Idea: Customized workout supplements.
Goal: To create individualized supplements based on peoples needs, and to not only teach science to those who utilize supplements, but also help them reach their fitness goals.
For anyone who has used supplements as part of their diet for weight training (or any kind for that matter), this “business” is for you. BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids), L-Arginine which is often used in supplements but is considered to be nothing but a placebo according to some research, tremendous amounts of caffeine, taurine, and the countless other “ingredients” would take weeks, months, maybe even more to truly research and understand. Regardless, people will walk into store, grab a tub of “NO-Xplode, SuperPump, or Jack3d” on a whim simply because they heard someone in the gym talking about it. I am not here to criticize supplements or say they are bad. In fact they helped me reach many of my goals. I am here to say that these supplements don’t always fit the needs of the individual, and have no inherent educational benefit. They simply buy the product, and get an energy rush which helps them workout and believe it works. These products tend to work physiologically and mentally according to research so nothing negative to say here especially if the products are used in moderation.
The goal of the “custom” supplement company is to provide each individual ingredient as a possible addition to your very own “supplement.” I envisioned a name like ___Supp. Where you could insert your name “JeffsSup” which would be easily labeled on your very own container.
How does one accomplish this? There are two systems I thought about. One system is the web based system. This would have sections listed by goals, Weight loss, Weight Gain, etc… Then each “goal section” would have the top 10 of the “most commonly used” and only the better tested ingredients for that goal. So for example, something like weight gain would be creatine and protein. Perhaps a paragraph or two for each supplement (goal is to TEACH, and help people learn what they are putting into their bodies), research links included, and how it should be taken (1g after workout, 2g after workout, 3g after workout).
After the client finds which supplements he needs, he should pick and choose something like “2 week supply, 1 month supply, 6 month supply.” Then he would be able to mix and match lets say creatine with a protein of his choice. So there you have it, the “web” version, simplified.
Now for the store version, I picture something like a candy store mixed with GNC. There would be huge dispensers of powders labeled as whatever ingredient they are. An expert associate of the products would be there to guide you as you filled your “JeffSupps” tub, and discuss with your needs. Eventually as you made your way around the store, you would find the supplement with the perfect amount of creatine for your own personal goals, a bit of caffeine to get you through the workout (but not as much as the average pre workout supplement puts into them) and maybe a few grams of protein. Heck even artificial flavoring could be added as these substances generally taste like soap.
So where is the market for this? Pretty tremendous if you ask me. First of all people love to put their names on things. “Hey Roger, what is ‘RogerSupps?'” “Oh it’s just something I made over at ___Supps! it’s got everything I need exactly as I need it, and they’ve got what I created saved on file!” “Wow Roger I need to head over there and talk to their associate and get my own tub!” The biggest difficulty in this business would be, is the “customization” worth the effort? Would it be profitable enough? As anyone in the restaurant business should know, the customer who wants his own “customized meal” with less than the usual amount of salt, extra sauce, peanut butter on the side, 5 pickles, only one piece of lettuce, sesame seeds removed off bread with sesame seeds, boiled, then fried, knows… It can be a pain. The cost would be per ingredient per serving. So for example, many supplement companies sell a 30 day serving for anywhere between 30-60 dollars. Meaning 1-2$ per serving. That’s extremely expensive considering the majority of it is caffeine mixed with other ingredients that cost even less, they are making tremendous profit. 500 grams worth of caffeine costs about 100$. Which means one gram is worth about .20$. Considering you really only want about 250mg or .250g of caffeine or less, that means each serving of caffeine should only be about 5 cents. But wait, each serving (with other ingredients which likely cost fairly about the same amount) costs 1-2 dollars? that’s a tremendous amount of profit right there. So supplement companies profit tremendously, and this idea could too.
With that said what are the other major issues? Competition? Not really many companies out there that will customize a supplement for you. The major problem again is the amount of knowledge it requires to set up necessary serving sizes, scoopers. However I feel once the company got organized and had everything set up, the opportunity for job openings could open tremendously especially for dieticians and food scientists.