Gnarly Nutrition dietary supplements are now NSF certified
In a 2018 study by the non-profit Clean Label Project, researchers screened 134 protein powder products for 130 types of toxins and found that many of these dietary supplements contain heavy metals like lead, lead, salt, and toxins. arsenic, cadmium and mercury; pesticides; and other contaminants linked to cancer and other health problems. These come from manufacturing processes or from the existence of toxins in the soil.
That’s why Utah-based Gnarly Nutrition not only promises contaminant-free nutritional supplements for its athletes, but has undergone the harmful rigors of National Sanitation Foundation certification. After enduring and passing the rigorous seven-step certification process of the nationally renowned non-profit food safety organization NSF, Gnarly now holds NSF Content and Sport certificates, ensuring that its supplements are not only contaminant-free, but also free of over 300 substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Association. With over 70% of elite athletes consuming dietary supplements to fill nutritional gaps, improve performance, and recover from training and competition, NSF certification is of tremendous value not only to these professional competitors, but to athletes in all types.
“It’s really important that we have products that athletes of all levels can use,” said Shannon O’Grady, COO/CPO of Gnarly and “jiu jitsu badass.” “We want to be transparent, clear, and science-backed with the formulations and the ingredients we choose to use in those formulations.”
O’Grady holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Utah. After researching nutritional physiology as a research assistant and professor at the “U”, O’Grady found her way to Gnarly Nutrition where she was able to realize her obsession with sports nutrition. Now, she’s bringing that knowledge to Gnarly starting at home with Salt Lake City’s vibrant outdoor sports scene.
“We’ve always reached out to the mountain community because that’s what we know,” O’Grady said. “Everyone who works at Gnarly lives in the Utah or Colorado area. We love recreating in the mountains. We’re climbers, bikers, trail runners. So that’s where we started.
What Gnarly and O’Grady aspire to do with their supplements is to reach movers of all types, regardless of their stamina or skill level.
“We’re really trying to redefine (or reset) people’s expectations of what an athlete is,” O’Grady said. “I hear too many times, ‘Oh, I’m not an athlete, I just do that.’ For me, anyone who moves their body, sets goals and pursues them is the definition of an athlete.
These athletes of all persuasions will often try to boost their performance with powders of all types. The problem is that protein powder is a dietary supplement. As such, the FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to determine the safety and labeling of its products. Unless a company is certified by a recognized third party like NSF or USP, there’s no way to tell if a protein powder contains what’s on its label.
Analysis by the Clean Label Project, for example, found that 70% of the top 134 protein powders on the market contained detectable levels of lead, 74% contained cadmium and 55% contained BPA. If humans ingest too much of any of these metals or plastics, it can lead to brain damage and/or cognitive impairment. Nor were these minute amounts – significant amounts of toxins were often present. One protein powder, for example, contained 25 times the FDA’s prescribed limit for BPA.
For Gnarly, aligning with its manufacturer to keep its product toxin-free is both challenging and easy collaboration. With a producer just down the street in Salt Lake City, Gnarly is able to work in tandem with the factory on formulas, flavors, ingredients, and more. The nutrition company is even aiming to make its packaging plastic-free, switching from plastic jugs to tin jars. Along with its partners in the Plastic Impact Alliance and the Sustainable Packaging Movement, Gnarly is developing plans to completely remove plastic from its line by 2025.
“We really try to stand up for our values,” O’Grady said. “One of those values is creating clean, effective supplements that people can trust. And another is really trying to be a sustainability-conscious brand that realizes the impact we have on the environment.