Nature Sport by MusclePharm: Organic Supplements at Whole Foods

Word is getting around that MusclePharm is going to create a new brand that vastly differs from their current offering:

Nature Sport, an all-natural supplement line that will be geared towards sales at stores such as Whole Foods and the like.

The first image to leak was on a finance and stocks message board (that often discusses the publicly-held MusclePharm stock, $MSLP)[1,2]:

Nature Sport by MusclePharm

MusclePharm’s next move is to go after the “all-natural” crowd, soccer moms and all, with Nature Sport

Since nothing has been announced yet, much of this post is speculation, but we’ll keep it up to date as we learn more information. You can sign up for updates below.

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Nature Sport’s Products

So far, we can tell that there will be three products to start, and they look to be “natural organic supplements”:

  1. Nature Sport Protein

    Looking at the picture above, this is going to be a plant-based protein, which is a massively growing product. We’re not sure what’s in it, but the most successful products in this category have been brown rice protein / pea protein blends.

    Pea protein provides a great amino acid ratio (but tastes exactly like peas), while brown rice helps blend out the taste. Both can be found quite affordably.

    Vegetarians are finally learning that it’s protein intake that really makes a person more functional and attractive[4], and combined with an increased rate of veganism / vegetarianism, this market is growing and MusclePharm is quick to jump on it.

  2. Nature Sport Bone & Joint

    Cissus Quadrangularis

    Will Nature Sport Bone & Joint include Cissus Quadrangularis (shown above)? If so… we’re in!

    We’re not sure what will be in here, but it’s most likely going to be MSM-based, and hopefully low on glucoasmine / chondroitin and higher in newer anti-inflammatory extract technologies that work better.

    We will be blogging about this soon, as the joint supplement market is quickly moving away from glucosamine, as users are looking for something new.

  3. Nature Sport Fat Burner

    There are plenty of natural fat-burning compounds that can be used here, so your guess is as good as ours. Some include natural caffeine sources, yohimbe, green tea extracts, cayenne pepper, higenamine, synephrine, and more.

    Be on the lookout for these natural (but useless) ingredients

    Due to the market that MusclePharm is going after here, however, there’s a chance that they’ll include some of the over-hyped ingredients that are on shows like Dr. Oz, to pander to the uneducated Whole Foods audience.

    Some such ingredients are raspberry ketones, acai berry, African mango, and garcinia cambogia. All basically a waste of space, and we really hope MSLP doesn’t stoop to this level to make a quick buck.

    Update, February 2015: The following three products have just been discovered and are added to the post late.

  4. Nature Sport Pre Workout

    A likely all-natural pre workout supplement to get you motivated/focused/energized for your workout. These typically contain natural sources of caffeine as well as beet root powder, which provide nitrates (which in turn give pumps and endurance).

  5. Nature Sport SuperFood

    This seems to be a multi-greens product to add to your smoothies, likely with wheatgrass, vegetable powder, and spirulina. We’ll update this when we have more information.

  6. Nature Sport Recovery

    Likely a post-workout recovery product. Typically these contain some carbs, amino acids, complete proteins, and anti-soreness agents so that you can get back on with your day after a tough workout.

    The products in this category vary quite a bit, so it really could be anything.

Do my supplements really need to be organic?

When you’re eating real food such as fruits or vegetables, we can understand why you might like it to be organic. The idea of eating pesticides and other foreign chemicals may not be your idea of healthy.

However, supplements are typically extracted for specific compounds. Once your extract is refined well-enough, it really doesn’t matter: A caffeine molecule is a caffeine molecule. There is no difference between a caffeine molecule that came from an organic coffee bean vs. a caffeine molecule that came from a non-organic coffee bean vs. a caffeine molecule that was synthetically produced.

C8H10N4O2 is C8H10N4O2.

So in many of these products, all you’re paying for is more expensive waste that never (or hardly ever) makes it into your end-result product.

Similarly for protein..

Similar can be said for protein powders. For instance, while there are definitely benefits to eating grass-fed beef, those benefits are mostly from the improved fatty-acid ratios. In whey protein, the fat is removed! So you’re taking out the benefits anyway, and are left with protein.

So while there may be some benefits to that organic protein, a properly refined product is going to waste much of that, and it just doesn’t seem to be worth the money. You’re looking at a miniscule improvement in quality for what’s likely double (or more) the price.

As a price sensitive group here, we’re extremely cautious when it comes to organic products. Organic spinach? Sure. But organic fat burners? Not so much.

Quantity beats quality when it comes to body composition

Furthermore, if you’re on a limited budget, organic makes less sense because if you’re trying to look fit and attractive, quantity is more important than quality. You can eat 4000 calories of “healthy” organic food every day. But if you’re only burning 2500 calories, you’re going to get very fat, very fast.

When on a budget, it’s all about keeping the quantities right first and foremost — which means proper caloric maintenance, high protein, and the rest of your calories spread evenly across healthy carbs and fats as best suits you

In a perfect world, we like to have both quantity and quality, but eating nothing but pastured chicken and grass-fed beef gets quite expensive. Protein isn’t cheap. So choices need to be made, and we often feel that consumers too often ditch the protein in lieu of more “fancy” and organic carbohydrate choices, which does not lead to attractive body compositions.[4]

A lack of research

Sadly, this whole situation doesn’t really get studied much. There are no good research studies that show “quantity is more important than quality” in terms of food.  For instance, an organic low-protein diet vs. a non-organic high-protein diet.

What we do know, however, is that if you miss your ideal macronutient intake goals or don’t get enough protein in, you’re not going to look your best, and nobody is attracted to weak muscles.

Anyway, we’ll keep this post up to date, and when the products are released, we’ll keep an eye on those prices. There’s a chance they’ll be vastly overpriced (which will fit in perfectly with Whole Foods’ mantra), but we look to avoid that.

With all that said, this line will probably be massively successful, and shareholders of MSLP will likely be extremely happy. We’re just cautious of where this one is taking consumers, and may steer our readers clear from the organic craze if they can’t afford it.

You can sign up for product release notifications below and we’ll email you when any stores have Nature Sport products out:

Nature Sport - Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is a biohacker with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several "n=1" experiments done on himself.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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