Health First - Interview with Vincent Comtois

Supplier of professional and university athletes, ATP Lab designs supplements that meet all the requirements from the community in terms of certification with anti-doping agencies and general quality of ingredients.

Interview with Vincent Comtois, company boss as well as a guardian of certain specifics that require constant attention. Because your health is what he cares about above all. 

Vincent, there are a lot of nutritional products and companies that market them. How does ATP Lab stand out from the competition?

First, with our business model: we wanted ATP Lab to be a "one-stop-shop", where customers can find all the products they need in one single place. This makes for a large variety of products that can impact sports performance, but also digestive and neurological health, and which also meets the needs of athletes of all levels. Our basic idea is that nothing is done to bring harm to the general health of individuals. On the contrary. We believe that if you want to perform to the maximum of your capacities, you must be in good health, first of all.

What does your business do to be sure of this?

We start with an idea, that is what we want the product to do. Then we look at what exists as ingredients that respond to idea and we formulate it.

We then have pharmacology researchers who work with us and make sure that what we do is impeccable, and then each formula is submitted to Health Canada for approval.

How do you choose the ingredients and your suppliers?

We are very, very picky about this. First, we rely on reliable studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of specific molecules. Then we make sure our supplier meets our requirements

It's a bit of an industry flaw, I think. Many companies borrow fashionable methods and then source out from a market of questionable quality. We look into everything and ensure the traceability of each product.

This is important work because there are not a lot of good suppliers. The offer is wide, in general, but the products are often cheap. When a supplier wants to sell us a basic material, he must demonstrate that its composition, storage, and preservation are beyond reproach.

And once you have it, how does it work?

All the raw materials are first quarantined and we do tests. First: efficiency by identifying the material. Then, a microbiological test is made to be sure that there is no viral contamination, but especially bacterial, since it is the most common contamination in this kind of product. Finally, we check the stability (humidity, heavy metals, etc.).

When we have the results and everything is in order, it is moved to the production area where we make our mixes.

Once the mixture is finished, homogeneity and microbiology analyzes are carried out to verify that it has not been contaminated. We pack everything up. And with every 500 pots, we do the same tests once again.

We do much more than what is necessary to meet pharmaceutical standards. For us, our main goal is to make sure that we deliver a quality product that meets the expectations of an elite clientele. Several university teams are among our clients. Athletes in all sports. What we offer them must be above all suspicion.  

Everything is tested and certified against doping products. There are 221 materials known to be potentially at risk for testing positive, so we test all of our products to make sure they are not present.

Does it happen?

Yes. It happened to us once this year: a trace of a product banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency was found in a raw material that we had analyzed. In the manufacturing chain at one of our suppliers, there had been contamination with a product that is not dangerous but is still considered a doping product.

Nothing can slip through our fingers.

You have a wide range of products for general health and for all kinds of athletes too. What products are the most interesting ones for endurance athletes?

On the protein side, for recovery, we have vegan products, whey proteins, and also collagen to have an animal protein that is suitable for people with intolerances to dairy products.

On the performance side, we have some that are very interesting. Electrolytes XL includes nitrates, which have a beneficial effect on blood PH. It’s a great carbohydrate for quick results.

Pentacarb is specially designed for endurance athletes and contains several types of carbohydrates. Finally, we have the E-Nos, that we tested with Bruno (Langlois), and which improves vasodilation. It increases the blood saturation in the muscle and also the blood circulation, which helps to eliminate waste more efficiently and increases endurance.

This article was first published on featuring Vincent Comtois.

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