Minh Pham and William Walcker started Näak in 2016 with the mission to build the most efficient and sustainable fuel for ultra endurance athletes. The company just launched Näak's first liquid energy product, the Ultra Energy™ Drink Mixes.
What is the future of sports nutrition?
William: “I believe the future of sports nutrition for ultra distances is liquid, especially for pro athletes. Running and biking ultra distances is becoming more and more popular, and the competition has increased a lot in the past few years."
"We developed a strong knowledge over the years on how protein, and specifically EAAs and BCAAs, is essential for optimal endurance performance."
Minh: "Hydration is key. It’s the difference between success and failure. We recognized in our community that there was a need for something different and we listened. Our pro athletes said they were missing a key element in their hydration for ultra distances. After years of research and development, we created a state-of-the-art drink mix for ultra endurance athletes."
What makes the Ultra Energy™ Drink Mixes a game changer?
William: "The liquid products currently on the market contain only carbs and/or electrolytes, which is not sufficient to sustain efforts over 3/4 hours.
At Näak, we developed a strong knowledge over the years on how protein, and specifically EAAs and BCAAs, is essential for optimal endurance performance.
"We're bringing the knowledge and secrets from the world's best ultra endurance athletes to the amateurs."
There are many scientific articles proving this point. With Näak Ultra Energy™ Drink Mix, we managed to make the first endurance fuel for long distance that contains all the nutrients you need to fuel your race 100% on liquid.”
Minh: "We’ve been working for a long time on a liquid product made specifically for ultra endurance athletes. I think we met the challenge of having a product that is both performant and delicious, tasty without being too sweet, and that can keep you going for long hours without feeling sick.
Before, no hydration product combined both electrolytes and proteins.
More than the product itself, it is the product development process that I am most proud of. We worked closely with our professional athletes and sports nutritionists since day one to understand how to improve hydration for ultra endurance athletes.
Our pro athletes were taking proteins (EAAs, BCAAs) separately from their hydration during their ultra endurance races to delay muscle fatigue and increase endurance. Before, no hydration product combined both electrolytes and proteins.
So our team came up with a new liquid energy concept that combines all in one: hydration, carbohydrates, EAAs (essential amino acids) and BCAAs all together in one complete nutrition product.
We learn a lot from our professional athletes who are very picky with what they eat.
The difficulty was to make something delicious with the right texture, and it was a lot of trials and errors with Greg - our Director of Innovation -, our product team and the professional athletes to develop the Ultra Energy™ Drink Mix we have today."
Why sports nutrition is key to performance?
Minh:"Nutrition plays a key role in the execution of ultra endurance races at any level of competition. We learn a lot from our professional athletes who are very picky with what they eat. They build nutrition strategies that are vital to delay or minimize fatigue during distances up to 100 miles or 24h races. At Näak, we're bringing the knowledge and secrets from the world's best ultra endurance athletes to the amateurs.
William: "Nutrition is starting to be taken really seriously because athletes now understand how much of a difference it makes when you have the right nutrition strategy.
Liquid and semi liquid nutrition are a lot easier to get down during long and intense efforts. The challenge is to be able to fit in all the nutrients you need and I think we solved this problem with the Näak Drink Mixes."
What is your mantra?
Minh:"Only those who can see the invisible can make the impossible."
William: “They didn't know it was impossible, so they made it.”