RUNNING IS MY TEACHER RAY ZAHAB, COLUMNIST
FUELING WITH NATURAL ENERGY
Coast-to-coast Canadian nutrition companies are carving a new course in running nutrition. Ray Zahab set out to meet and chat with three of the top brands who are generating a buzz at races and expos nationwide. “When I started looking into how many Canadian running nutrition companies were available, I was amazed,” Zahab says. “What’s even more interesting is that these Canadian brands are fuelling your run with all-natural ingredients, plus a whole lot of Canadian ingenuity.” Herewith, Ray’s picks for good food. 1. XACTNUTRITION OWNERS: LAWRENCE COLSELL AND MARIANNE REGNAULT
iRUN: What prompted to you start Xactnutrition? LAWRENCE COLSELL: While there are many effective products delivering macronutrients, and micronutrients, we felt there was significant room for improvement in terms of taste, texture and mouth feel. We have also learned about some of the challenges of running longer events faced in terms of stomach issues.
iRUN: Tell us about Xactnutrition energy and protein bars. LC: FRUIT2 is a sport nutrition bar that is built on a 400-year-old recipe that originally served as a way to preserve seasonal fruit. These fruit bars provide 100 calories and 25 grams of carbs with all-natural fruit pulp as the main ingredient, plus the bars stand up in extreme weather conditions.
iRUN: How does the company offer an uniquely Canadian flavour? LC: We used maple syrup and combined it with apples to make a FRUIT2 Maple Apple bar as our latest product. It’s a Canadian twist on a traditional recipe that’s now used by athletes all over Canada and beyond to fuel their goals.
2. ENDURANCE TAP GEL OWNERS: PATRICK STARK, PICTURED, AND MATTHEW SMITH
iRUN: Why were you inspired to create Endurance Tap Gel? PATRICK STARK: We are both recreational endurance athletes who became frustrated with the existing products on the market because they are essentially junk food. Why put effort into eating healthy food and then eat junk food when you train and race? We knew there had to be a healthier and simpler alternative.
iRUN: What makes Endurance Tap stand apart from other energy gels? PS: Endurance Tap is an easy to digest, high performance gel made with three all-natural ingredients. Canadian maple provides 100 calories per pouch, sea salt restores sodium and ginger is added as a digestive aid.
iRUN: Best part of the job? PS: Bringing a healthy fuel to the athletic community and helping athletes train and race without stomach issues. It’s great to be able to contribute to the success of all sorts of athletic endeavours in this way.
3. STRONGBARS NUTRITION OWNER: PHIL ARMSTRONG
iRUN: How did StrongBars begin? PHIL ARMSTRONG: The idea for StrongBars Nutrition began shortly after I got sober in 2007. In recovery, I started running and as my lifestyle changed, my nutritional requirements changed as well. As a result, my interest in nutrition really took off and that’s when I discovered how much is added to prepared foods and snacks particularly snack bars. I started making bars with ingredients that promote health and well-being such as flax seeds, quinoa and amaranth as well as different natural oils and sharing them with friends.
iRUN: What makes StrongBars stand apart from other energy bars? PA: StrongBars are made weekly from scratch. When people order bars online, they know the bars were freshly prepared the week they arrive at their door. Most bars taste like they came from a factory where our bars have a fresh taste that I think people appreciate the care that goes into making them.
iRUN: Tell us about the benefits of using natural ingredients. PA: Our signature protein bar Pure Strength is a clean nutritional supplement that uses only highquality protein and simple organic ingredients without preservatives, flavours or colours. Even though the bars can be stored in the freezer for longer than six months, I believe the quality is higher when they are made fresh each week. Ray Zahab, founder of Impossible2Possible, is the author of Running For My Life and the iRun runner in chief.
iRun to be the best version of myself. It’s the one place where I can truly get away from reality and stay lost in my thoughts. — Maureen Hutchison, Bradford, ON
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