About Us

The genesis of SmartAthleteFuel has been part of my life odyssey as an Athlete, M.D., and Cherry Farmer.  My formative years were spent in the Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City, Michigan. A slice of nature’s 4 season paradise on the shore of Lake Michigan. A place of solace in nature and immersion in the  silent sports, all funded by hard work in the cherry orchards. A privileged reprieve from the requisite teenage blues, ripe with the medicinal folklore of the cherry. My father, a M.D., often spoke of the medicinal benefits his patients experience consuming tart cherries. However, the medicinal folklore of tart cherries become proven science with the vision of Ray Pleva. That science sparked my interest and consumption of tart cherries with the resultant Performance, Recovery and Well-being benefits I experienced.
Fast forward through 16 years of higher education, medical academics at the University of Michigan and my return to the solace and silent sports of Traverse City. But with time comes change, and the cherry farm that supported my formative teenage years was to be replanted with 90 vacation homes. And that, became the impetus for my righteous, yet somewhat naive odyssey to help preserve Traverse City’s unique agricultural microclimate and my childhood forest playground.
My 1st endeavor, purchase and preserve the farm that supported my teenage years. 2nd, help place conservation easements on sensitive farm land and forests. 3rd, facilitate limited, high-density housing leaving agricultural and forest acreage intact. And finally, address the lack of a consistent “living wage” for cherry farmers resulting in farm failures. Do this by developing Smart Athlete Fuel, a non-commodity, high-value, performance and well-being cherry product, using my skill set in science, medicine, athletics, and cherry farming. A tart cherry based, functional food concentrate bridging the power and knowledge of nature and science to empower our sport, work and pleasure. A product with soul, conscience and purpose beyond profit. With Smart Athlete (People) Fuel I share with you the power of nature, science and passion that has so greatly enhanced my well-being and performance. A power that helped me survive the explosion of a congenital time bomb leaving me for dead.
At SAF we are a knowledge, ecocentric, and social purpose based and act accordingly. 

We hope to learn, grow, laugh, win and be healthier together within a sustainable world.  With this hope, we make these commitments to you:

  1. Natural ingredients: Sustainably grown, minimally processed and packaged to maximize phytonutrient bio-effectiveness. Our Ingredient Batteries fully charged with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential physiologic, supporting properties that could help you break through your barriers to performance, recovery and well-being. No empty calories
  2. Open-Source knowledge: We share our gained knowledge of the benefits of plant phytonutrients on human performance & well-being. Additionally we share our gained knowledge of the food processing and labeling industries. We believe this will be invaluable in helping you be a better-informed food consumer in the smoke and mirror world of food products, labeling and marketing.  Our research director will share his medical knowledge to not only help you perform better, and live better, but also his personal health experiences that could even help save your or a loved one’s life.
       Learn More >

    We welcome you to share your knowledge and experiences to help us improve our products, help others best use them and freely disseminate learned knowledge. After all, the world wide web was conceived by Scientist Tim Berners-Lee working at CERN in 1989 to rapidly share information and research findings amongst physically separated scientists, not e-commerce. Sorry Amazon.

  3. Make our world a happier place: Healthy people tend to be happier people. Happy people tend to do good things for others creating a contagious, positive, feedback loop, making our world a better place one interaction at a time. SAF is here to help, not just with your performance and recovery, but your well-being and health.
       Learn More >With critical mass, this can truly make our world a happier & better place. We believe SAF is a nutritiously superior alternative to soft drinks & typical energy drinks and can positively impact the health of a large number of people making our world healthier and happier.
  4. Practice concrete measures to minimize our impact on earth: We believe this quote by Robert Swan, an arctic explorer and climate activist is so relevant “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” From product design to production, we took concrete measures to minimize our impact on the environment, rather than engage in Greenwash marketing as an afterthought. We have taken the path of a drink concentrate vs a disposable, plastic bottled energy drink. The energy, and greenhouse gases, to produce the plastic for a traditional plastic bottled energy drink, along with the energy to ship that 2-pound bottle to a distribution center, to a retailer then home is BIG.  Now scale this to nearly 50 billion Sport Energy Drinks sold worldwide annually, and the carbon footprint becomes massive.  If you were to line-up 70% of these plastic bottles, they would encircle the earth’s equator more than 237 times every year.
       Learn More >Not all plastics are recyclable. #1 & #2 are the most recyclable, but can only be recycled 2 or 3 times.
    By minimizing our use of plastics to necessity rather than convenience, such as diluting SAF drink concentrate into your water bottle, we can make a concrete step towards minimizing our plastic soiling of earth. Now, think about the additional carbon and plastic soiling of earth by bottled water containers… that’s a double ouch! Additionally, by consciously choosing to grow, source and process over 81% of our ingredients (all our ingredients except the Blue Agave and mined sea salt) within a 70-mile radius, we again reduce our carbon foot print.
  5. American Farmer, Fair Trade. The fair-trade initiative for farmers of less developed countries is real and needed. However, we seem to have lost sight of the small and midsize American farmer. As a farmer of SAF’s cherries we are initiating co-operative arrangements to help assure sustainable demand and pricing which are the foundation for sustainable farming.
       Learn More >Small and mid-sized American farms are truly struggling from the competition of industrial-corporate farming, predatory practices and pricing from imports, processors and distributors. The  Escalating cost of materials and machinery far beyond the cited rate of inflation, climatic change, and a new invasion of insects brought to our shore by world trading partners add to this. I know, because we are a cherry farmer. A large part of my idea for SAF was to get the word out about the amazing benefits of tart cherries and spur demand for better pricing.  But, we are initiating an even bolder step to co-operatively grow, process and own the cherry concentrate for SAF to allow farmers to gain the much-needed economic vertical integration for a reasonable and sustainable income stream, to survive and thrive. 
  6.  We are an evidence-based company first, not marketing, and will act accordingly. We respect your intelligence and will refrain from fatiguing you with endless pop-ups, click-bait and subscription offers. We promise never to ask you if you would like a car wash or pitch you an extended car warrantee.
       Learn More >We have done real research and testing to develop SAF. Equally important, we are a part of the ongoing innovation, during the growing, harvesting, processing and packaging of our ingredients to preserve and maximize SAF's micro and phytonutrient content that makes SAF so valuable to your body’s performance, recovery and well-being needs. Never empty calories or baseless marketing statements. We aspire to disseminate relevant knowledge and products for your performance, recovery, and well-being needs.
  7. We can’t compete against cheap donuts for energy. Cheap, dried, highly refined sugars and additives that may be years old are the backbone of typical energy products. Quality, Fresh, Natural food ingredients, fully load with micro & phytonutrients, that volumes of research attest could support your energy, performance, recovery and well-being needs concurrently are expensive. We believe that’s a game changer worth the cost.

So if any of the above resonates with you, we welcome you aboard the SmartAthleteFuel bus, WHERE BEST IN WINS: IN LIFE, GAME & TASTE!

Contact us at: energy@SmartAthleteFuel.com

 Note: The statements made on our website have not been evaluated by the FDA (US food and drug administration). The products and information are not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any disease or health issues, nor be a substitute for medical advice. Our products and information are not to be read as a specific remedy nor intended to guarantee any specific result. We are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of our products or any suggestions, information or procedures discussed in this site. Many of the studies SmartAthleteFuel's researchers used to formulate their conclusions presented in this website are referenced for the consumer to review and draw their own informed conclusion. SmartAthleteFuel/BeetSmartAthleteFuel  are food products only.