Like most teenagers, Lamar Letts’ diet was high in sugar and late-night junk food binges were common. In his senior year, he was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. As a promising high-school athlete this was a huge roadblock as he later suffered from an epiphany. On his road to recovery, he realised there was too much sugar in the food he was consuming. He would regularly have to dilute his energy drinks and had started to get annoyed. This pushed him to come up with his own sports drink idea.
With the help of a food scientist and a U.S. manufacturer, he eventually designed Hylux, what according to him is the healthiest and most practical sports drink on the market especially for people who were serious about sports. It consists of all-natural ingredients; Hylux Sport contains less sugar than Gatorade, more electrolytes than VitaminWater, and more potassium than a banana.
Letts had graduated with a business major from Northeastern University which has helped him with his business model. There is also a philanthropic side to this model: Three per cent of the revenue from Hylux water goes towards providing clean water in developing countries through Water.org, a non-profit organisation. He feels Water.org was the best charity for this purpose.
As he plans to expand the brand, he says that the long-term goal is to sell the sports drink to big box stores like Walmart and to see star athletes quaffing it after scoring touchdowns and hitting home runs. He expressed his gratitude towards IDEA, Northeastern University’s student-run venture accelerator. IDEA has funded Letts with $10,000; got him in contact with a public relations agency; and connected him with an intellectual property lawyer, who helped him settle a legal dispute over the startup’s name. He also says that he enjoys the competition in the sports drink market and wants to stay and compete in it.