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Tennis champion Venus Williams has just launched her own protein shake line and it’s 100% vegan. Called Happy Viking, the seven-time Grand Slam winner’s new plant protein brand will offer a range of yellow pea and brown rice protein blends, inspired by the long-time vegan advocate’s motivation to be a “warrior for health”.
Launched on Wednesday (December 2) by tennis star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams, Happy Viking is the newest 100% plant-based protein shake brand to land on the market. There are two flavours available – Triple Chocolate and Vanilla Bean – both made from yellow pea and brown rice, boasting 20-grams of protein per serving. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids and prebiotic fibre for gut health, and are completely free from soy, lactose, gluten and GMOs.
I couldn’t play anymore, and this was my way to get back into what I love – into the game.Venus Williams
The line, which was co-developed with beverage company Dyla Brands, was inspired by Williams’ own plant-based journey. Having followed a vegan diet for nearly a decade since her diagnosis with autoimmune disease Sjögren’s Syndrome, Williams decided to create a brand that would offer everyone from professional athletes to sports enthusiasts and health-conscious folk alike a range of anti-inflammatory plant-based protein shakes to recover and replenish their body after workouts.
“I couldn’t play anymore, and this was my way to get back into what I love – into the game,” said the tennis champion, in an interview with Eat This, Not That!
Williams worked with nutritionists and registered dietitians to ensure that the final product delivered on health and nutrition above all else. “Happy Viking is the only product on the market with all five key macronutrients: fats, protein, carbs, water, and fibre,” explained Neel Premkumar, CEO of Dyla Brands.
“It really really keeps in mind what we need in our bodies to be at optimum performance, which is something that I need to do every day,” added Williams. The brand name itself, Happy Viking, is an ode to this approach that Williams has to her health – she describes it as “about being a warrior for health, being a warrior for you, and being a warrior for what you put in your body.”
Happy Viking is the only product on the market with all five key macronutrients: fats, protein, carbs, water, and fibre.Neel Premkumar, CEO of Dyla Brands
Currently, Happy Viking is available within the U.S. on the brand’s direct-to-consumer online platform as well as on Amazon, available in a US$14.95 starter pack of 11-ounce bottles or a US$34.95 package of 1-litre cartons. By spring next year, the brand says that its products will be retailing across Kroger locations nationwide.
With this latest launch, Williams joins the wave of celebrities hopping on the vegan product bandwagon. Hollywood actress and founder of activewear brand Fabletics Kate Hudson has taken to launching a new line of vegan nutrition supplements dubbed InBloom, which will come in powder-form blends packed with plant-based sources of adaptogens, herbs, mushrooms, nutrients and vitamins.
Fellow actress Cameron Diaz and Clique Brands founder Katherine Power have also recently started a plant-based venture – a vegan wine company called Avaline. The label offers plant-based and cruelty-free wines made with organic and clean ingredients, and is completely free from isinglass or eggs, which are commonly used in the winemaking process.
All images courtesy of Happy Viking.