The Sports Drink Gets a Clean Makeover, Thanks to This Buzzy NYC Restaurateur

Photos: WellWell
Step away from the Gatorade: The functional sports drink market is (finally!) getting a certified organic, anti-inflammatory option with a super-straightforward ingredient list that's free of added sugars, artificial flavoring, and fake coloring. Oh, and did we mention it's delicious?

Meet WellWell, the new super-drink from sommelier-turned-MD/MBA Sagan Schultz and Michael Chernow (the wellness-minded impresario behind New York City hotspots The Meatball Shop and Seamore's). "It's a beverage that is basically nutritional hydration for people with active lifestyles," says Schultz, adding that it offers up hydration and aids in post-workout recovery.


The idea came to Schultz after he noticed that the powdered amino acids he and his friends were guzzling down for post-workout recovery weren't very, well, good. He dove into medical research and started tinkering with formulations last summer, and eventually landed on a blend of watermelon, tart cherry concentrate, and biodynamically grown (read: highly sustainable and free of any and all pesticides) lemon.

It's the anti-inflammatory cherry that he's most excited about. "It's clinically studied for everything from sports performance to people who just have knee arthritis and can't take regular medicine," Schultz says. "The amounts we use are what we pull from the clinical trials, so it's actually grounded in something. We're not just putting ingredients together and saying, 'These are probably good for you.'"

You wouldn't expect a guy who made a living from drinking wine to accept just any beverage (even if the ingredients were of the highest quality and all certified organic); needless to say, the flavor of WellWell was important to Schultz. He conducted blind tastings with friends—yes, competitors' products were thrown into the mix—until he got it just right.

Chernow was an early tester of the drink and liked it enough to get involved as a business partner. (WellWell also counts among its ranks Nike photographer Collin Hughes, who came on as creative director, and Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods founder Larry Praeger, who is their chief operating officer.) "We live the life of this product: We're athletes, we're active people, we're both entrepreneurs, we're both running around town like mad men constantly, and the benefits of WellWell help us out in a real way," says Chernow. "That said, it is incredibly delicious."

A product that delivers results, from a team with brains, brawn, and very good taste? Very well (well), indeed.

So this covers after-workout sipping. But what about food? Anna Victoria shares her pre- and post-exercise fuel. And here are 7 cute gym bags to throw it all in.

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