleep quicker and reach a deeper level of sleep.
Sooch adds that these benefits may be of particular value to ordinary consumers, especially the elderly.
“We don’t have to be regular gym goers or be part of a sporting activity to be physically active,” he says.
“For example, some people enjoy going for long walks or are in a career where they are very active. So we feel our drink would appeal to the wider demographic as well.”
Sports drink choice
In deciding on a product format, Sooch explains the decision to launch a CBD-infused sports drink that enables relatively quicker absorption of CBD to the body, when compared to the capsule/oil form.
“Oil and water don’t mix very well,” says Sooch. “As our body is made up of 60% water, taking an oil form of CBD would take some time for it to be absorbed by the body.
“So by using a water soluble form of CBD in Endo Sport, means the CBD in our drink would be absorbed quicker in comparison to the oil and the benefits associated to CBD would be noticed by the consumer a lot sooner.”
Endo Sport’s CBD infused sports drink will officially be launched at the International Drinks Expo at the London Excel on 19 and 20 November.
Containing ten milligrams (mg) of CBD per 500 millilitre (ml) bottle, the product is available in two flavours, Orange and Berry & Tropical priced between €14 – 44 (£11.99 – £37.99).
The product will be available to purchase directly from 20th November, with retail outlets to follow shortly after.
Sooch adds that while the focus is in the UK and Ireland for the moment, the firm are not ruling out a product launch outside of the UK in the future.