Using the pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects of menthol, the product’s makers claim it can ease post-workout stress. UFC champion Conor McGregor is TIDL Sports celebrity face.
The Anthos Group is one of countless companies working to fulfill the market for CBD, the health craze du jour that put the non-psychoactive hemp derivative into seemingly every new ointment and health drink released since 2017. Their newest product, however, is not a CBD product per se. Although CBD and another cannabinoid are ingredients, TIDL Sport uses the time-tested benefits of menthol as way to alleviate post-athletic performance stress on the body, via a spray applied to the aching muscles.
The idea, said CEO Badal Shah, is to use the growth, processing and research operations that give Anthos oversight of the purity of their products, from stem to sale, to create a plant-based workout recovery solution. “We are a vertically integrated company,” Shah told Athletech News. “We do a lot of our own R&D. We learned a lot. … That’s why we set out to build a better mousetrap.”
Menthol, TIDL Sport’s active ingredient, is an organic compound that can be obtained from the oils of mint plants. It has a cooling effect and has been used as a pain reliever since ancient times. Research has shown it has anti-inflammatory properties.
The intended use is improving recovery, the process by which the body bounces back after a resource-draining physical exercise. “Our goal is [users] can train more frequently,” said Shah. “Athletic performance or just working out has a high impact on the body. This helps them not only reduce the pain, but get ready to go back and do it again, if they workout daily or more than once a day.”
The company’s partner and celebrity endorser is Conor McGregor, the perpetually bearded Irish professional mixed martial artist/boxer, who once simultaneously held the light and featherweight champion UFC titles. McGregor, one of UFC’s most recognizable competitors, recently came out of a brief retirement.
Shah said he connected to McGregor through his management team years ago. “It was a natural partnership,” he said. “He and his peer groups use the product.”
McGregor has made a string of headlines outside the octagon, including a few violent confrontations with competitors outside sanctioned fights. He was also filmed punching a man in a Dublin bar and once smashed a guy’s phone outside a Miami hotel. Two accusations of sexual assault did not lead to charges. McGregor has not faced any career-stunting consequences for the incidents.
It may seem like a risky celebrity partnership at a time when social media users are demanding accountability from everyone from famous directors to podcast producers for alleged misdeeds, distant and recent. Shah said he is undaunted by this history and that the media’s focus on it is “unfortunate.”
“We know Conor, 100 percent and we believe in him,” he said. “We believe in him and understand who he is and he is aligned with our values.”
Nick Keppler is a freelance journalist, writer and editor. He enjoys writing the difficult stories, the ones that make him pore over studies, talk about subjects that make people uncomfortable, and explain concepts that have taken years to develop. Nick has written extensively about psychology, healthcare, and public policy for national publications and for those locally- based in Pittsburgh. In addition to Athletech News, Nick has written for The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Vice, Slate, Reuters, CityLab, Men’s Health, The Gizmodo Media Group, The Financial Times, Mental Floss, The Village Voice and AlterNet. His journalistic heroes include Jon Ronson, Jon Krakauer and Norah Vincent.