By Yard Athletics – June 7th, 2019
For the last several months, Yard Athletics founder Ilan Cumberbirch has been teamed up with Blonyx nutritional supplements as a brand ambassador, helping to get the word out on their great line of products specialized for the #YardHard athlete out there.
Today we have the pleasure of chatting with John Abreu, director of sales and strategic partnerships at Blonyx, so help us learn more about their product line, as well some clear up some of the misconceptions around supplements in general.
Hi John! Tell us a bit about yourself?
Despite being born to parents who were both university professors, I was involved in sports through my youth – This eventually led to me studying Kinesiology, which satisfied both my academic and athletic sides. From there, I went on to work in high-performance sport as a strength and conditioning coach, having the opportunity to work in the NCAA, and with a few Canadian Olympic teams. After a decade in the field, I decided to switch careers, and sought a job where I was able to be part of something special – That’s how I ended up with Blonyx.
Give us the Blonyx “elevator pitch”
At Blonyx, we’re creators of better sports nutrition products focused on fueling athletic ambition. Our mission is to instigate a revolution in the sport nutrition market bringing real science, simplicity and integrity back to an industry we feel needs to show more respect to the athletes it serves.
It seems supplements still get a bit of a bad rap, sometimes being lumped in with PED’s and steroids. How does someone in the industry set the record straight?
It starts with full transparency and education. Instead of relying on fancy marketing, one can aim to arm consumers with the knowledge to make educated decisions as to if a product works, if it’s right for them, or even what company they should buy from. This can be done by directly linking scientific articles that back up a company’s marketing claims, sharing the way the company sources and manufactures their products, companies allowing themselves to be scrutinized by third-party testing, and also companies being transparent about who their products are or aren’t for.
Are the Blonyx products only for athletes, or can weekend warriors take them too?
Blonyx products are aimed at those who have athletic ambition, and that can cover a wide spectrum – From the professional athletes we work with, up to a “weekend warrior” who is working to post a better time in their next 10km race.
With that being said, we need to understand that having good lifestyle and training habits can provide more benefit to health and performance than supplements alone can. If someone is pretty consistent with their lifestyle (including diet and sleep), and training (including frequency, duration and intensity), then supplements could certainly provide added value.
How does Blonyx differentiate itself from the competition?
Number one would be that we value the trust the athletes put in us when they buy our product, above all else.
We use three guiding pillars – Simplicity, depth, and integrity. We keep our products simple, making them with as few ingredients and as little processing as possible, and simple to understand. We only create products that are backed by a depth of scientific research on humans (not just cherry-picking animal studies), and base our research and development on the science as opposed to industry trends. Lastly, we make sure to market all our products with integrity, opening ourselves to third-party testing, ensuring we only make claims we can back up with evidence, and providing education on all our products.
Is it true creatine makes you bloated?
Bloating is a bit of a broad term, but it is true that creatine increases total body water. It is true that creatine draws more water into muscle cells, but it doesn’t cause a puffy or bloated look. We get feedback that it helps people have a look of improved body composition, which makes sense, because as creatine draws more water into muscle cells, it increases the relative size of lean tissue.
If someone has never taken a nutritional supplement, what kind of things should they know first?
Before someone takes a supplement, I always start them with something that we all learned in school – The 5W’s and the H.
First, ask yourself – WHY are you considering taking a supplement? Is it for general health or performance? Am I just taking it because someone suggested it? How can you measure if something is working? For any intervention, you should always know your personal WHY.
Then, think about WHEN you should be taking a supplement. Is your lifestyle and training at a point where you could be getting the full benefit of the supplement? Or are there other pieces you could be paying attention to first?
Once you know why you’re thinking of taking a supplement, look for WHAT you should take. Don’t just listen to influencers or your peers, I suggest you always look into whether a product is supported by the science.
You’ll also want to be clear on WHO this product is intended for. Some products have contra-indications or may not be necessary for an individual.
After you’ve done your homework, be clear on HOW you’re supposed to take it. What kind of training do I need to do to support the changes? Is there a timing that will help you get the most out of the product?
Lastly, do your research on WHERE to get your product from. There is a price you can pay for choosing the lowest-priced options, so look for companies that share your values, that have good manufacturing practices, and that are third party tested for quality, purity, and cleanliness.
How did the partnership with Yard Athletics start?
I met Ilan when I was still working as a strength and conditioning coach. We both wanted to network a bit and sat for a coffee to talk about different ideas, and he struck me as someone who wanted to strip away the unnecessary fluff from fitness, and build a community where he could bring back real training and hard work. The more I got to know him, the more I realized he is also a good person who wants to see everyone around him get better, in or out of the gym. When I started with Blonyx, I knew he was someone I wanted to work with more, and the partnership has grown from there.
What is next for Blonyx?
We’re at a really exciting point in the journey of our company where we are starting to branch out into other markets and expand our product line with innovative (and tasty) products. We are about to release the first ever egg white protein isolate, which we formulated with minimal processing and ingredients you’re likely to find in mom’s pantry – A true “clean-label” protein powder that is as close to real food as it gets. We’re also releasing a few more products this year, and looking to continue working with our community to get the right products into the hands of the right people.