Eagle entrepreneur’s ReddRox sports drink has fans even before it hits store shelves

Developer says the additive-free beverage hydrates athletes better than other products

Elite athletes are always looking for an edge, and they’re not always picky about where they find it.

In 2000, the Philadelphia Eagles credited a blistering opening day victory in Dallas to pickle juice. At the time, they believed the salty green liquid hydrated them better than plain water or commercial sports drinks like Gatorade.

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Now, a self-described mommy from Eagle says she has the real pickle juice, and she has convinced a growing number of doctors, professional athletes and Hollywood insiders, even though the product has yet to reach retail shelves. Lisa Marie, 45, formerly known as Lisa Marie Goold, has mounted a stealth campaign to get professional athletes to drink ReddRox.

Lisa Marie talks about her sports hydration drink, Reddrox, and the South African plant it is made from as if her life depended on the drink’s success. Additives in beverages and other foods can hurt people, she says.

“My mother struggles for her life every single day because of chemical sensitivity,” Lisa Marie said. “She’s in pain, has seizures and is depressed. She wanted to kill herself. It’s all because of the chemicals we consume.”

Rail-thin, with wavy black hair and intense wide, brown eyes, Lisa Marie turned to finding a cure.

What she found was the rooibos plant.

Rooibos, an Afrikaans word meaning red bush, is a twiggy South African shrub used to make a red tea. It is high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and has no caffeine, according to Herbalgram, the magazine of the American Botanical Council.

In 2000, while the Eagles were quaffing pickle juice hoping to prevent cramps, Lisa Marie sold rooibos tea under the name Sunnrooibos. But three years ago she developed a water-soluble, crystalline form of the product, which she packages in individual servings, and called it ReddRox because the granules are red.

ReddRox fights dehydration, which can hurt athletic performance and cause buildup of toxins in the body, she said. She says the drink is an organic alternative to Gatorade and other sports drinks, which use artificial colorants and high fructose corn syrup, among other additives.

Dr. Marc Micozzi says Lisa Marie is on to something. A practicing physician in Silver Springs, Md., Micozzi is an anthropologist who has studied the use of medicinal plants for decades. He has written several books, including “Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Care and Prevention,” and directs the Policy Institute for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

“Indigenous people have used the rooibos to survive in the Kalahari desert for centuries,” he said. “Obviously it takes more than hydration to win football games, but I’ve seen enough to convince me the effects of the stuff (rooibos) on sports performance are real.”

Micozzi has monitored rooibos and Reddrox use by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Boston Red Sox, the San Diego Chargers and the Boise State Broncos, who drank it during their undefeated 2006 football season.

He said the nutrients in rooibos closely match the requirements of the human body, a balance necessary to maintain healthy levels of fluid, salts and electrolytes.

Many of the the Boston Red Sox were drinking ReddRox, supplied by Lisa Marie, during their run-up to the 2007 World Series.

Head trainer Paul Lessard said he remembers when the drink became popular.

“It was during spring training,” he said. “One of the guys had a real bad hangover, and he drank a ReddRox and felt better almost immediately. Everyone figured it must be an effective hydrater after that, and the word of mouth really took off.”

Lessard said players cramped less and didn’t fatigue as quickly after drinking ReddRox.

The drink may be locked out of the big leagues. According to Food and Drink Weekly, Gatorade and its parent company, Pepsico, have a $500 million contract granting Gatorade exclusive rights to NFL sidelines through 2011.

Lisa Marie has carried out her campaign for locker room acceptance below the NFL’s radar, supplying ReddRox to teams for consumption out of the view of TV cameras and in containers not labeled ReddRox.

She also developed a relationship with another upstart with potential ties to the league.

The United National Gridiron League is preparing to open its first football season with teams in eight cities this March. The league hopes to become a developmental system for the National Football League.

In a letter to Lisa Marie, UNGL founder and Chief Executive Officer Marvin Tomlin said, “ReddRox will be the exclusive sports water for the UNGL.”

And in Hollywood, marketing agent Marsha R. Levine said she was so impressed with Lisa Marie’s vision to detoxify the world that she accepted her as a client at no charge. Levine’s agency, A List Entertainment, gets corporate clients like Dr Pepper and Duracell exposure on shows like “Desperate Housewives” and movies like “Hitch.”

Now Lisa Marie is trying to get her drink into retail outlets and restaurants.

The instant granules have been available on Bodybuilding.com for more than a year, and a spokesperson at Sysco Food Services of Idaho said Lisa Marie is working with Sysco Idaho to stock ReddRox for distribution to area restaurants.

This week it will be on the shelves of Jimbo’s, a natural foods store with four locations in San Diego, said Gary Zingale, director of sales at Concept Sales in California.

Brad Talbutt: 672-6737

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2 comments so far

  1. william sean moore on

    very highly inspirational. this woman Lisa Marie met me at a ministry in Fl. she took the coffee and french vanilla cream out of my hands….. thank you lord 😉

  2. alyssa on

    What courage this mommy has, she is a role model for millions.

    Beem following Lisa’s mission for a long time, good for her.


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