As the saying goes, when you want something done right, do it yourself. And that’s precisely what Shelley Mead, CEO and cofounder of Proven4, did. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry, Mead knew how loosely regulated the supplement industry was. Add that to the horror stories she heard from colleagues and the numerous FDA warning letters about supps and her trust in sports supplements was nonexistent. The risk for a working mother of two, she felt, simply wasn’t worth the potential reward.
“I had never taken a sport supplement before launching P4 in 2010,” Mead admits. “Before that, I wasn’t sure how the products were made, what was in the bottle, or how my body would react. My pre workout supplement was water.”
But between devoting time to her kids and to her work, water wasn’t cutting it. And Mead’s goal to stay fit was being thwarted by fleeting energy levels and lackluster motivation. “Working out became a chore to check off of my list,” she explains. “I found myself going through the motions.” Instead of caving in and putting unknown and untested substances into her body, she took matters into her own hands. Mead would use her knowledge and experience of the pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement industries to produce workout supplements that are versatile enough to transcend the athletic spectrum — from weekend warrior to active mom or dad to competitive athlete to professional athlete. She teamed with retired pro baseball player Frank Catalanotto to get the ball rolling. The outcome: Proven4.
The catch? P4’s products would include an NSF Certified for Sport certification, which involved hiring an outside company to verify that the claims on P4 labels were honest, and that each product was banned-substance-free according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“I knew all of the raw ingredients that were used in each Proven4 product, so that removed my fear and anxiety about taking the supplements,” Mead says. “But I wanted to get the NSF certification to remove the fear for other people who felt like I used to. That NSF Certified for Sport seal would show them that they have nothing to worry about.”
Building off of that momentum, Mead relied on her P4 supplement line and the guidance of a personal trainer to get her fitness goals back on track.
“I have a full-time job and am a single parent, and my exercise routines are more intense now than they were when I was in my 20s,” she concedes. “I’m in better physical shape and I’m not spending as much time in the gym.”
P4’s Pre Game Formula and Energy Formula are both pregame and preworkout supplements that are similar but not identical. Both products contain caffeine, but Pre Game Formula has creatine and beta-alanine, which can provide a more intense energy rush. These subtleties were not put in place accidentally.
“All three formulas were created with a specific need in mind,” Mead explains. “Pre Game Formula was initially meant for pro athletes — baseball players that Frank knew who wanted a supplement free of banned substances. Energy Formula was developed to offer an energy pop to Olympic and endurance athletes for sustained energy … and Recovery Push Formula, with its electrolytes and vitamin matrix, was created as a post workout supplement to provide an in-game or a post-game boost and intense recovery ingredients.
Mead has continued to use all three P4 products, although she admits her hectic daily routine and on-the-go duties as a mom often calls for Pre-Game Formula and Recovery Push Formula.
“I look forward to going to the gym now; before, I didn’t,” she says. “Adding sports supplements into my daily exercise routine has changed my life, and hopefully this line of product helps other people in their quest for more energy, endurance and a healthier, fitter body.”