Nick Symmonds Develops Gum For Runners

By Nick Symmonds

I have a confession to make. I am a five time US Champion and a two time Olympian, but I had some help earning these accolades. For the duration of my professional running career I have used a performance enhancing drug. My drug of choice: caffeine. 
 
Though caffeine is not banned by USADA or WADA in or out of competition, several studies have shown that it can have incredible performance enhancing effects. An article on caffeine published by the New York Times said, "one of the best studied performance enhancers is fine for them (athletes) or anyone else to use. And it is right there in a cup of coffee or a can of soda.
 
However, these methods of caffeine delivery present a huge problem for runners. Though many of us desire to have caffeine in our system to enhance our performances, we do not desire to have large amounts of sugary, acidic liquid in our stomachs while we run. In my own experiences, I have, on many occasions, found myself doubled over a trash can after a particularly grueling workout or race, purging my stomach of the harsh liquids that served as the delivery vehicle for my performance enhancing drug of choice. Several years into my career I thought there MUST be a better way. 
 
As a biochemist (B.A. Chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis, Willamette University, Class of 2006) I began to experiment with other non-banned substances and alternative delivery methods. I found a combination of vitamins and chemicals that gave me great results during training and competition. I then put these substances into a delivery vehicle that would introduce them into my system without the need to swallow several ounces of liquid. 
 
I was able to put caffeine, taurine, and B-vitamins into a piece of artificially sweetened chewing gum. The advantages that my new chewing gum presented were numerous.
 
I could now more accurately control my dose. I no longer had heavy acidic liquid sitting in my stomach. I was getting my drug in a sugar free, zero calorie option. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, I was able to absorb my performance enhancing drug up to five times faster through sublingual absorption. 
 
I could literally pop a piece or two in my mouth just minutes before a workout or race and feel the effects within minutes, something I could never do via caffeinated beverages. As I continued to utilize this product to my advantage I selfishly desired to keep it to myself. However, in the back of my mind I knew how much this product could help my fellow runners. 
 
With the assistance of my coach and business partner, Sam Lapray, we developed Run Gum. One packet of Run Gum contains 100mg of caffeine, 20 mg of taurine, and B-vitamins and gives you easy access to the world's most widely used stimulant.

 
Great before and after a workout or race, Run Gum is the smarter caffeine kick. It can be purchased at getrungum.com and you can follow our journey as a startup business via social media @rungum. Furthermore, in keeping with my passion for finding more revenue streams for struggling professional athletes, for every packet of Run Gum sold, five cents will be set aside for athlete sponsorship.

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