Jeff Byers: Helping Push The Limits Of Human Performance

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About this episode:
In this week’s episode, coach Adam interviews former professional NFL lineman, avid cyclist, and CEO of Amp Human Jeff Byers.  They discuss optimizing performance, myths about lactic acid, Amp Human’s clinically proven PR Lotion, and sodium bicarbonate’s role in fighting fatigue and enhancing recovery.

Read More About Jeff Byers and Amp Human:

https://amphuman.com/blogs/news/meet-the-man-behind-topical-edge

https://amphuman.com/

https://www.instagram.com/amphuman/

https://twitter.com/AmpHuman

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWQPVggGnUkoYJtE45Idnrg

 

Episode Highlights:

  • Optimizing performance
  • Removing performance limiters
  • Muscle acidosis
  • How Amp Human PR Lotion uses bicarb to fight fatigue and enhance recover

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

*Disclosure: Amp Human is a partner of CTS.

 


Thanks To This Week’s Sponsors:

Stages Cycling

This episode of the TrainRight Podcast is brought to you by Stages Cycling, the industry leader in accurate, reliable and proven power meters and training devices.

Stages Cycling offers the widest range of power meter makes and models to fit any bike, any drivetrain and any rider, all manufactured in their Boulder, Colorado facility. They’ve expanded their offerings to include the Stages Dash line of innovative and intuitive GPS cycling computers covering a full range of training and workout-specific features to make your workouts go as smooth as possible.

And for 2020 Stages is applying its decade of indoor cycling studio expertise to the new StagesBike smart trainer. Check out their latest at www.stagescycling.com and use the coupon code CTS20OFF all caps at checkout for 20% off.


Episode Transcription:

Adam Pulford:

I mean, I find it pretty damn cool that even during a pandemic, we can find time to talk about lotion, muscle acidosis, and athletic performance. But before we do, I’d like to introduce our guest for today’s show, and it’s Jeff Byers of Amp Human. Welcome to the show, Jeff.

Jeff Byers:

Thanks for having me, excited to be here.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, how are things in Utah?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, things in Utah are relatively good, feel fortunate to be in Utah and not in a major big city right now, but also like the world’s turned upside down, and I’m just very thankful that my family and close friends are safe and healthy for now, and the new norm is the new norm and it is what it is, and you don’t get to change that.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, that’s for sure. Well, I’m glad everybody is healthy and safe for the time being, and you can still escape on the trails and get outside when possible. But for our audience who do not know you, could you introduce yourself a little bit more?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah. Jeff Byers, I am the CEO and co-founder of a company called Amp Human. We’re a human performance company. We were founded 22 months ago, essentially, and we could get into that. But my background is I played professional football in another life, and am a struggling endurance/workout junkie now, but I was an offensive lineman, I played at 310 pounds in the NFL. Started a handful of games with [inaudible 00:02:02] offensive lineman, essentially, and decided to walk away on my own terms and start what I call Jeff 2.0, but it’s more like Jeff .5, since I’m down 90 pounds from my playing weight, essentially. Love endurance and love the endurance industry as well.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, well maybe it’s one-fifth Jeff, maybe that’s the number we’re going for. But for our audience members, don’t let this guy fool you. This guy can motor, he can pedal a bike. And like he said, coming from a professional football player, he’s still a big guy. But I don’t know when we first met Jeff, but it was on a bike, and I remember thinking, once we start hitting the hills, I’m like “Eh, I might not see him anymore,” but you were right there on our wheels, suffering like a dog, and strong as an ox. So you can pedal a bike, man. [crosstalk 00:03:04], I don’t know.

Jeff Byers:

I like to say that I’m real good at suffering. And that’s one of the things I love about ride endurance sports and why I’ve loved riding the bike, because A, it’s easy on me, as is, you can control your pain cave, and one of the things that I loved about really high end sports was it’s about how deep can you go, and it’s more of the mental game with yourself than it is with the person next to you, because you can take yourself to that pain cave, and for me, I’m, whatever, a sick individual, but I love the pain cave. It’s where I find the most mental clarity, and it’s almost like a meditative state for me.

Jeff Byers:

So yeah, I do like to pedal. Gravity is not my friend, going up, but I do, for 225 pound guy, I do enjoy riding uphills. Actually, I enjoy riding up way more than I enjoy riding down. I’m not the best bike handler in the world, obviously I did another career in my life, and I go downhill and I’m like, man, I’ve rolled the dice a lot with head injury and being in “car accidents” on the football field, I played it safe when gravity’s on my side.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. Well, keep on doing that, it’s a good way to roll. But as our audience members can tell, this guy knows his stuff when it comes to athletic and suffering, but let’s hear more about Amp Human, Jeff. Tell us kind the history, where did it all start? How’d this happen?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, that’s a great question, and a pretty fun story, in my mind. So when I retired from the NFL, I got into the finance world and quickly realized that that is not what I wanted to do with my life, and I’m very much a team guy, I had my MBA and really was driven by building high-performing teams, and wanted to take kind of a entrepreneurial shot at work, I had a lot of things that were kind of lined up to allow me to do that.

Jeff Byers:

So I joined an early stage biotech around five years ago, and that’s where I met my cofounder of Amp Human. And so we were collectively employees two and five at that biotech, and the biotech had developed a really revolutionary technology to transport things across the skin barrier, and part of my job was to see what other industries outside of medical could we go and pursue, could this technology have applications other places?

Jeff Byers:

So some of your listeners may know us from way back when when we were this kind of passion project internal to the biotech as Topical Edge. And that was literally a passion project, like skunkworks. We were trying to see what we had, if there was opportunity there, and all in the background the biotech was doing and starting clinical work on the pharma side of things and leveraging this tech.

Jeff Byers:

We were basically at a crossroads of what are we going to do with what was then Topical Edge? We weren’t doing anything meaningful in terms of sales revenue, we didn’t really have a team in place, but we’d proven out of market and had good traction in some initial places. There was a real opportunity there, and I was spending, I don’t know, 40% of my 120% time dedicated to this company on Topical Edge. But Erica, my cofounder and I at Amp Human saw a real opportunity in the human performance space to build a meaningful brand and company, and do so with this technology as a start.

Jeff Byers:

We were really passionate about building businesses and building teams, and we had a lot of similar principles and values that really aligned us, and we basically raised our hands and said “We want to acquire this technology, we want to spin it out and form a human optimization/human performance company,” which is what Amp Human is. And really, with a couple pillars that are standing up, but we’ve always had this big vision of Amp Human being a human performance company, not a lotion company. We have a revolutionary technology and we’re building an Amp Human brand around it, and we’ll have a couple products with this same technology in mind.

Jeff Byers:

But we formed Amp Human, call it 22 months ago when we acquired the tech, and that’s when we started to build a team and really push our first flagship product, PR Lotion, to market, and it’s been a really incredible journey since then. But we were born out of a biotech company with a really, really revolutionary technology. We’re doing something that a lot of people say couldn’t have been done, and then they see the research that we have and who we’re working with and get pretty interested pretty fast.

Jeff Byers:

So that’s kind of the genesis. PR Lotion as a whole is super simple. It gives the body more of a basic electrolyte that you can’t take orally. That electrolyte is sodium bicarbonate. It helps you maximize your training, extend your threshold, and recover faster. Sodium bicarbonate, or bicarb, is what our bodies naturally produce to help buffer the acid, the hydrogen ions within our muscles, and that is one of the limiting factors in our ability to push hard and to recover between interval bouts or breakaways, et cetera.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, and that’s exactly what I was just going to ask you next, and for our listeners, just kind of back this little train up is muscle acidosis or kind of that feeling of the pain that we get when you’re climbing up the hill going full tilt, that is the indicator of fatigue, that is the indicator of, you’re about to slow down, and the muscle acidosis is something if we can remedy or call it buffer or reduce, we can do more aerobic capacity. And so what Amp Human is trying to do with the PR Lotion is to solve that issue, right?

Adam Pulford:

Kind of the main thing, if I can even go back a little bit further, Topical Edge, when you guys did start that, for example, what were some of the highlights of that product, and how did it evolve to where you’re at now?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, it’s a great question. It was basically like, I call it straight out the lab product, and it’s the exact same concept that our current PR Lotion product is, it’s taking sodium bicarbonate, combining it with this technology, and being able to get it in the body in the form of a lotion through the skin rather than orally ingesting it. The Topical Edge product, for those of you that know it, and even up until we re-launched PR Lotion, the version we have on market now, it was rough around the edges.

Jeff Byers:

And I always like to say it was, we really cared about efficacy first and foremost and aesthetics second. That was mainly because we were playing in the absolute upper echelon of sport, and we had to see if we could get adoption based upon efficacy, not based upon being pretty. And people riding in the Grand Tours and playing in Superbowls and Stanley Cups, they’re willing to adopt things that are nasty, and Topical Edge and first generally of PR Lotion was nasty. It looked like honey mustard, it smelled weird. There’s some great nicknames that are not appropriate to share, too, about what it looked like. You had to want to get more to use it.

Adam Pulford:

Well, can I share some of my experiences?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, fire.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, I remember when I first started using it, I was like “Wow, this stuff,” first of all, gross, disgusting, and it’s slimy, right? But as you go out and you do a couple hard [inaudible 00:11:46] and you’re like “Something’s working here, I can feel that.” Meaning I can go longer, push harder, hitting some peak powers. But I could hardly get it off in the shower. Then, it started to stain any light color, like white socks, my beautiful white Velocio socks would just become blue and gray, same thing with the jerseys, and I’m like “Oh man, I don’t know if I should keep on using this or not.” Yeah, and here we are now, a product that doesn’t do that, works magnificently and whatnot. But yeah, the first stuff was pretty rough, for sure.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, oh yeah. I’m very thankful to have moved on, and probably many of your listeners tried it at one point and were turned off, it separated horribly, all of these things. And what we did was when we spun the business out and created Amp Human, we really focused on let’s find out how do we make it pretty while preserving the efficacy of the product? And it took a full 18 months to do that, way longer than we thought. But once we had dedicated resources and understood what we wanted to do with it, we were able to get it to a place. We surveyed our customer base last November when we were getting ready to launch, it was like, 80% of the people that had used our product were like “If it wasn’t so nasty, I would use it a lot more.” You’re like “Yeah, no duh.” Anyways, so …

Adam Pulford:

Okay. Well, cool. So that’s the history of the company, and even I’m learning here too about some of the final details. But let’s dive into the science. So you talked about sodium bicarbonate. What is it about sodium bicarb that works in muscle acidosis or in athletic performance? What’s going on?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, that’s a great question. So the basis of PR Lotion is, just like you said, sodium bicarbonate. And bicarb is really, really well known and really well-researched. In fact, the IOC, International Olympic Committee, has said it’s like one of seven things that’s proven to work, it’s very safe and effective, and it’s not banned. The only issue with sodium bicarbonate is you can’t take it orally practically, and I want everybody to remember back to like fourth grade science class, and that’s when you make a volcano, and that volcano you use vinegar and sodium bicarbonate, and sodium bicarbonate is baking soda. And that’s what happens in your gut when you take high amounts of sodium bicarbonate. Your gut is-

Adam Pulford:

Explosion.

Jeff Byers:

Explosions. It’s bad. And you have to be really dedicated or a niche athlete to be able to withstand it. And so bicarb has been used in time trialing in the 1500 meter run and things like that and shorter distance events where you can have explosions after you compete. But if you’re going to go do and be like “Well, the first part of this 100 mile ride is really hard, I want a couple more matches,” you’re not going to drink sodium bicarbonate, because the last thing you’re going to do is crap your pants at mile 20, or vomit. GI distress ruins all performance benefits that anything could give you, as most endurance athletes know with nutrition, et cetera, you just are really careful with that.

Jeff Byers:

So physiologically, what happens, bicarb is naturally produced in our pancreas. It’s the rate limiting factor. When our muscles burn energy or produce energy, they create a byproduct, and that byproduct is lactate and hydrogen ions, commonly referred to as lactic acid, but they’re disassociated. So lactate, as some of you may know, is another fuel source, and it’s actually a good thing in our body to have. Hydrogen ions are not a good thing in our body, it’s acidic and it is the byproduct and a waste product of energy production in our muscles. So bicarbonate in our blood pulls off hydrogen ions, and lactate travels with that off of our muscles. And when hydrogen ions get pulled off our muscles, they’re able to continue to perform and be a little more efficient.

Jeff Byers:

When our ability to buffer acid, those hydrogen ions, decreases, because we don’t have enough bicarbonate, our muscle efficiency goes down, acid builds up, and eventually that’s the fatigue point that says we have to go back, rest, let the muscles, right, or let the bicarb pull the excess off of the muscles to go back again. So it becomes a matter of how do we give a body more of what it needs to just function a little bit better, no different than proper nutrition, hydration, and things like that. Bicarb is a natural electrolyte, it’s just we’ve never found a way to practically give it to people before this.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. And so all of this, to kind of reiterate some points, is, the buffering capacity’s a natural thing that’s occurring within our bodies anyway, and we’ve tried to do it, oral ingestion before, sometimes with good success, other times not with great success. However, a lot of people listening here, go ahead and check some of your sport drinks too, because most of them will have various versions of sodium, sodium bicarb still in it, just in smaller dosages. So this is a natural process, that’s kind of my point, and what Amp Human, what Jeff’s talking about here is they found a way to do it by bypassing the gut, and to do it an effective way. So Jeff, my question to you is, has anyone tried this before? Are you guys the first?

Jeff Byers:

That’s a really good question. As far as we know, we are the only people who’ve been able to transport sodium bicarbonate across the skin. And, right, there are various patents and patents pending around the technology. We were really fortunate that the technology spun out of a biotech, and that allowed a real technology to get in place here, because it did take real science and a real science team to develop this tech, and now the fact that we can get sodium bicarbonate across the skin, it has athletic implications. It’s kind of just a, like I said, was this fun passion project within the biotech that was like “Holy cow, we can do this really cool thing in sports.” And it has massive implications for athletes, kind of across all athletic spectrums, that has allowed us to really make some really incredible inroads in sport and be in some places that most people aren’t.

Jeff Byers:

So yeah, you’re exactly right, it’s a natural process. The problem is, lots of sports drinks and things have sodium bicarbonate in them, but the effective doses to take orally are grams, and that’s when GI issues arise. So when you read the literature about oral sodium bicarbonate ingestion, it’s typically .3 grams of sodium bicarbonate per kilo that you need to take for an effective dose, and when you’re talking about, that’s not couple grams, that’s 20 grams type of thing, and that’s a lot of sodium bicarbonate, just as an FYI. I would challenge anybody to drink that and see how things go.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, well I will un-challenge people, because I’ll just save them the troubles there. But if you kind of back up and zoom out a little bit, it’s like, transdermal absorption of things. That’s pretty cool, that’s high tech, that’s Marvel Comics type stuff. So for the nerdy science people, I mean, I think we’re perking the ears up. So let’s talk more about some of the scientists, the people actually developing and studying this stuff. You’ve got clinical research [inaudible 00:20:29], and can you tell us a little bit more about how Amp is performing in clinical studies?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, that’s a great question. So a good place to start, and just being really up-front, we have good clinical data, we don’t have great clinical data. That is always a place to start. We have not been around that long to have a whole portfoliO of clinical trials behind what we’re doing, and we’re doing something very, very new, and on the forefront, tip of the spear of human performance sports science. So we’re still in massive data collection mode and in clinical mode on finding more data on this product and understanding how to best utilize it, et cetera. So I always start with that.

Jeff Byers:

And so when we formed Amp Human, we really have three pillars that are really important to us. The first pillar is to be thought leaders in the space, right? Our goal at Amp Human is to be at the forefront of human performance, and be thought leaders in the space. We have a world class scientific advisory board that rivals some of the best companies in the world. We have folks from Red Bull and Nike, the guy who ran the Breaking2 project at Nike is actually our VP of innovation and research, his name is Brad Wilkins. The top clinical researcher in sodium bicarbonate’s on our scientific advisory board, Jason Siegler out of Australia. We have a great nutritionist out of the UK who’s one of the top guys for the British Institute of Sport. So we’ve really said “Let’s assemble this team to help us think about answering hard questions.”

Jeff Byers:

Then the second pillar of our, being a leader in forefront of human performance is validation in elite sport, and that’s who we work with. And some of you may know, some of you may not know, we have great papers that were written by the LA Rams and the St. Louis Blues about how they used our product and how they use our product today, and one helped them support a Stanley Cup championship and a Super Bowl run, et cetera.

Jeff Byers:

Then it’s really this innovation side, and that’s where it comes down to the technology that we have. So to your question of what have we done from a research standpoint and how are we thinking about it? So Brad Wilkins, who’s our VP of innovation and research, is really leading this clinical strategy. We had a early study done that was done at San Diego State, we’re really proud that it was presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference, as well as we had a couple abstracts published alongside it, and basically it was an exploratory study that had some really interesting outcomes, but also raised a lot more questions. And I’m the first one to admit, as a non-scientist, that I was like “What do you mean more questions?” And what I found is that good clinical and applied sports science studies typically raise a lot of questions, and that means you’re doing something unique, et cetera. If you have all the answers, you’re probably not pushing the limits.

Jeff Byers:

So we saw three really pretty interesting outcomes out of that study. The first outcome was we saw an increase in blood lactate levels, which is a great blood marker for saying, right, when you see increased lactate levels, you see, that means you are buffering more hydrogen ions, because lactate and hydrogen ions, or acid, travels together out of the muscle into the blood. And actually, take a step back, that trial was double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover, it was a gold standard study.

Adam Pulford:

It was a well done study.

Jeff Byers:

Oh, yeah.

Adam Pulford:

I read it just before this, yeah.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah. It still has a lot of flaws, like I’ll be the first to point out and wish we’d made a lot of changes to the design, but that’s right, hindsight is 20/20 type of thing. And so we saw that outcome, the second outcome was we saw a lower level of perceived exertion and a lower heart rate at the same effort level, which is very consistent to increasing your ability to buffer. It’s a less taxing effort on the muscle, and that’s really, really important and very consistent with what happens with oral sodium bicarbonate as well.

Jeff Byers:

And the third one, which was one of the most interesting outcomes that we necessarily weren’t expecting to see was we saw a massive shift in delayed onset muscle soreness. And when I say massive, like, we saw a 50 plus percent reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness verse placebo, which was really, really not expected. Right, so this was, put on PR Lotion before this workout session, and 24 hours and 48 hours after, there was a significant reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness. Anyway, so those are the three big findings of that study, and we were really proud of that study as well, and it’s kind of the foundation that we’ve been able to build Amp Human on, and to invest in more research and more clinical and ultimately spin the company out.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. And I think, I mean, from the coaching standpoint, even from scientific standpoint, I used to work in a human performance lab and have done some undergrad research myself, but the whole thing, you’re trying to prove a thing. Whatever theory you come up with, you’re trying to prove it in the laboratory setting. And I think that with what research I’ve seen from you guys already, it’s like, the questions are just popping up and it’s a lot of curiosity, right? And you admitted, you can poke holes in kind of what you were shooting for in terms of what you’re comparing and all this kind of stuff, but for me, when I read it, I’m like “Interesting.” Like we’re not answering the questions just yet, but that’s interesting enough, and then you take it to the standpoint of sodium bicarbs been enough, and then you take it to the standpoint of sodium bicarb’s been around for a long time. It’s safe, it’s approved, and for me, that checks all the boxes in terms of something’s going on here, it’s safe and approved, let’s try it. Let’s try it to the n of one, let’s try it to the athlete, let’s try it to yourself, and let’s just see what happens.

Adam Pulford:

And I think for the listeners, when you come across something like that, be it a sport drink or a lotion or some type of field testing parameter or workout, go ahead and try it. See what happens, right?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, that’s exactly right. And so, that’s how we’ve penetrated elite sport, is exactly how you looked at it. It was like, “Oh, this is really interesting, compelling data.” It makes sense, I get the science of sodium bicarbonate, we would love to be able to incorporate it, and then, right, they use it and they have n of one, n of five, n of 10, and next thing you know, they have a lot of people using it. I mean, that’s how we’ve broken into, call it half the NFL and half the NHL are paying customers, multiple world records have been broken now with PR Lotion and kind of the endurance world. You might not know this, Adam, but we’ve won $1.6 million in innovation contracts from the Department of Defense to [crosstalk 00:28:23]-

Adam Pulford:

That’s awesome.

Jeff Byers:

For what we’re doing with PR Lotion, because we have a pretty big customer base within the special forces that have adopted it from, this is a meaningful output, to, they’re the elite tactical athletes, and so we’ve had really tremendous support within the US government as well, to really push the limits of what we know further. So you’re exactly right, your approach is what’s gotten us the unprecedented traction within sport.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, that’s fascinating. Even as you say that and you’re talking about other sports, I have a bunch of other questions that we could ask. But we’ve hit on the primary topic of increased sport performance, short term, medium term, long term. That’s what we were finding in the clinical studies, that’s what I’ve been finding with my own athletes and in my own use of it.

Adam Pulford:

But you also mentioned decreased muscle soreness, and you can use this stuff for recovery. Can you speak to more about that recovery state? What would you recommend when somebody does a hard workout? Should they put it on immediately after their shower, how do you use it from a recovery standpoint?

Jeff Byers:

That’s a really good question. So the actual data that we have on the delayed onset muscle soreness was used pre-workout, and part of the mechanism of action is undetermined on this, but the free radical damage right there is actual damage that you’re doing to the muscle, that’s the muscle tearing. And that is exactly what you want to do, right? You want to have the micro-tears in your muscle that create some of the soreness that you feel. It’s the oxidative damage that happens after and around that that our scientific advisory board and the other smart people we work on say “This is the link that oxidative damage is super acidic, maybe you’re helping flush some of that oxidative damage out by making a more alkaline environment.”

Jeff Byers:

And that’s really the genesis of it. Now, the biggest thing we heard anecdotally from athletes, and that’s from the very, very top end, all the way down to the weekend warrior, the aspirational athlete, is when they do things that they know really well, or they’re doing back to back to back days, the comment that they always come back and say is “I feel better than I should,” and that’s from guys who have worn the yellow jersey in the Tour of France, to people that I can keep up with on my book.

Jeff Byers:

So when you talk about using it after, we do have a handful, not a handful, we have a lot of really high-end athletes that use PR Lotion post-workout. It ultimately comes down to where’s the biggest bang for the buck on PR Lotion? And it’s definitely to use before. But if you’re doing a multi-day stage race or a multi-day biking event or running event, something, PR Lotion has a pretty big impact for using after on just continuing to help you recover, and it’s around this alkalizing the body and helping remove some of the acidic environment that’s created by the oxidative stress, that is what we believe is the mechanism of action.

Jeff Byers:

Now, like I said, we need to understand more and do more work on that, and it is part of what is in our clinical pipeline of things that we want to look at and understand a bit further. And so the best way to use it after, to your question that I just rambled on around, is-

Adam Pulford:

It was a good ramble.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, it’s a good ramble. With old formula, it’s really hard to use after. With new formula, I think we say take a shower, put it on after, good to go. Or, if you have any soft tissue work that’s done, use it in the soft tissue work. It’s a double whammy, you can use it as a massage medium and work that way.

Adam Pulford:

Got you, so soft tissue work, do you mean like, even like a self massage or using a scraper tool, or if you have, I don’t know, an in house massage therapist, throw some Amp lotion on there or what?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, no, exactly. If you’ve got somebody that’s willing to rub you down, even better. If you’re just doing a self-massage, et cetera, you might as well self-massage with that. Or just, like for me, I don’t have anybody that’s going to rub me down, my wife definitely isn’t, and I don’t have many friends that are willing to do that either, and I don’t have a personal masseuse so-

Adam Pulford:

You’ve got [crosstalk 00:33:41] to do it, Brad Huff would probably do it for you. I’m just-

Jeff Byers:

If anybody knows Brad Huff, I’m sure you would agree with that, but I make sure Brad Huff stays far away from me in those types of situations. Good old Brad.

Adam Pulford:

Good old Brad.

Jeff Byers:

But just put it on, like get out of the shower, towel off, put on a light layer, pull on your sweats, your shorts, whatever it may be, and you’re good to go.

Adam Pulford:

Got it, cool. Yeah, I’ll have to try that, I actually have not done that. So you’re speaking to the teams and athletes that are using the product, and I’ve known a little bit, went on the website, and seen some really big names, like pro basketball player Jrue Holiday, you got pro hockey players on there, you got Iran Man champions, Pro Tour teams. That’s a pretty robust group of athletes, but it’s also a very wide spectrum. Team sport, endurance athlete. So you’re saying the stuff works across the board?

Jeff Byers:

Yes, right, the basic physiology of an athlete are very, very similar. And now, right, PR Lotion, bicarb doesn’t have a role on the very short, high intensity strength training type things. Like Crossfit, 100%. And we’re like, football is using it is not necessarily to extend thresholds, it’s the recovery piece that they’ve seen a pretty big impact, and the consistency of play over time. And so this is where it’s, okay, bicarb, and how are we affecting free radical, et cetera. Like we’ve seen great, great evidence within the football space.

Jeff Byers:

But right, when you think about hockey or basketball, right, it’s a bunch of on, off, crazy threshold to non-threshold to threshold to non-threshold type of environment, which-

Adam Pulford:

Repeatability. That’s [crosstalk 00:35:50]-

Jeff Byers:

Exactly. And that’s what bicarb roll on the body does, and so bicarb is pulling off that acid when you need it and being less taxing on the muscle, et cetera. So we haven’t broken into that high end of sport through athletes, we’ve done it through teams, to be quite honest, and through sports science and the HP side, high performance side, of whether it be government or pro sports and gotten in that way, and honestly, a lot of athletes have come to us and said “I want to be a part of this.” And we’ve very honored to have some athletes that are investors in our business, because they believe enough in our company, and then we just have a ton of athletes that we don’t get to talk about that use the product, and part of it is because we work with Nike High Performance and Red Bull High Performance, and the guys that run those places are on our scientific advisory board, we have access and the reach of a product within broad-based sport whether it be tennis, football, hockey, we’ve had some pretty incredible people do some incredible things on our product, and that’s part of the story that we’ve done a decent job telling.

Jeff Byers:

But we haven’t done a great job explaining who our scientific advisory board is, and that half the … Like, we don’t give product to the NFL, they buy our product and they buy it repeatedly. Same with hockey, for me, that, you can give anybody free product to use, as you well know, Adam. It’s, if people will actually willing to buy it, that’s meaningful in my business.

Adam Pulford:

Well, one thing I wanted to say is, I know some of the athletes that you’re talking about, and when you’ve traveled around with them too it’s like “Hey, did you bring some lotion, because I forgot mine,” and they’re actually using it. And also, lotion isn’t one of those cool shwag products, it’s not like a T-shirt, hat, or free bike or something that they can use or use on the podium, it’s a non-sexy thing, right? But it’s also, you have to remember to bring it, you have to put it on, you have to put it on 30 minutes ahead of time, and you have to use it, but it works. And that speaks to kind of the efficacy of this product is, like, when you’re traveling with these athletes and they’re asking for it, there’s a little bit of work that goes on and it’s not like a cool, sexy product. To me, that turns my head from a product standpoint.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, it’s one of the greatest things about PR Lotion, but one of our Achilles heels. We’re not sexy power leader or cool sports drink, it’s kind of gross. People typically put on lotion in the privacy, like they’re not stripping down and rubbing stuff on their glutes in front of cameras and things like that, like I’ve always thought it would be hilarious to do the behind the scenes of people putting on PR Lotion before Ironman as they’re, like, hiding behind parked cars or in port-a-potties, in the gym, standing on top of the toilet. People, the stories I hear.

Jeff Byers:

The other thing is is we were kind of [crosstalk 00:39:31]-

Adam Pulford:

Jeff, before you go any further, did you see the Amp Human Instagram story this weekend?

Jeff Byers:

From who?

Adam Pulford:

Oh boy. You ask Mr. Huff to show you that, and for those listeners-

Jeff Byers:

Oh God.

Adam Pulford:

We’ll make it happen. But there will be, go follow Amp Human and check out one of their stories. We’ll make sure that it’s in one of their extended stories, but yeah. That’ll be a nice little treat for you later on in the week. Anyway, keep going.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah. But I mean, we were this best-kept secret, and we were an advantage for a long time that people didn’t want to talk about. Even amongst their teams, it’s like, some of the … “Can you send this to my wife who’s going to see me on stage 14 of the tour?” It’s like “Why don’t I just send it to the team?” “Ah, I don’t want the team to know about it.” And you’re like, “What?” Crazy things like that, or “Hey, we want to work with you, I want to advertise this product,” and we’ve gotten by that now, thank God.

Jeff Byers:

But it’s also, we’re so different. And the routine, and it’s getting that routine and understanding why it’s important and for what types of things and why it’s not useful for other types of things. But you’re exactly right, we get panicked phone calls, like “Can we overnight to this hotel?” And we’re like “Dude, seriously? Do you have any idea how much it costs to overnight it to Spain or France?” Or wherever. Like, yeah, we can, but to send you a bottle of PR Lotion overnight across a world is like $300. Like, come on, just a little planning. But it’s become this kind of cultish thing within elite sports that we’re really lucky to have.

Adam Pulford:

Well, I’ll also have you know I’ve ran some covert lotion operations across the ocean for athletes as well, right before hopping on a plane. So it’s definitely what happens. Well, let’s talk about the future of Amp, because I know you got a lot in the pipeline. Can you talk about any of the super secret stuff that you’re doing, or give us some general premise of what you’re doing?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, so I think take a step back. Amp Human, we do have this revolutionary technology, but we are going to grow beyond this technology. What’s really interesting is through the DOD, the Department of Defense, we’ve actually seen a lot of pretty cool technologies that we’ve been asked to help support or acquire. We’re actually going to start looking at a little more deeply as we’ve gotten more established, so really, Amp Human as a human performance brand and not a lotion company. We are really starting to make that distinction, and everybody who knows us, we’ve taken this crazy, upside down world as an opportunity for us to let’s build Amp Human and distinguish Amp Human and PR Lotion, because they’re two different things. PR Lotion’s our product that leverages one of our technologies, but we’re also going to be able to bring other products to market that help you as an athlete train harder and recover faster that might not be revolutionary, but we can leverage our knowledge and our scientific advisory board to give the best education around it or create more content.

Jeff Byers:

So I think that’s one thing. From a research down the pipe standpoint, man, I might bite my tongue here, but we, we didn’t do anything. Red Bull did a pretty cool pilot study on us in cycling, and we will be sharing that data in the next, God, I hope two weeks. It has some really cool implications around the ability to hold breakaway speeds and to do more type of breakaway type things. They tested some really interesting things, and this was all done by Red Bull, or help, supported by Red Bull through a university, and excited to share that about PR Lotion. It’s just another really interesting feather in the cap of here’s some more data.

Jeff Byers:

And things that we’re hearing anecdotally from people and how the product should be working. And then we’re looking, we do have a few other products in the pipeline around this delivery technology. I would hope they’re on market sooner than later, but for us, having some clinical data behind it’s really important, and we’re about ready to kick off a lot of clinical data April 1st. Like a lot, like $1 million worth of clinical data and research.

Jeff Byers:

And right now, because of the environment we’re in, all clinical research has been put to a complete hold unless it’s related to COVID, and rightfully so. So we’re kind of in a holding pattern on that. Kind of in the sports realm we have a topical nitrate that we have pretty, really cool data around. Most of you probably know what nitrates are and what it does and have probably consumed them orally, et cetera. We’re excited about that, and then we have a topical zing, magnesium, B6, which is much more of a recovery product that we’re also excited about in the sports space.

Jeff Byers:

So those are the two things that we’re working on on this technology right now. We have a few more that are too early to talk about, I think, honestly, and don’t have enough data to think that they work or don’t work, but we’re pretty confident in both nitrate and our ZMA, and they fit a portfolio nicely around topical, whereas a nitrate is most likely a race day type product and a ZMA is a post, recovery product that has implications there as well.

Jeff Byers:

So those are the two, and then we are really going to expand our body portfolio and leverage our scientific advisory board and thought partnership to the top to think about what other things can we do and even performance to move the needle? They might not be revolutionary like putting bicarbonate in a lotion and getting it into the body, but we are looking at various other things to bring to market in other technologies, and in the next, definite six to nine months we’ll have a couple other things on market that we’re working on right now, we’re trying to finalize some deal terms and things like that that we’re pretty excited about.

Adam Pulford:

That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s really cool, and that’s exciting to hear as well, because I think nothing but great stuff coming from you guys. And I would say, in summary, follow Amp Human. Go online, follow it on Instagram. But [inaudible 00:46:53] keep an eye on these guys, because they’re pushing the limits of, I think, what can be harnessed from endurance and athletic performance.

Adam Pulford:

But what we talked about today was how we can manage muscle acidosis via sodium bicarbonate transdermal PR Lotion from Amp Human. And I suggest everybody just go out and try it, and that’s kind of the summary points. But before I let you go, Jeff, I have three questions for you. Because our listeners are addicted to improving themselves and upping their game. So if you’re cool with me asking you three kind of in your face questions about Amp Human and PR Lotion, let’s do this.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, let’s go. Fire away.

Adam Pulford:

Okay, all right. So, if I’m on a limited budget, which days of my training should I use Amp lotion?

Jeff Byers:

That’s a really good question. You should use it on your most intense training days, on the days where you are going hardest, 100%. So if you have interval days, you should use it on interval days. If you have big hill days, you should use it on big hill days. But if you’re just doing base miles, or recovery, et cetera, would not use it, if you’re on a tight budget, would not use it on that. And so it is your hardest days, if you’re on a budget, you should use PR Lotion, point blank, period.

Adam Pulford:

Okay. So hard training days and race days, got it. All right. So if I order this stuff by the drum, when should I not use it? So in other words, can you overdo it in any realm?

Jeff Byers:

That’s a really good question, and the actual research suggests that using sodium bicarbonate chronically has pretty big implications for your capacity to do work. So it essentially allows you to make gains faster, and that’s by simply giving the body more of what you need. And I like to compare it to, think about if you went on a training, any training day, and you were dehydrated. You’d have a shit training day. Sorry, excuse me. You’d have a bad training day, and that wouldn’t limit your ability to make a training gain that day. And so what we’ve done is we’ve removed one of the ceilings that has been holding us back and just allowing you to do more work. So we have pro athletes that use this four or five, six times a week, and use multiple, sometimes applications a day.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. And actually, you bring up a really good point there, and I’ll just, this is a segue to question three, but from the coaching standpoint, I will say, if you get all the other stuff wrong, all the lotion in the world’s not going to help you, meaning stay hydrated, be well-fed or topped off before you head out for your training program, and make sure you’re sleeping. Because if you get those three things wrong, it’s not going to help you.

Jeff Byers:

As you guys all know, there’s a huge quiver of arrows, and this is just one. There are no magic bullets, and PR Lotion is not a magic bullet. If you didn’t sleep, it ain’t going to save you. If you have no nutrition in your body, that’s not … It’s just, it takes the ceiling off of one of our limiters. But if nothing else is right, that just becomes the limiter, right? If you’re sleep-deprived, that’s you’re limiter. If you’re not properly hydrated, that’s the limiter. It doesn’t matter, your body only goes to where the lowest limiter is. Anyways, so …

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, good point there. Okay, so question three. Do I need to worry, this is a good question. Do I need to worry about other stuff coming through my skin when I put it on? For example, if I put some PR Lotion on and I go for a run or a ride, can I get stuff coming through my skin on the train or road grime into my skin?

Jeff Byers:

That’s a great question and we honestly get a lot, that’s part of the technology that we have that doesn’t pull other things in, and so the technology is essentially an encapsulation technology, so we put a bicarb in a lipid-based carrier, and that is what’s getting into your skin. It’s not pulling in the bacteria or whatever is on your skin, it’s pulling in sodium bicarbonate, and that is the only thing that we’ve seen, and we’ve had tons of uses to date and studies and things like that, we’re not pulling the other substances in there, which is a really important thing. So what is in the lotion is what we’re transporting. And as many of you know, there’s still some residue left on because we only transfer so much in.

Jeff Byers:

The other really important thing here is PR Lotion gets fully absorbed in about 30 minutes, and so if you’re, you put it on 30 minutes as you’re gearing up, you hit the road, you can wipe it off and be good to go, the residue. Like it’s not a, “Oh, it needs to be on while I train,” it just needs to be on before I train.

Adam Pulford:

Perfect, that’s super simple. And it hit home to me, I asked Huff this, I think, a while ago. And he’s like “Nope, AP, the pattern’s full,” and for me I was like “Yeah, got it.” Meaning nothing else can go in, because everything else is maximized. But that’s really good to know about you can wipe it off as well after 30 minutes, I didn’t know that.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah. At the end of the day, if you’re an endurance athlete, whether you’re a triathlete, a runner, or a cyclist, you should be putting PR Lotion on your low back, your glutes, your quads, and your hamstrings. Most of your surface area being covered should be those big, major muscles, and you should be having clothes over top of that. And [inaudible 00:53:09], you can obviously get your shoulder complex for swim and things like that, but it’s really important, and what we’ve learned from a lot of people is they don’t think about their glutes or your hamstrings, and you, Adam, as a coach, will tell you so much power comes from those parts of your body running or riding a bike, when you don’t just think about it, people are like “Ah, I put it on my quads.” Like, you’ve got to do your entire complex, ’cause you’re producing acid in that entire complex. And it is a surface area game too, so really think about where you’re putting it.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, exactly. And clearly, folks, maybe I’m a little biased here, but I was very anti for a while, I was skeptical about this stuff for several years until there was a very usable formula, so don’t get me wrong here. But Jeff, to your point, I tell my athletes, if they’re going to try it, include the glutes and include the lower back, and their mind is blown by it. And it’s like, well think about it. And then people “Oh yeah, I guess that makes sense.” And the last thing I’ll say, we’ll get you the Instagram, I did a quick Instagram take over for Amp Human and I made sure that everybody knew to put it on their glutes, let’s just put it that way, Jeff, and we’ll make sure that you see it.

Jeff Byers:

Awesome. Yeah, that’s amazing. And so my takeaway would be, from these three questions, is, right, if you’re on a tight budget, use it when you’re doing your most intense workouts. But if you’re not on a tight budget, use it aggressively, because it has significant advantages to increase your training load over long periods of time so that you maximize your training during that time, no different than all the other key links in your system. And then PR Lotion’s safe, it’s effective, we’ve had a lot of uses, we’re not dragging other things in through the skin based upon the knowledge that we have and the data, so …

Adam Pulford:

Yep, I love it. That’s a great summary, and Jeff, we’re rounding to the top of the hour. So if you have anything more, actually, if people do want to follow Amp Human or learn more, where should we steer them on the socials or anything like that?

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, our socials are @AmpHuman, and that’s A-M-P human, if you’re curious, like amplify, the first letters of that. Our website is super simple, amphuman.com. Sign up for our newsletter, we do have a lot of great in that and what I’ll tell everybody is reach out to us on social or [inaudible 00:55:57], we’re happy to field questions and whatever. Ask us anything, any question you have, don’t hesitate. We are a small, passionate team, we really believe in the community that we’ve created, and I being, I hope you all could tell, pretty genuine and honest about where we are as a company and what we’re trying to do, so please don’t hesitate to reach out and make a connection with our people.

Adam Pulford:

No, that’s wonderful, and they have good people on board there. So Jeff, thank you so much for taking time out of your day during crazy times and you’re a busy guy, and for jumping on the Train Right podcast, it was a pleasure, and thank you so much.

Jeff Byers:

Yeah, thank you.

 


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