There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a tall, cold glass of milk. But when it comes to sports beverages, milk is typically not the first beverage that comes to mind. Individuals looking for the same nutritional punch that milk provides don’t have to look any further.
GoodSport, the first-of-its-kind natural sports drink made from the goodness of milk and backed by science was officially launched in February 2021.
GoodSport is made from 97% dairy. Research has shown that milk is a natural source of the essential electrolytes and carbohydrates needed to provide effective hydration, which is especially important following intense aerobic activity. Additionally, scientific studies have shown that milk actually hydrates better than traditional sports drinks and water.
Milk has typically been excluded from the sports drink category because of its perishability and shorter shelf life. Leaving a bottle of milk in an uninsulated workout bag or the hot sun is far from a great idea. In addition, milk’s higher protein content and consistency is a challenge to consume before or during a workout.
However, GoodSport’s patent-pending formula and process cracked the code to provide naturally powerful hydration in a clear and thirst-quenching beverage. It delivers three times the electrolytes and 33% less sugar than traditional sports drinks, according to the company. All ingredients are from natural sources and the beverage is lactose-free, shelf stable, and provides a good source of calcium and an excellent source of B vitamins.
GoodSport didn’t just look to dairy for its nutrition, but also its innovation. The idea for GoodSport came from its CEO and founder, Michelle McBride, but she was connected with the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) based on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus for their help and expertise in finessing the formula to make such a nutritional-packed workout-recovery beverage.
At CDR, McBride connected with K.J. Burrington who serves as CDR’s Dairy Ingredients, Beverages & Cultured Products Coordinator, who helped with the formulation of the beverage. Together, they modified the ultrafiltration process to harness milk’s electrolytes, vitamins and carbohydrates while removing its protein to create a clear, light beverage with a mouthfeel that consumers expect from a sports drink.
If a new innovative dairy product wasn’t enough good news for the dairy industry, the fact that this new beverage utilizes a byproduct from making other dairy products makes it even better. Dairy companies often ultrafilter milk to use its protein to make products such as cheese. Typically, they are unable to use the nutrient-rich part of the milk – permeate. GoodSport rescues this byproduct from dairy companies to produce its beverage. In turn, wide-spread use of this permeate will help create additional value for the milk supplied by dairy farmers. Not to mention, using more byproducts from dairy will only contribute to dairy’s sustainability story. All this was made possible by the work and research of CDR, which is partially funded by dairy farmer checkoff dollars.
GoodSport was original developed by McBride seeking a healthier, more-hydrating option for her son following his baseball games. Along the way, she developed a beverage that harnesses the nutritional package of milk while overcoming challenges of perishability and mouthfeel that dairy faced while penetrating the sports-drink category. GoodSport is currently available in 16.9-ounce bottles and comes in four flavors: lemon lime, fruit punch, wild berry, and citrus. Available for purchase online, we look forward to seeing widespread availability of this beverage and promotion of its dairy connection in the future.
Innovation comes in many forms. For dairy, this latest innovation serves individuals seeking optimal hydration, while utilizing a dairy byproduct that has typically had minimal value. I think we can all agree that this is the kind of innovation we can cheer about.