U of R partners with TDF Sports Nutrition
University of Regina to support athletes with new collaboration
Although sport nutrition is essential for all athletes in order to ensure both their best athletic performance and chance for success, with hectic schedules involving hours of rigorous training, practice, and competition it can be difficult to not only consume the most beneficial food, but also the adequate amount. As a result, many athletes turn to various sport nutrition supplements for extra help.
There is a lack of government regulation over sport nutrition supplements, so consuming them can sometimes cause more problems for the athlete especially when they contain substances which are allergenic, banned or hazardous to individuals’ overall health and sport activity. In certain circumstances substances are intentionally added, but in other cases, products can be contaminated as a result of faulty manufacturing, or an unclear material supply. Most often, the athlete is unaware that they have consumed any harmful or banned substances until they complete a drug test following their competition and find themselves suspended from their sporting event.
Despite the harmful and dangerous sport nutrition supplements which do exist, there are some companies which have put forth NSF certified sport nutrition products, meaning they meet national health and safety standards. One example is TDF Sports Nutrition, formerly referred to as The Doctors Formula, a Canadian company, with a new and innovative take on sports nutrition, which the University of Regina recently entered into a partnership with at the beginning of May.
TDF Sports Nutrition was co-founded by Dr. Darren Burke, and TJ Galiardi, two long-time friends, both with a vast amount of experience and knowledge in sport, nutrition, and health. In 2008, Dr. Burke, a former athlete, scientist, and entrepreneur, became the first individual to develop and create a sports nutrition supplement brand, Rivalus, for athletes competing in any drug tested sports.
After selling his company five years later, in 2013, Burke turned his attention towards developing sports nutrition supplements that were not just plant-based, but also environmentally sustainable. This shift in focus encouraged Burke to join with TJ Galiardi, a former NHL hockey player, who has played on four different teams throughout his professional career, including the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets. Galiardi was one of the first hockey players to adopt a vegan lifestyle and is passionate about environmental and cruelty-free initiatives.
Since its formation on Aug. 1, 2018, Burke and Galiardi’s company has gained great prestige within the sport nutrition supplement market. Not only are their products entirely ‘clean’, according to NSF certifications, but they’re also both 100% vegan and completely environmentally sustainable. All TDF sports nutrition supplements are made from only fresh fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peaches, melons, acai fruit, pineapple, and kiwi, from farms run by “socially conscious grocers.” Additionally, TDFs’ 100 per cent vegan base allows for a high level of environmental sustainability. According to Galiardi, all TDF products “are developed through sustainable nutrition technology that reduces waste, greenhouse gases, and water loss,” according to their website.
While Burke and Galiardi are co-founders of TDF, their products couldn’t have been developed without help from multiple scientific, medical, nutritional and exercise advisors, including Dr. Darren Candow, kinesiology professor and associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Regina. Candow said that he attended graduate school with Dr. Burke and because of their former connection and “similar interest in sport nutrition and ergogenic acids,” Dr. Candow was “asked to join TDF Sports as their Chief Scientific Officer” where he had a major role in overseeing “product development and effectiveness.”
TDF currently produces four products, three of which, according to Dr. Candow, have been “formulated based on evidence-based research” and “contain no containments or compounds.” While each product has its own intended focus and proper usage, in general, they aim to supplement an athlete’s diet to not only build and maintain muscle strength, but also provide energy, endurance and hydration before, during and after working out to help athletes reach their full athletic potential.
Plant Strong Protein, made “from pumpkin, brown rice and peas,” works as a dietary addition and “convenient strategy” which allows an athletic individual to not only “increase muscle recovery following exercise,” but also helps “exercising individuals consume [their] daily protein requirements, [of roughly] 1.6-2.2 grams/kg of [their] body weight [in] protein per day.”
The second product, Just Creatine combines “three aminio acids: arginine, glycine and methionine [ all of which] come from plant sources” and help increase “muscle mass, strength, endurance, power, muscle recovery and delay fatigue.” Lastly, also made from “three amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) [all derived] from corn, Branched- chain amino acids, or BCAA[s], [help] decrease muscle soreness post-exercise.”
As a result of the sport, nutrition and health benefits that can be gained from TDF’s products, it is unsurprising that this company has gained significant support from the athletic community. Athletes such as Alysia Rissling, Canadian Olympic bobsledder, Jordan Reaves, defensive lineman for the Saskatchewan RoughRiders and Jill Saulnier, hockey forward for Team Canada. As well as through partnerships with various institutions, including “a multi-year agreement” with the University of Regina.
This partnership began, as Lisa Robertson, the director of sport, community engagement and athlete development at the University explained to me, when “TDF approached the University with an opportunity to partner with a plant-based, NSF certified supplement company.” From there an extensive review of the product took place by both the AHPI director and Kinesiology faculty members and it was agreed upon that partnering with TDF Sports, “ would be a benefit to [all University of Regina] student-athletes.”
Despite the health and sports benefits of TDF Sports Nutrition products, Robertson wants to stress that this partnership is not a mandate for student usage, since it is up to the student-athlete to decide for themselves whether they wish to use the supplements. Instead the aim of this partnership is to “ensure clean, healthy sport for all [by] simply providing affordable access to a safe, clean, NSF-certified product that [student-athletes] may choose to use.”