Roger Barbee: A product for children?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

By Roger Barbee

The photograph in our North Carolina newspaper was above the fold. It showed two well known college basketball players facing each other, one from Duke and one from UNC, and each was squirting an orange-colored aerosol into his mouth. The small two-ounce canisters holding the oral aerosol were marked with the logo of the North Carolina based company that had used the NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) to score a major marketing move by getting these two college athletes to endorse its new product.

BOA Nutrition has unveiled BOA Ignite, its new oral aerosol sports supplement, which the company claims will elevate athletic performance. The company claims that its patented OraBlast technology will deliver and allow atomized nutrients to be rapidly absorbed by the body. Each two-second blast of Ignite delivers caffeine, B vitamins, fast- and slow-acting carbohydrates and electrolytes to the athlete.

BOA Nutrition launched in 2020, working in collaboration with Duke University. According to a paper by Jeffrey Bytomski and Ben Ferry of Duke, “BOA Aerosol Blast is a unique product that promises to change the game in how athletes fuel their bodies before, during, and after competition. This product takes advantage of an innovative aerosol delivery method to replenish the electrolytes lost during athletic competition. By using an aerosol device to bypass the need for gastrointestinal absorption, BOA Aerosol Blast efficiently and effectively delivers the necessary electrolytes to optimize athletic performance.”

Their paper continues with this statement, “In summary, these BOA Aerosol Blast products are designed to help an athlete achieve and maintain optimal performance, and their unique configurations are designed to give the athlete an extra edge where other sports beverages and electrolyte replacement products fall short.”

Jon Pritchett, CEO of BOA Nutrition, states, “Our proprietary formulations, combined with the aerosol mode of delivery, is a game-changer that provides athletes with a distinct advantage in training and in competition.”

The product is endorsed by several elite athletes such as Des Linden, Morgan Pearson, Sam Long, Hunter McIntyre, and Wendell Moore Jr.

Now, be honest and see how many of the endorsing athletes in the above list you can identify without using Google. I offer that only the most dedicated sports fan will know more than the name of Wendell Moore Jr., and that is my point concerning the significance of the Duke and UNC basketball players’ endorsements.

Controversy swirls around the NILs, and so be it. However, regardless of the Duke medical doctors and Mr. Pritchett, I am skeptical of such products of BOA Nutrition. As a 2:42 marathoner and coach of runners and wrestlers, I know that a sound diet, proper liquid intake and good training coupled with rest, are the most important tools for any athlete. There is no magic potion for athletic success.

But what concerns me with this issue is how youngsters may be heavily influenced by such photographs as the one in our local newspaper and the endorsement of well known and idolized college athletes. Imagine how a twelve-year old, motivated to be basketball player, will hear that a blast of a citrus-flavored aerosol from Ignite will “enhance his or her performance”? Just because someone like Jeremy Roach says that a two-second blast of a citrus-flavored aerosol jump-starts him, giving him an advantage, is that good for our children? Will it help any young, aspiring athletes to carry around a canister that delivers, through a two-second blast, caffeine?

I doubt that many young athletes involved in such youth sports as soccer or baseball or football know or are interested in who Des Linden is. But most of them know who Jeremy Roach is and he uses BOA Nutrition. Thus, if it works for him, it will work for me, they or their parents or coaches will reason. But they ignore the fact that Roach and such other athletes are mature adults who have different requirements than that of a 12 year old.

If a mature athlete wants to try a “quick-fix” formula for success, so be it. However, for any aspiring young person, I highly recommend hard study in academics, drills in your chosen sport, and a good program of nutrition. Anything else is a missed lay-up.

Roger Barbee lives in Mooresville. Contact him at