When formulating 3FU3L, we started with the basic idea of creating a product to fuel our own training and competition needs. We’ve been through it all, from functional fitness, to competitive powerlifting to three-a-day sports training, ultra-marathons and triathalons, mixed martial arts, and everything in-between. We didn’t have any interest in creating a commercial product to sell, we just wanted to mix up a few batches of something that we couldn’t buy anywhere. Because unfortunately, there was nothing on the market that came close to what we wanted: something that would improve endurance and power simultaneously, while fueling our training/competition, and let us come back the next day and do it again.
In late 2011, we took stock of the macronutrients that had worked for us before, like high-quality, grass-fed whey protein hydrolysates, and healthy, MCT-rich fats like the ones found in coconuts.
Whey protein hydrolysates are not only a great (we’d say necessary) way to recuperate from training, but they’re also a great way to fuel your training. A high quality whey hydrolysate will enter the blood as quickly as carbohydrates, and not only speed your recovery for the next session, but will also provide fuel – remember, up to 15% of the fuel you burn during a session can be protein.
Building off our base of whey protein hydrolysate, we went to our favorite fat source, namely MCTs. They’re found naturally in coconut milk, and the coconut milk we use is 100% organic. They’re a fat, but unlike any other fat, because they literally can not be stored by the body. And they’re not just a fuel source (like other fats), they’re rapidly converted by the body into quick energy. Which is exactly what we want in our fuel.
We knew that this protein and fat combination were top-notch, but there was something missing. We were still falling flat by the end of a hard training session; still running on fumes by the end of a long effort. There was literally no carbohydrate source in the world that we thought was “perfect” for our training; anything less than perfect would be second-rate, in our minds.
At that point we became the first athletes in the world to begin experimenting with a modified form of Waxy Maize (hdp modified, to be exact). Regular Waxy Maize had never impressed us, until we saw a study that showed its superiority at the 3 hour mark over other carbs. And even that wasn’t enough…until we saw another study, which revealed that this new form of Waxy Maize (with an ultralow 36 score on the glycemic index) actually increased resting energy expenditure and fat utilization. We know that two things happen when you train: resting energy expenditure increases, as does the body’s ability to shift gears and burn triglycerides instead of glycogen. So this carbohydrate actually seems to give users a “training effect” – in other words, it stimulates the body’s ability to efficiently fuel itself. Perfect!
This was back in late 2011. We’d been using it, going through pounds of it at a time, and it was working like no other carb we’d ever tried. In early 2012, a rodent study was published showing that hdp modified starch was superior to native (regular) starch for endurance training. That study also showed that the hdp variant of the starch lowered blood lactate levels (the stuff that builds up and causes the “dead leg” feeling you get when your muscles start burning).
Finally, we wanted to add something to the compound for strength and power. So we added Betaine. We ultimately decided to add Betaine, which is a methyl donor found naturally in beets. It converts the amino acid homocysteine into methionine and provides methyl groups from which cells can ultimately create more ATP. So it’s no surprise that Betaine has been shown in numerous clinical studies to increase power, increase work capacity, enhance recovery, and allow test subjects to come back the next day and do it again.
At that point, after numerous rounds of trial and error, adjusting the ratios of our macronutrients, and playing with the formula, we did what any athletes would have done – we started bragging to our friends about the new stuff we were using. And because our friends are athletes and coaches themselves, they wanted some.
So we made it for them.... And they loved it....
We got feedback and started tweaking the flavor, using it, sending out more batches, changing it, retesting it, using it during our own competitions, and ultimately settling on a formula that we thought was ideal. Everyone was hitting PRs, everyone was recovering faster, and everyone was asking for more. Professional athletes were worried about running out of the stuff…
Eventually, we’d reached a point where we decided to produce it commercially. In the past, we’ve quit working with, or turned down lucrative contracts with various companies, because we didn’t believe in the product(s) they were selling or we didn't believe the relationship would work. We didn't want to take their money (not even to wear their t-shirts), or hype someone else's brand any longer. Yes, there are plenty of great supplement companies out there and we have supported them, but none of them do what we do. We are the coaches and athletes, and we developed this for this community.
We’re not a supplement company who decided to enter the market because it’s become a “growing economic interest” – we’re a bunch of guys who have been working as coaches, both in the Crossfit community and outside of it, for years. This is all we do. We didn’t “get into this market” – we are this market. We’re not a bodybuilding company who saw Crossfit on ESPN 2, or in a footwear commercial, and decided to exploit it. Sound harsh? Or does it sound like exactly what’s happening?
We’ve been involved in the Crossfit community longer than any other supplement company. Period. We’ve worked with the military, trained athletes from all walks, and perhaps most importantly – we've compete ourselves.
So what you have in 3Fuel is a product that was born and bred to help athletes of all kinds, that can trace its family tree through Crossfit, MMA, Rugby, Powerlifting, Triathalons, ultramarathons, Track & Field, Rowing and carries DNA from each of those sports.