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An Aerobic Training Shake for Endurance Athletes
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An Aerobic Training Shake for Endurance Athletes

A New Fortified Aerobic Training Shake

Endurance is a critical component of fitness, particularly in sports like running, cycling, swimming, nordic skiing, and rowing. While an athlete’s training program, nutrition, recovery, and genetics all impact endurance capacity, research suggests that flavonoids play a pivotal role in endurance performance.

Flavonoids are a subclass of antioxidant polyphenols, a group of over 8,000 naturally occurring compounds found in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea and cocoa. Many of the “Super Food” trends have hung their hats on health benefits linked to this diverse set of naturally occurring compounds.  Flavonoids have garnered attention for their potential to positively impact endurance.  

Over the last 10 years we became interested in the growing body of evidence linking these flavonoids to the underlying biological systems supporting endurance exercise and conditioning. So when we designed our first sports nutrition products, it started with the idea that every serving of Freak Shake should be supplemented with these special antioxidants. In fact, each serving of Freak Shake contains the same amount of catechins as 2oz of natural cocoa powder... enough to make an entire sheet of homemade brownies.

Mitochondrial Function and Endurance: 

At the heart of endurance lies mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the cellular powerhouses responsible for generating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of muscle cells. During endurance exercise, muscle demand for ATP increases significantly, requiring optimal mitochondrial function to meet this need. Here lies an important link between flavonoid supplementation and endurance: the catechins we incorporate into Freak Shake have been demonstrated to assist mitochondria function, thus improving the body's ability to sustain prolonged physical activity as well as supporting resilient muscle and post-workout recovery.

Mitochondrial Biogenesis:

Flavonoids have been found to stimulate pathways involved in mitochondrial biogenesis, the process by which new mitochondria are produced within cells. One key player in this process is the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1α), a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. Flavonoids, through their influence on signaling pathways, may activate PGC-1α and promote the creation of new mitochondria. This increase in mitochondrial density can enhance the muscle cells' capacity to produce ATP, consequently improving endurance performance. (Craig, 2015)

Improved Mitochondrial Efficiency: 

Flavonoids' impact on mitochondrial function extends beyond biogenesis. Research suggests these compounds can impact mitochondrial respiration—the process by which mitochondria produce ATP. Flavonoids' antioxidant properties play a role here as they help combat oxidative stress within mitochondria. By reducing oxidative damage, antioxidant flavonoids help maintain the integrity of the electron transport chain, allowing for more efficient ATP production during endurance activities. (Kicinska, 2020)

Enhanced Oxygen Delivery:

Another factor that affects endurance is the body's ability to efficiently use oxygen. Flavonoids may positively influence our capacity to utilize oxygen by promoting vasodilation—the pliability of blood vessels—which promotes blood flow. That means oxygen-rich blood reaches working muscles as efficiently as possible, a crucial factor in sustaining effort and delaying fatigue during endurance exercise. (Schroeter, 2006)

Aiding Muscle Resilience & Inflammation Management:

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) from an increase in cellular metabolism during endurance exercise causes oxidative stress and inflammation. The feeling of lingering soreness and fatigue following intense or long duration exercise are symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). Flavonoids like those in Freak Shake help scrub ROS when the body’s natural antioxidant capacity is overwhelmed. Reducing EIMD may improve recovery and bring you back to peak performance capacity sooner. (Corr, 2021)

Why Freak Shake?

Endurance is multifaceted. Whether high intensity interval training, or grinding hours of steady state, endurance athletes rely on efficient energy production, oxygen utilization, and muscle function. Antioxidant flavonoids, through their influence on mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial efficiency, oxygen delivery, and anti-inflammatory benefits, have the potential to positively contribute to endurance at the cellular level, even at the cell’s organ level, and by aiding recovery and muscle resilience.

For individuals training at high intensity and long duration to enhance their endurance capability, incorporating flavonoid-rich foods into their diets will help optimize their exercise and ultimately competitive performance.  Freak Shake was designed to support rapid replenishment of depleted glycogen and electrolytes. But what makes Freak Shake a truly unique compliment to endurance training is fortification with a concentrated dose of multi-functional flavonoids. Freak Shake works as a tasty, rapid-acting high-carb fueling source before and during long bouts of endurance training. And Immediately after workouts, it can be a very effective post-workout reward, helping to jumpstart recovery and assist the aerobic adaptations that take place between training sessions.



  1. Craig DM, Ashcroft SP, Belew MY, et al. Utilizing small nutrient compounds as enhancers of exercise-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. Front Physiol. 2015;6:296. doi:10.3389/fphys.2015.00296

  2. Kicinska A, Jarmuszkiewicz W. Flavonoids and Mitochondria: Activation of Cytoprotective Pathways? Molecules. 2020;25(13):3060. doi:10.3390/molecules25133060

  3. Schroeter H, Heiss C, Balzer J, et al. (–)-Epicatechin mediates beneficial effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on vascular function in humans. Proc National Acad Sci. 2006;103(4):1024-1029. doi:10.1073/pnas.0510168103

  4. Corr LD, Field A, Pufal D, Clifford T, Harper LD, Naughton RJ. The effects of cocoa flavanols on indices of muscle recovery and exercise performance: a narrative review. Bmc Sports Sci Medicine Rehabilitation. 2021;13(1):90. doi:10.1186/s13102-021-00319-8


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