Tiny bubbles could help Tacoma firm make impact on sports drink market

craig.hill@thenewstribune.comJuly 13, 2014 

A cyclist rides a section of the Bud Blancher Trail in Eatonville.

CRAIG HILL/STAFF WRITER

Answers to important questions nobody has asked me yet:

What are charge-stabilized nanobubbles and are they delicious?

The next step in the evolution of sports-recovery drinks might just be taking place in Tacoma.

Reliant Beverage Co. is launching a new bottled water it claims will help people recover faster after workouts, decrease fatigue and make them feel better.

The secret, they say, is the charge-stabilized nanobubbles. What are these and what do they taste like?

First, the easy part. Reliant Recovery Water tastes like water. At least that’s what I’m told. I haven’t tried it yet (More on that in a second).

The nanobubbles, which the company calls CSNs, are about 100,000th the size of a human hair, says Richard Watson, Reliant’s chief science officer.

The CSNs react with the surface of cells enabling them to protect themselves against damage that can occur during exercise.

Tyler Pigott, Reliant’s general manager, says the company is already receiving orders and positive feedback from professional athletes, most of whom they can’t name because they’re endorsing other sports drinks.

One athlete he can mention, however, is running legend Jim Ryun. Ryun won a silver medal in the 1,500-meters at the 1968 Olympics and was the first American high schooler to run a mile in less than four minutes. Now 67, Ryun is the company’s spokesman.

The company has the backing of the Russell family. Eric Russell is Reliant’s CEO.

Just as importantly, Watson says, Reliant is backed by eight years of research and studies by the University of Florida (birthplace of Gatorade) and Seattle Performance Medicine. The research found that the water helped reduced post-exercise pain and fatigue and even boosted VO2max in highly fit subjects.

A new batch of the water is created at the company’s East D Street complex each day using a patented electro-mechanical process that includes “controlled turbulence.”

In order to protect the CSNs, the water must be kept at 33-50 degrees. But it can be mixed with electrolytes and flavoring without impacting the effects.

Watson recommends three bottles per day, but says some use more or less as they find what works best for them. Rather than a product to be consumed during exercise, Watson says it’s meant to “maintain your system.”

Watson says some people notice they feel better right away, others don’t notice for a few weeks and some don’t realize a benefit until they stop drinking the water.

By the end of summer, Reliant hopes to be selling its water in some local stores. Until then, you can buy it online at drinkreliant.com.

So why haven’t I tried it yet? Well, a case costs about as much as I’ll spend all summer on my home water bill. A case of 30 16.9-ounce bottles goes for $69.99 (Although the first case is reduced to $49.99). It won’t be sold by the bottle until it’s available in stores.

Of course, if Reliant water does what it claims that big price tag (which adds up to more than $2,500 per year at Watson’s recommended three bottles per day) might start to look like a bargain.

What’s the most exciting thing happening in Eatonville on Monday?

Eatonville is building a trail, the Bud Blancher Trail, from town to nearby Pack Experimental Forest. Some of the unpaved, crushed gravel travel is already in place.

On Monday, the Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club will be in Eatonville to present a $10,000 check to help fund the project. As part of the festivities, the club will host a short, easy ride starting near the library, 205 Center St. W.

Club officer Bob Myrick says the free ride will be 10-12 miles and a short portion of the ride will be on state Route 7.

What are two good South Sound rides I can skip this summer?

You can find an organized ride every weekend in Western Washington, but two rides are taking this year off.

The RAPSody Ride held each August for the last 10 years has been canceled. The ride was sponsored by five South Sound bike clubs including the TWBC and Capital Bicycle Club.

Myrick says the clubs had issues mustering up manpower to stage the race after Ralph and Dena Wessels, organizers since the start, asked for somebody to take over. Funds from the two-day ride that started and finished in Tacoma went to Washington Bikes (the state cycling advocacy group formerly known as the Bicycle Alliance of Washington). Washington Bikes reportedly will try to revive the ride for next year.

The Capital Bicycle Club’s Ride the South Sound has also been canceled. In its June newsletter the club wrote that organizers got off to a slow start and that it would be better to begin planning for the 2015 ride. The ride started in 2012 to replace the Tenino-Rainier-Yelm-Bucoda Rally.

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497 craig.hill@thenewstribune.com @AdventureGuys

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