What if combine prep could be distilled into a pill or a potion?

More specifically, what if you could take a tenth off your 40 time, just by drinking a couple ounces of a liquid or a handful of capsules?

I asked this question to Amanda Carlson-Phillips, the vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS, which today announced that it is launching EXOS Performance Nutrition, a new line of high-quality nutritional supplements. EXOS has long been a leader in the combine prep field and the company’s founder, Mark Verstegen, is one of the 2-3 men who can claim to be the ‘inventors’ of combine prep.

Perhaps to humor me, she didn’t laugh out loud when I posed the question to her. Indeed, she seemed to give it real consideration. She stopped short of saying significant athletic improvement could ever be as simple as ingesting a substance, but she did say that . . . well . . . she gave me a qualified ‘maybe.’

“How we see nutrition, when you’re training, or you’re working out and doing your position and skill work, you’re breaking down your body intentionally so it can come back stronger,” she said. “The body doesn’t magically fix itself, so if you can provide your body with something to heal that breakdown, that will help athletes recover faster.”

So maybe there’s something on the horizon that, though it would still require training and the right nutrition, could super-charge combine prep. Maybe there’s a pill that you could combine with max effort that could give you a supreme boost. Of course, there are caveats.

“If you don’t recover and don’t have the right nutrition, you’re leaving something on the table and not maximizing what you do,” Carlson-Phillips said. “They’re wearing the right cleats, the right gear that’s going to make them the best, but they’re fueling themselves from the outside but not from the inside out.”

So it’s not going to be as easy as swallowing something, snapping your fingers, and voila! You’re explosive. But still, it bodes for more interesting twists and turns in a business that is always changing. Something to look forward to, I guess.

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