To find the best way to hydrate, it makes sense to ask an athlete. When Yanni Hufnagel, founder and CEO of new beverage company Lemon Perfect, was looking for a better way to replenish after a workout, he drew on his long-time experience as both a basketball player and men’s college basketball coach at schools like the University of Nevada Reno, University of California Berkeley, Vanderbilt University, and Harvard University. He’d spent lots of time on the court and around competitive athletes, and he knew that the best beverage during or after workouts would be one that rehydrated and added nutrients, without any sugar, colorings, or additives that would be detrimental to an athlete’s health.
Hufnagel didn’t find a beverage on the market that could provide the sort of super-boost he was looking for, but, in the meantime, he developed his own daily habit of squeezing “superfruit” lemons into his morning water for the additional Vitamin C and digestive kick. And he wasn’t the only athlete or coach becoming hooked on the healthy benefits of lemon water.
Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, one of the most famously health-conscious and age-defying athletes, admitted to the media that he gets his electrolytes from a specially made lemon drink as opposed to sugar – and chemical-laden sports drinks. Likewise, Olympic diver Tom Daley says he drinks lemon water every morning for its health benefits—it makes him feel full and provides an energy boost without the added sugar and calories of orange juice. And World Surfing Games champion Tia Blanco also shared that she drinks lemon water every morning as part of her health and fitness routine, in addition to maintaining a vegan diet.
Lemon water and athletic performance clearly go hand-in-hand. The most obvious benefit of lemon water for athletes is hydration, which is essential for optimal health and performance. One study of collegiate athletes found that maintaining optimum hydration improved their anaerobic power, attention, awareness, and recovery time.
When athletes breathe heavily and sweat during performance, their bodies lose water. If that water is not replaced, they can become dehydrated. Dehydration, in turn, leads to reduced blood circulation, when the body’s muscles do not receive enough oxygen. This can quickly lead to fatigue and injury. Losing as little as 2% of body weight can negatively affect an athlete’s performance, according to research.
It only made sense, Hufnagel thought, that lemon water, with all its known hydration and health benefits, should be more easily accessible for athletes and anyone looking to boost their health. That conviction—to bring lemon water to a health-conscious public looking for better hydration options—led Hufnagel to launch the Lemon Perfect brand in 2017.
From the outset, he built the beverage to maximize lemon water’s benefits, using the best ingredients and nutrition-boosting processing. Lemon Perfect is made from hand-picked USDA organic lemons grown in Southern California that are cold-pressed using high-pressure processing as opposed to heat in order to maintain the lemon’s superfruit benefits.
And the lemon is truly one of the best fruits for the body, supporting optimal health in numerous ways. Lemon water provides essential electrolytes that are lost during a vigorous workout and are needed to help balance the body’s pH levels and maintain the right amount of water in the body. Each bottle of Lemon Perfect contains also 100% of the Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily dose of Vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that helps to strengthen the immune system and protect the body against disease. Lemon water also helps support the digestive system, and promotes metabolic health, and it provides energy without any added sugar.
And Lemon Perfect’s grab-and-go beverages make it easy for athletes—or anyone—to replenish healthfully without having to cut and squeeze lemons every morning. The four available flavors – Just Lemon, Blueberry Acai, Dragon fruit Mango, and Peach Raspberry—ensure that it’s a daily habit that will never get boring.
As a basketball coach, Hufnagel was known for his recruiting abilities and skill with bringing out the best in his athletes. Providing a beverage to meet the highest health and wellness standards for athletes and other health-conscious consumers was a logical step for the Lemon Perfect founder.
“Our goal at Lemon Perfect is to be at the forefront of the ‘better-for-you, for everyone’ movement by building products that meet at the intersection of flavor and good-for-you,” Hufnagel says.
For too long, Hufnagel argues, the only options for athletes looking to replenish and rehydrate have been sports drinks loaded with sugar and food dyes—ingredients that have no place in a healthy diet. Lemon Perfect’s beverages—available at Whole Foods, Target, Amazon and other retailers, including many specialty stores—offer a new option. Lemon Perfect brings hydration, nutritional benefits, and a dose of electrolytes to help athletes perform at their best, without compromise.
About Lemon Perfect
Lemon Perfect is a naturally refreshing, zero sugar cold-pressed lemon water with antioxidants and electrolytes. Certified organic and full of flavor, Lemon Perfect is widely considered by industry insiders to be one of the most scalable, exciting, and innovative emerging beverage concepts in the marketplace.
About Yanni Hufnagel
Yanni Hufnagel is the Founder & CEO of Lemon Perfect, a naturally refreshing, zero sugar cold-pressed lemon water with essential antioxidants and hydrating electrolytes. Certified organic and full of flavor, Lemon Perfect – named “Best New Product” at BevNET’s Best of 2019 Awards – is widely considered by industry insiders to be one of the most scalable, exciting and innovative emerging beverage concepts in the marketplace.
Founded in 2017 and backed by an extraordinary team of investors, the company’s mission is to democratize drinkable wellness by making Lemon Perfect accessible for anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Before starting Lemon Perfect, Hufnagel served as an assistant men’s college basketball coach, with stops at Nevada, California, Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Oklahoma. Hufnagel earned the reputation as one of the most dogged recruiters in America, consistently lauded for signing nationally-ranked recruiting classes. In Hufnagel’s 10 years coaching college basketball, his teams reached the NCAA Tournament six times.