Center for Dairy Research partners with dairy sports drink entrepreneur

Wisconsin State Farmer
The GoodSport product is a new sports drink that's 97% dairy.

The Center for Dairy Research at University of Wisconsin-Madison has partnered with GoodSport, founded by Michelle McBride, which markets a dairy-based sports drink.

McBride said she got the idea for the drink when her son began playing baseball, and after reading the ingredients lists on popular sports drinks, she didn't want him to drink the artificial ingredients and extra sugars in them. She later found that milk is a highly hydrating drink according to the Beverage Hydration Index, created by Ron Maughan, a professor at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

“When I saw that, I thought, ‘Wow! Milk is packed with electrolytes and all of these other nutrients. I really should be able to make a sports drink out of it,’” McBride said.

After testing prototypes of her idea, she was still finding roadblocks in the way, so she had to reach out for help.

“They tasted pretty good, but I knew it wasn’t quite right – they were still milky,” McBride said. “I started looking for a dairy scientist who could help me and it was suggested that I reach out to the Center for Dairy Research.”

The CDR, funded through the dairy checkoff program, has resources and experts available for dairy research and education as well as technical support. The center hopes to help start-up companies like GoodSport bring their product to market and find success. McBride linked up with K.J. Burrington, CDR’s dairy ingredients, beverages and cultured products coordinator, and Vic Grassman, manager of the business support program at CDR.

Burrington suggested that McBride use milk permeate, a byproduct of ultrafiltration of milk that contains vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals, instead of skim milk to achieve the mouthfeel and appearance of the sports drink she was picturing. The taste test was a success, they said, with the drink containing all the nutrients of milk and the electrolytes of other sports drinks.

“We’re helping to create another beverage usage occasion for milk, which is refreshment and hydration,” McBride said. “This could be a big opportunity for dairy.”

The use of milk permeate is also sustainable, because some dairy processors simply throw out the product due to there not being a market for it.

A news release claimed that early studies done by Pennsylvania State University to test the hydration efficacy of GoodSport against water showed that the sports drink was very effective at keeping the body hydrated for an extended period of time. The drink is lactose free and includes calcium, B vitamins and 33% more electrolytes than typical sports drinks.

“There’s real science that goes on behind hydration,” McBride said. “It’s very important that you have the right type and level of electrolytes and the right balance of carbohydrates. We’re able to deliver that in every bottle of GoodSport from the natural goodness of milk.”

GoodSport is available on Amazon and at goodsport.com.