John Heiss, Ph.D., Herbalife’s Sr. Director of Sports and Fitness, Worldwide Product Marketing, believes that the key to winning is in the details of an athlete’s training program. As a former competitive downhill skier, cross country runner, and USA category 2 cyclist, formerly on the UCLA* cycling team, Heiss has learned about sports nutrition firsthand.
Growing up reading Asimov’s Science Fiction A to Z: A Dictionary of Great Science Fiction at the dinner table, it was only natural that Heiss’ passions for science and athletics came together in college when he used his knowledge of biological chemistry to uncover solutions that could improve athletic performance.
An entrepreneur as well as a scholar, Heiss developed an endurance sports nutrition product while he worked on his Ph.D. at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)*. At the time, he was cycling 25 hours a week preparing for competitions. “I started to think about what kind of nutrition might improve performance,” he says. “I came across some scientific papers that really made me think. I wanted to find out how the lab research translated into actual practice. I didn’t know of any nutrition company that had that kind of product formulation.”
Since coming to Herbalife, Heiss has led the development and introduction of the Herbalife24 line –comprehensive performance nutrition for athletes. “Joining Herbalife was a great opportunity,” he says. “We’ve succeeded in creating the high-quality product I envisioned years ago. The traceability of ingredients and testing of products in our state-of-the-art facilities through our Seed to Feed initiative have helped make Herbalife24 a reality.”
As the sports nutrition expert for a leading global nutrition company, Heiss enjoys working with the teams and athletes the company sponsors to optimize their nutrition and ensure that future sports nutrition products are developed with the latest scientific research. “I want to change the culture in sports so people understand the impact of nutrition on athletic performance,” he says. “We support the athletes and teams we work with and make sure they are getting the full benefits from the products. We want to help them succeed.”
* The University of California does not endorse specific products or services as a matter of policy.
- Heiss’ findings on how single proteins function within cells have been published in several peer-reviewed journals.
- He led the development of comprehensive Herbalife® performance nutrition line for athletes – Herbalife24.
- Heiss set a course record in the two-person division at the Furnace Creek 508, a 508-mile non-stop bike race.