UK crowdfunding launch to kick-start development of natural energy gel

By Nicola Gordon-Seymour

- Last updated on GMT

©Protein Rebel
©Protein Rebel

Related tags: Protein Rebel, Kickstarter, Maple syrup, SANSE, startups

Sports nutrition start-up, Protein Rebel, is launching a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter, to raise funds for a new energy gel.

Maple Ignite has already been trialled among elite brand ambassadors, including Ironman athletes, triathletes, cyclists, and by Spine Race winner, Debbie Martin-Consani, but the official UK launch will take place later this year.

Protein Rebel is hoping to raise a minimum of €5,840 (£5,000) during the 30-day Kickstarter – which begins at the end of the month – with a view to making products available by November. Once launched, the energy gel will be the first pure maple syrup on the market.

Founder, Tim Boote said: “The UK is our home market so is the first place we would launch. Once we have proved the concept then we will move into other markets.”

Reduce stomach distress

Boote claims the product will respond to demands for natural, sustainable products, and help reduce gastrointestinal (GI) problems exacerbated by highly processed protein powders.

Research shows that 27% of marathon runners and 70% of ultra-runners report digestive issues, according to figures from Protein Rebel, and this is often exacerbated by complex chemical formulations in sports energy products.

Boote confirms: “Energy gels are commonly used for giving endurance athletes an energy boost, but the big brand gels contain chemically engineered ingredients that can cause stomach distress.

Whey, for example - commonly used in protein powders - is known to create stomach problems which is why we don't use whey in any of our powders.”

He maintains that most gels are comprised of a combination of lab-made maltodextrin and fructose, known to create GI distress and accelerate dehydration, whereas maple syrup is composed primarily of sucrose, “meaning that it fuels your system with a natural blend of glucose and fructose so reduces the threat of GI distress”.

Boote asserts that sports nutrition needs to be science led but without the need for chemical intervention.

“There are always natural solutions that can drive better performance without compromising health. We want to bring an all-natural alternative to market that provides everything your body needs while exercising, without the bloating and cramps.” 

Natural and nutritious

Maple Ignite contains just two ingredients – pure Canadian maple syrup and sea salt - and, unlike rival products, does not cause stomach cramps among endurance athletes, explains Boote.

The ‘pure and light’ syrup is sourced directly from a farm in Quebec, is easy to digest, and naturally high in potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and antioxidants. Sea salt is added to the basic recipe to compensate for sodium lost during sweating, making it suitable for endurance athletes, including runners, cyclists, and hikers.

A single tube of the gel provides 24g of carbohydrates and 110mg sodium “to fuel athletes for longer during training and competitive events”​, and either match or exceed leading brands.

Boote comments: “These are vital nutrients to any endurance athlete as they provide an energy boost and help rebalance sodium levels.With over 90 percent of distance runners suffering with stomach issues during exercise, there’s a real need for a natural gel that can help boost performance without compromise.”

Raw ingredients are sustainably sourced from maple sugar trees that typically produce sap for more than 200 years. In addition, for each gallon of maple syrup produced, 100lbs of carbon is absorbed.

Profile

Protein Rebel launched in September 2020 with all-natural and ‘easy-to-digest’ protein powders. The sports nutrition brand aims to be the go-to brand for endurance athletes who prefer products without chemicals and artificial ingredients.

The brand has won a number of European sports industry awards, including for most sustainable powder protein. Protein powders, such as Reload, Replace and Recover, contain 20g of complete protein; deliver all the essential amino acids; are free from gum, fillers and added sugar, and ‘100% natural’.

The early-bird Kickstarter campaign will offer interested parties €40 (£34) for 24 Maple Ignite gels plus a free sports nutrition guide. Those who pledge within the first 24 hours will receive a free protein powder sample and one supporter will work with Protein Rebel to develop a new flavour. Maple Ignite will initially be available unflavoured.

Sports and Active Nutrition Digital Summit Europe (SANSE)

SANSE 2022

2022’s Sports and Active Nutrition Digital Summit Europe (SANSE) is now pencilled in for 5-7 October. The setting is Amsterdam, and the venue is the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel​​ as NutraIngredients once again strives to deliver the very best insights from the sports and active nutrition arena. 

Register before Friday 22 July to take advantage of the early bird rate (€1,036.00 (+VAT)).

With a normal price of €1,295.00 (+VAT), you could save 20% off your summit pass by using the code ‘SANSEEARLY22’ at checkout.

In addition, there may be discounts available for start-ups, group discounts for two or more attendees as well as money off for those working in academia. Email us​ for more details.    

So the stage is set for big industry names to fill the room, and top-level speakers on the stage.

But don’t take our word for it! Take a sneaky peak at the agenda​​ for the summit and then register​​!

With the main event fast approaching, reserve your place​, and get involved with the fastest growing Sports Nutrition community out there!

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