“The Future of Sports Recovery”
As research and science continue taking our ability to support athletes (and their bodies) to new heights, we are seeing incredible products come to market in support of just that. One such is O2; the makers of an oxygenated post-recovery line of drinks. In addition to carving out a passionate base of fans for the original line, O2 has also just entered the cannabis ingredient space – launching the first-ever oxygenated CBD recovery sports drink just last month.
We’re lucky enough to be joined today by O2 Natural Recovery founder and CEO David Colina, to look at just who they’re looking to support with O2 (and their new CBD drink), what the message is, and where we go from here (both with O2, and as an industry).
Dave, thanks so much for joining us today!
Seth it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me!
The idea really came from personal necessity. I was working a fairly demanding day job in corporate strategy, and I also co-founded a non-profit charter high school in Columbus called Cristo Rey. The latter pretty much became my night job. I had a pretty active social life on top of that and was in the gym most days, and I was fueling this otherwise healthy lifestyle with a lot of Gatorade and Red Bull. I didn’t come from a nutrition background, but I knew this wasn’t great for me, so I approached a friend who is a medical doctor about creating something better.
Originally we set out to combine what we liked about sports and energy drinks (e.g., electrolytes, caffeine) while excluding what we didn’t (e.g., artificial ingredients, lots of sugar). Then the physician came across some really compelling medical research that showed the accelerating effects of ingested oxygen on the liver’s metabolism of toxins/rate of recovery, and that’s really when O2 as we know it today was born. Since then there’s been studies published that indicate ingested oxygen can help prevent some of the muscle soreness many people feel after a workout. There’s more research to be done, but it’s an exciting new frontier in the area of athletic recovery.
Recently, you took the major step of launching two CBD-infused flavors: Pomegranate Guava and Peach Pear. I guess my question is really the same here; what is it about CBD on the science and consumer side that led you to launch these new products/flavors?
Again, shameless selfishness in making something I wanted that didn’t exist. Long story short, I strained my back at the gym last year, and while I’m usually pretty resilient I couldn’t bounce back from that one quickly. I was catching up with a friend I trust, and he recommended I give CBD a shot. So I figured I may as well, even though I was skeptical. While I can’t say it brought me back to 100% overnight, I can definitely say I went from about 30% to 80% over the course of 3-5 days. I started using it regularly and discovered some of our top O2 athletes as well as our own team members were doing the same, and we all wished there was a more accessible way to take CBD outside of tinctures.
So we became very interested in finding a way to make CBD as a recovery tool even more accessible and convenient as a drink. Our new O2+ Hemp CBD line, which is planned to launch later this month, provides athletes with a safe and meaningful way to easily add the recovery benefits of CBD to their daily fitness routine. We’re very proud to be the first oxygenated CBD sports recovery drink, and we’re excited for people to be able to try out these two delicious new flavors. We’re incredibly proud of both the taste and function.
At BMA, we’re seeing an enormous amount of interest and opportunity when it comes to cannabis-infused products of all kinds. One thing we’re not seeing a lot of, however, is consumer insights around cannabis products. Can you paint a picture for us of who you envision these products supporting (and in which occasions)? It’s probably also important to note that in addition to the CBD, the Pomegranate Guava contains 100mg of natural caffeine. So there’s a real interest in serving a range of people, and occasions, it would seem?
Absolutely! As a brand, we’re really focused on athletic recovery, which remains our focus with O2+ CBD. Just like our original line of oxygenated recovery drinks, O2+ CBD is for the everyday athlete – the ones who show up, work hard, and are motivated and inspired to be their best selves every day, both in and out of the gym. Both lines of O2 are perfect to drink after any type of workout, whether it’s high intensity interval training or a hot yoga flow. We provide caffeinated and caffeine-free options for both lines, so you can enjoy a cold, refreshing O2 no matter what time you like to work out. Ultimately, we’re on a journey with our consumer towards their fullest selves and we champion whatever that might look like to them.
Thinking about the O2 Sports Recovery Drink brand – we see the slogan “anyone can train, but the best recover.” A great message, and perfect for who you’re serving (and when). But what are your best channels for sharing it? It looks like you have a sophisticated approach (and an excellent following) on Instagram, for example.
Thanks Seth. We try to have an upbeat and motivational brand voice across our social channels that we love to put out there and find very effective. We also like getting the message out through working with some of the world’s top athletes, like Kari Pearce, Amanda Barnhart, James Hobart, and Evan Childs. They are widely respected and credible forces of knowledge in the fitness world, and we love working with them to communicate the importance of recovery and the benefits of O2. Finally, good old fashioned email tends to do pretty well for us as we do a good job of providing helpful content as well as fun and exciting promotions/giveaways (shameless plug, sign up at drinko2.com!).
Looking ahead is our favorite way to conclude…and this is yet another excellent opportunity to do so. Let’s think about the cultural/social adoption and relevance of CBD products. What interactions/occasions/behaviors/trends do you think will be most fundamental in a wide, social adoption of CBD as an ingredient? We recently heard from many leaders in the THC drink space – and on-premise consumption (THC cocktails in a bar or bar-like setting) was something that we all pointed to; but I suspect this may be a little different answer when looking specifically at CBD drinks/products?
CBD is a massive trend in self-care, and wide adoption of it as an ingredient is already well underway. However, the concept of CBD as a post-workout recovery tool is still new. We believe the key to more mainstream adoption and understanding of CBD’s recovery benefits are easy and safe ways to access it, which is what we’re proud to provide with O2+ CBD. The more accessible it is, the more likely consumers will be to test it out and experience its benefits for themselves. So I think accessibility and education will be at the forefront with CBD, and we’re excited to be positioned as a leader in the athletic space.