10 Years Fueling Athletes with the Best Sports Nutrition Products

Passion fuels everything we do at Herbalife Nutrition. Every day around the world, our employees and distributors are driven by their passion to help others – by providing great nutrition and promoting a healthier, more active lifestyle within our communities.

As a competitive cyclist, I also know how passion and drive fuels athletes. We are focused on hitting goals, staying competitive, and continually striving for peak performance.

Several years ago, Herbalife Nutrition wanted to launch into the sports nutrition space as a way to provide the best nutritional support to the world-class teams and athletes we sponsored. In order to be authentic about nutrition powering our athletes, we were convinced we needed a sports nutrition line that could get a high-quality sports drink into the hands of the LA Galaxy, who at the time, had legend David Beckham wearing the “Herbalife” logo across his chest because he played for the team.

We also believed that having a new sports line would excite our distributors, bring even more credibility to our brand and bring in an entire generation of young, athletic and motivated future leaders.

That vision, drive, and passion inspired us to create Herbalife24 – a sports nutrition line for the 24-hour athlete – 10 years ago, when I was invited the join the company.

Innovation for Superior Performance

This all started in September 2009, when fellow cyclist Casey Weaver and I handed out samples of our very own sports drink during the summit of the annual Los Angeles classic Piuma hill-climb race, sponsored by the local LaGrange cycling club.

This was where we met Michael Johnson, the CEO of Herbalife Nutrition at the time. As he described it, we were just like Mark Hughes: handing out samples from the trunk of a car. The reason I developed this new product was because we couldn’t find a sports drink that incorporated the latest science to fuel performance for endurance athletes.

Dr. John Heiss (left) and Michael (middle) after completing Piuma, one of the most scenic bike climbs in all of southern California.
John Heiss (left) and Michael Johnson, former CEO of Herbalife Nutrition (middle), after completing Piuma, one of the most scenic bike climbs in all of southern California.

Shortly after that fateful meeting, our formula was reviewed by Herbalife Nutrition’s team of experts, who reverse-engineered it to understand the composition, and it was rigorously tested by their quality lab. They concluded that was that it was well-formulated and delivered on what it promised — quality and performance.

From there, Herbalife Nutrition invited us to meet with their team, assessed our business and science acumen, and listened to our vision. Things clicked, and so Casey and I were asked to join the company and spearhead the company’s efforts to become a global leader in sports nutrition, developing a complete line of products to fuel the best teams and athletes around the world.

Breaking the Mold to Create the Best-In-Class Products

As any elite athlete will tell you, what they put in their bodies is equally as important as how they train. They seek the highest quality nutrition products to help reach their performance goals.

For almost 30 years, the majority of the Herbalife Nutrition product line was designed for people whose primary wellness goals were to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Expanding the brand to attract high-level athletes by building a new sports nutrition product line was an exciting challenge. We knew product efficacy and quality were critical for success. To give athletes, distributors and their customers confidence, we selected the NSF Certified for Sport Program to independently validate our rigorous quality standards. This means:

Today, Herbalife24 products are consumed by elite and everyday athletes around the world, from professional triathletes like Heather Jackson to weekend warriors running their first race.

Elite triathlete Heather Jackson (left) and Michael at a recent cycling event.
Elite triathlete Heather Jackson (left) and Michael Johnson, former CEO (right), at a recent cycling event.

The Evolution of Herbalife24

One of our most exciting milestones happened in 2016 when we partnered with Cristiano Ronaldo to create CR7 Drive, a sports drink that provides key components necessary for performance, such as enhanced hydration and energy. For us, this partnership with the most famous athlete in the world meant driving sports science and innovation even further, uncovering new ways to think about performance and response.

The initial Herbalife24 line catered to the rigors of endurance sports. Since launch, however, we have attracted a much broader range of athletes. To keep up with the nutritional demands across a multitude of disciplines, we’ve adapted and innovated to create additional products that are well suited for resistance and strength-based sports, like Cross Fit and the general gym crowd. We have also added low-carb offerings to meet consumer demand and for people participating in workouts with less intensity, like yoga and Pilates.

These everyday athletes are fueling their workouts with the same nutrition as some of the world’s best athletes and sports teams. Since 2007, we have been the LA Galaxy’s official and exclusive nutrition partner and have worked closely with the team to help the players understand their specific nutrition and hydration needs to improve their performance.

Ten years later, the Herbalife24 product line-up has expanded to include premium products for general nutrition, during training and competition, and post-workout. Our formulas feature a range of carbohydrate-to-protein ratios and therefore can be custom-tailored for specific needs. Plus, none of the Herbalife24 products contain artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.

The passion of professional athletes and people who enjoy an active lifestyle is what inspires us because we believe in setting the standard high and moving forward as a team. And because of the passion of our employees and distributors, we continue to innovate and develop new products to fuel the next generation.

John Heiss

John HeissPhD – Sr. Director of Worldwide Product Marketing Innovation

Dr. John Heiss is one of the scientists behind Herbalife24, a line of high-end sports nutrition products. He is responsible for setting the strategy for sports nutrition and developing a portfolio of products based on the latest science. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in biological chemistry. As a former category 2 competitive cyclist, Heiss has a keen understanding of the nutritional needs of endurance athletes.