written by Former Minor Leaguer and Co-Founder Toby Sanchez of CUP-O Beverages™ – Scottsdale, AZ
The 2018 Major League / Minor League Baseball and  Collegiate Baseball  Season has begun.  As a former Collegiate All-American and Professional Baseball Player, I thought it necessary to talk about the way players are doing what they can to stay alert.  I also want to make the proper introduction to CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ as being the new choice available to the athletic community I spent so much of my life being a part of.   I want to make it understood, and if you don’t already know, athletes often do whatever they can to keep the competitive edge, whether its College or the Pros.   In many cases, athletes have been drinking liquid concentration or what they think gives them energy.   So players have been chugging a Red Bull, Monster or No-Fear Energy Drinks feeling it’s going to be able to keep them going.   Many athletes and organizations believe it is about time for a change.  It’s been necessary to change what athletes are doing to stimulate their performance. CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ is a Collagen Protein with Drip Brewed Coffee Bean single serving pod designed with the clubhouses and bullpens of Collegiate and Professional Baseball in mind.

With recent studies illustrating the damage that over-usage of energy drinks can do to athletes in the minor leagues, Major League Baseball teams are discouraging the use of energy drinks, with most banning it in the minor leagues.  The restriction of energy drinks in the clubhouse should be mandatory for Collegiate Athletes as well.  Without an alternate resource for sustained energy and sustenance, many players are saying that management is going too far. In 2018 Major League Baseball teams and their Minor League affiliates will have an alternative resource to energy drinks.  An Enhanced Protein Coffee beverage that athletes will gain sustenance for increased stamina but also get the pick-me-up that they are often looking for with regular coffee.

In the 2017 Off-Season, we had some MLB Players start drinking CUP-O Protein™.  Players from organizations such as the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals took the product quickly.  One of the athletes had sent us a comment on Instagram that read, “Tried the Coffee and I don’t know what to say.  It’s just like a normal black coffee.   I LOVE IT! How can I get more?”   As a player for the Washington Nationals, Jake has had his fair share of gritty, smelly, gag-until-you-throw-it-all-back protein shakes. That’s why he loves CUP-O Protein™.

So let’s talk about why CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ can be what baseball needs to combat the use of Energy Drinks.

CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ provides a delicious hot brewed coffee blended with taste-free, odorless, silky collagen protein which promotes lean muscle gain and tone through the production of natural creatine in the body, which is essential for new muscle growth. When you workout for extended periods, the collagen in your body begins to degrade and symptoms, such as pain and injury, begin to occur. Collagen may also assist in protein synthesis (meaning that your body can better absorb the protein you feed it). Drinking an 8oz CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ during periods of training assists in maintaining your collagen and connective tissue, and your body can put our protein straight to work – better acceptance of protein by the body can assist with lean muscle gain and keeps you fuller longer.  To ensure a great cup of coffee, we selected 100% Arabica coffee beans and combined them with taste-free, super-premium, silky-smooth Collagen Protein which provides you the 8g of protein per cup.   Now hold tight because this is going to blow your hair back: CUP-O’s revolutionary delivery method of a hot brewed protein coffee enables the amino acid bonds to break upon contact with heat, making our Next Generation Protein™ 95% bio-available and quickly introduced into the bloodstream upon consumption.

Need more science to support the reasoning?  Manufacturers who use Whey, Soy, and Pea as their protein source don’t want to tell you about how difficult their products are for the body to break down.  The protein used in Ready To Drink Shakes or Protein Powders often lead to a meager absorption rate – providing your body with only 53%, 26%, and 16% (respectively) of the amount of protein advertised within an hour of ingestion. If you are drinking a protein shake advertising 20 grams of whey protein, the reality is you’re only absorbing 10.6 grams of protein within that first HOUR, and you’ve just created a lot of waste for your body to eliminate. What that what!? So, you can see why big contract baseball players have felt its time to ditch the old clubhouse cup of Joe and drink CUP-O Protein™.

CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ is a patented formula invented by a former 6th round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds who understood the need for a substitute for cold protein shakes and energy drinks. With athletes reporting to the field from 1 pm to 3 pm and with most games started at 7:05 and lasting anywhere from two and a half to as many as four hours there is a dire need to stay alert during such lengthy durations of rigorous competition.

Just a bit of history on the topic. As a precaution to guard against the over-use of energy drinks, many teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros had stopped providing energy drinks in their clubhouse as early as 2014 and are discouraging players from using them, citing harmful effects. They can’t ban the beverages because they are not prohibited in the collective bargaining agreement but want to try and protect their players. Minor League teams can create rules without governance from the players union, and many organizations, including the Milwaukee Brewers, have restricted their athletes from using the clubhouse refrigerators to store their energy drinks.  Player development in the Cleveland Indians organization has continually asked players why they are consuming energy drinks and suggest healthy alternatives which eventually leads to drinking coffee. With the recent development of the Protein Coffee Pod that is Keurig 2.0 compatible CUP-O Beverages Co-Owner and former Minor Leaguer, Toby Sanchez, knows that the CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ pods are tailor-made for every baseball player from college to the pros.

Here is some more history.  In 2009 the Houston Astros began taking precautions when reliever Wesley Wright was taken to a hospital and treated for dehydration. Wright said he drank several cans of Red Bull and soft drinks before pitching that afternoon. “We’ve had a couple of issues regarding dehydration,” then the Astros GM, at the time, Ed Wade said, “and our people think they can be traced to misuse, overuse of energy drinks. It just seemed that we shouldn’t be creating an environment where we’re almost facilitating the effects of dehydration.”

When I was playing for the Cincinnati Reds organization, my first full season was an awakening to the reality of the physical demand that a professional baseball has.  I speak from experience, with a 162-game season and a crazy travel schedule (not including bus trips in the minor leagues), every player is looking for any advantage that is safe and legal. Many players agree that the reason there is a need for something other than energy drinks is that there has been a need for a different drink that provides benefit and is legal to consume. Players have been in lack of and continuously looking for increased focus and sustainable energy. Anything that can give them a competitive edge is desired. Playing so many games that can last as long as 4 hours takes a toll on baseball players.

A few years ago a Pittsburgh Pirates closer had remarked, “You’ve got to go out there 162 games. You’re playing 21 games in a row, and switching time zones, and you want to be mentally and physically ready.” With Protein Enhanced Coffee provided as a Protein Coffee Pod is brewed in just under 40 seconds is phenomenal when its time for something to help with concentration and muscle rejuvenation and a pick-me-up in the late innings when the game is on the line.   CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ is the drink for players wanting the mental focus, and physical sustenance they have been looking for since the consequences of mass Energy Drink consumption became well documented.

About CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™
CUP-O Protein was developed by Donna McReynolds-Sanchez, a 17-year beverage industry veteran, and her husband Toby Sanchez, a former minor league baseball player, business owner, and entrepreneur. Donna was working for an RTD protein shake company when the idea for CUP-O Protein was born. Donna would drink her coffee made in a Keurig® every morning, but she was not a fan of eating breakfast foods. Because she felt her body required more sustenance than what her coffee provided, she would reluctantly chug one of the protein shakes she was selling but quickly grew weary of drinking them due to their cold temperature and poor after-taste. Donna soon realized she desired something both hot and nourishing to drink in the morning. Out of sheer frustration, Donna began grumbling how she merely wanted to be able to have a hot cup of fresh drip brewed coffee that also provided protein to keep her fuller longer.  When Toby heard this, he had thought of all of the Protein Shakes that he had consumed over the years playing at Long Beach State University and in Minor League Baseball and thought it was an incredible idea.  The couple quickly learned that nothing like this existed on the market, in fact, they discovered that there was less than 4% innovation in what was a $4.5 billion-dollar category. After the Nutraceutical Formulator hired by the Sanchez’s couldn’t figure out a way to fulfill their vision, the company told them “It can’t be done…If the Big Guys could do it, it would have been done by now”. Donna encouraged Toby to bring the formulation research and development in-house, literally. After 14 months of great trial and error in their Scottsdale, Arizona kitchen, the self-proclaimed “mad scientists” finally found their eureka formula and celebrated what was to become a truly unique innovation for single-serving coffee pods which was later awarded a Patent. Now CUP-O Protein Coffee Infusion™ leads the way in carving out an entirely new category of Enhanced Coffee Pods.  For more information on CUP-O Protein you may visit www.cupoprotein.com