CocoPro is a high protein coconut water that we stock across all Gymbox sites, great for pre-and-post training, and the occasional party season hangover! We meet Operations Manager and ex professional rugby player Rory Lawson.
How was Christmas for you?
It's been pretty manic. We wanted to finish 2015 on a high whilst also getting some strong foundations in place for a big start to next year. As a young company we're happy with our first year but 2016 is the year we want everyone to know about CocoPro!
In what ways is coconut water so beneficial for those who work out?
The edge that coconut water has over many leading sports drinks is that it packs in fifteen times more potassium. Potassium is a key player in rehydration because, along with sodium, magnesium and calcium, the electrolyte helps maintain fluid balance in the body. Potassium is also crucial to smooth and skeletal muscle contraction, and can help prevent muscle cramps. With CocoPro we add 20 grams of premium whey protein isolate to pure coconut water which further fuels recovery and gives your muscles what they need and crave post workout.
Is it not just a fad?
The continued rapid growth of the coconut water market would suggest not but for the team at CocoPro we wanted to be different and create something unique, with an added benefit that set us apart from the masses.
What makes CocoPro different to what else is on the market?
Consumers are always looking for more and realised that, though coconut water is great, it doesn't give you everything you need. We wanted to create a new category in the market by adding the whey protein isolate. Our goal was to create a drink that contained the best ingredients, with no added sugar and a drink that tasted amazing and we think we've achieved that. We will continue to evolve our range in 2016 looking at other protein sources and different flavours.
When is it most useful to consume, pre or post a workout?
We market CocoPro as 'The Ultimate Recovery Drink' with the combination of ingredients weighted towards that but, to be honest, it can be used as a pre workout for someone who might not have eaten much in the day and needs a quick nutritional hit before their workout. I quite often have one as an afternoon pick-me-up and we've had great feedback from some of our Crossfitters who use it mid workout so it is multi-functional.
Is it more suited to athletes rather than the casual gym-goer?
In short, no. Protein is no longer perceived as being a product for bodybuilders and gym monkeys. People now see that protein is a key part of a balanced diet and, as well as a key part of the diet of athletes and gym goers, it is a lifestyle product for the masses. The majority of the population are deficient in their daily intake. CocoPro, at only 136 calories, packs a nutritional punch for athletes, casual gym goers and also for people looking for a healthy, nutritious snack.
How much would you advise someone to drink in one day? (is too much, too much?)
People interested in health and fitness often put too much focus on supplements in their day to day diet. They should be used to support a good diet made up of actual food but one CocoPro per day is a perfect option to support a healthy diet of this kind.
Seeing as it's the party season, is CocoPro good for hangovers?
It's ideal, trust me I've tested it on multiple occasions. Alcohol is a diuretic and after a big night out you're certain to be dehydrated. Coconut water is packed full of potassium, a key electrolyte responsible for rehydrating. Added to that, in the body, proteins are broken down into individual amino acids – the substance that helps detoxify your liver and, in turn, assists your recovery. Alcohol depletes the number of amino acids in your body so replenishing your stock naturally with the 20 grams of protein in CocoPro will help get things ‘back to normal’.
You were a pro rugby player until 2013 when you had to retire due to a wrist injury, what happened?
I was lucky to play professional rugby for 12 years, representing Scotland at 2 world cups and playing club rugby at the top end of Europe but in professional sport you know it's never going to last forever. Sadly my career was cut short by a freak wrist injury in a tackle in a game 2 years ago but I had a good innings.
What made you get behind CocoPro as Operations Manager?
I met my co-founders (both closely linked with products in the natural, health food market) during my rugby days and we spoke about the growth of coconut water and protein. We were in the States a few years back and saw guys pouring coconut water into their protein powder, shaking it up and chewing their way through it saying that it was the perfect recovery drink -– if only it mixed better! We came away, researched whether anyone had done it (they hadn't), then spent 8 months developing the product before launching at the beginning of this year.
And what are your new year recovery tips, aside from drinking CocoPro?
After a lifetime of post workout ice baths they are the best, although most uncomfortable way of recovering, followed by some good food but now as an ex sportsman, who is broken and over the hill but still addicted to training, it's a monthly massage and trip to the chiropractor and gallons of CocoPro!