Name: Nutrex Research
Founder/CEO: Jens Ingenohl
In Operation Since: 2002
Awards: Bodybuilding.com Fat Burner of the year Award 2006, '07, '08, and '09.
Product List: Nutrex Product Page
Owner: Jens Ingenohl
Don't even start to think that the supplement industry is only a North American venture. Jens Ingenohl started BMS in Germany, selling creatine in the early '90s, long before he came stateside to launch Nutrex Research.
Supplement companies must be multinational organizations. Nutrex sells its products all over the world. It hires spokesmodels who speak multiple languages, and now lives in an 80,000 square foot facility in Florida. This company started with three products and now covers every aspect of the supplement spectrum.
You probably know its fat-burners—Lipo-6 anyone? But do you know all its products? Learn about Nutrex's origins from its founder and follow this company into the future.
Please tell our readers how your company started.
I'm originally from Germany and didn't make it to the United States until 2002. Before forming Nutrex in 2002, I had already been a supplement company owner in Germany since 1993.
At the tender age of 23, coming fresh off my military service and studying at the University of Mannheim, Germany, I decided to supplement my meager income as a student by writing books about performance-enhancing substances and selling creatine.
Within a few short years, I built one of Germany's top supplement companies, BMS. In 2002 I decided to expand my business to the U.S. and, during my search for able contacts, I was introduced to Jeff McCarrell.
Rather than expanding my existing German business, Jeff suggested that we form a different company altogether for the U.S. market. Before I could say much of anything, he told me that he already had a name for it and a finished company logo. He quickly sold me on his idea of Nutrex Research and we became business partners.
I followed my heart and trusted my gut feeling—moving to Orlando was not really a tough choice either with the great, sunny weather. In the summer of 2002, we launched Nutrex with three products: 1-TU, Vitargo-CGL and Lipo-6—1-TU and Lipo-6 became smashing successes.
Jeff and I made it a point that we would only research, develop, and introduce products that are unique, superior, scientifically sound and of real benefit to the consumer.
We wanted to be innovators first and foremost and let the chips fall where they may.
What made you decide to start your own supplement company?
I started working out at the age of 13 after watching Bruce Lee in "Enter the Dragon." I thought he had an amazing physique and I made up my mind right there at the movie theater that I wanted to be built like him. Rather than just picking up a weight, I educated myself from the very beginning about training, nutrition, and supplements. I have a curious mind and love to learn. With that said, I began to gain a vast amount of knowledge through my own trial and error, from reading literature, by speaking to others about their experiences and simply from observing.
I have what I call practical intelligence and a fair amount of common sense in me, so I tend to cut through B.S. quickly. In particular I was amazed about the lack of honest and straightforward information when it comes to supplements and performance-enhancing drugs. At the age of 23 while studying economics at a university in Germany, I decided to write books about performance enhancing substances under the assumed pen name Manfred Bachmann. I covered steroids, grey market products and regular supplements.
Some readers may remember the book "World Anabolic Review 1996" or "WAR" as it was called by many. My books became an instant hit. They were based on real-world facts and not pseudo science. I also wasn't driven by an ulterior motive, such as manipulating the truth to sell certain products. People appreciated that and, in a time and age where the Internet wasn't a factor yet, I provided information you couldn't find anywhere else.
In researching the supplement category, I began to understand the amazing effects of creatine. This discovery paved the way for BMS to become the first company in Germany to sell creatine to athletes in 1994.
Who are some important people who helped you in the beginning? What was their role?
I have to mention two people. One is my good and loyal friend Michael Bodingbauer. I've known Michael for 20 years. He still lives in Germany and currently runs and manages my German supplement company BMS. Without him, I could have never left for the U.S. to embark on the Nutrex adventure. There is no one else I would have trusted to run my company.
The other person is Jeff McCarrell. He founded Nutrex with me. Although he is no longer with Nutrex, he was instrumental during the early years in building this company and forming the foundation of what it is today.
You moved into a new facility a few years ago. Why did you need to upgrade? Is there still room to grow?
Simply put, we outgrew our former location. We felt like constructing our own building with a lot of warehouse and office space would be a great investment for our long-term goals. We now have an 80,000 sq ft state-of-the-art building that is fully tailored toward our needs. To call this our own is a daily reminder that our hard work and dedication does pay off.
We are constantly on the lookout for highly motivated, talented individuals to add to our team and this building has given us the office space to do so. Also, we have more than 45 different products now and started off with only three, so having a large warehouse is a necessity if we are going to keep growing as a brand.
The domestic and international demand for our products has gone up significantly so, with this extra space, we are now able to accommodate the flow of product coming in and going out. This would not have been a possibility at our former location.
New building Ribbon Cutting
Watch The Video - 27:42
From a financial perspective it certainly was a smart move as well and it shows in our balance sheet. Having a building along with the lot as an asset is much better than paying someone else's mortgage off. Claiming ownership also signals our trade partners that Nutrex is real and here to stay. We still have room to grow and embrace the possibilities that are in reach now because of our new company home. I see us being here for many more years to come and I am excited for our future.
Your fat burners come in many varieties. Why focus so much on burning fat? Why do you need different types?
We started off with a bang in the fat loss category and our product, Lipo-6, has stood the test of time with sales and quality. We were the first company to come out with a fat burner in a liquid capsule and still use this form of delivery in most of our pill products. Because of this success, we have a loyal customer base in the fat-burning category. We have to diversify our product line in order to fit their individual needs.
Some customers may prefer a simple formula with flexible dosing and take Lipo-6 original. Other customers may need a more intense effect with a one-pill dose so they will go for Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate. Recently, we came out with Lipo-6 UNLIMITED for people who may desire additional mood support to assist with cravings and help them maintain a strict diet.
As you can see, there are many different people out there with different goals. As our customer base grows, we need to adapt and proactively develop innovative products to offer them.
What is the philosophy behind your Underground Series of supplements?
We developed the Underground Series back in 2009 so we could offer our customers more of a variety to fit their growing needs. We had so much success in the fat-burning category with Lipo-6 and felt like we were capable of doing more.
The Underground Series was released with an assortment of cutting edge, highly potent and unique sports products for the more serious athlete/lifter. Zack Khan became the face of this line because he keeps it real and represents the typical blue collar attitude. The philosophy behind this group of products, also referred to as "The Black Line," is purely results driven for people who do not care about "pretty" ... these people want something that works.
We have some big plans for our Black Line. In the near future, there will be new and improved flavors, even better formulations, and an awesome new look. We are excited and have been working hard to make it a success. I wish I could give more details but that would ruin the surprise. Get ready to see some big things from Nutrex very soon!
You have some awesome sponsored athletes! How do they impact your company? The industry?
Yes, both Nutrex and my German company have sponsored several pro bodybuilders and regular lifters over the years. I'm proud to say that I was the first to offer Markus Ruhl and Dennis Wolf a sponsoring contract while both had just turned pro and were virtual unknowns in the U.S. I recognized their outstanding potential and ended up supporting and sponsoring Markus Ruhl for 8 years and Dennis Wolf for a total of 4 years.
Subsequently, both made tremendous progress and quickly climbed up the ladder to make a big impact with the judges, the industry, and the fans. I'm the first to admit that their almost meteoric rise brought Nutrex more visibility in our industry; we all benefited from each other. Both Markus and Dennis are great guys and it was a pleasure working with them.
Today, we sponsor Zack Khan on the male side, and Larissa Reis and Natalia Melo are our female representatives. All of them are good people and easy to work with. They each have their own personality and attract a different group of people so this allows us to reach a broader customer base within the bodybuilding industry.
Let's say a customer is just starting a fitness regimen, can only afford one product, and he/she comes to you. Which one supplement do you recommend? Why?
I would make this dependent on the individual's goal and personal situation. If your goal is to lose weight, I would recommend Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate. Not only will Lipo-6 Black UC increase your metabolic rate by burning stored fat to heat, it will also markedly curb your appetite. For a new and inexperienced customer who wants to lose weight, it is crucial to get his/her appetite and eating habits under control.
We have a few stacks featured this month on Bodybuilding.com that would also be beneficial. The Nutrex Ultra Shred Stack and Nutrex Ultra Shred Stack for Her have Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate or Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate for Her combined with CLA to support lean muscle development and Carnitine—which assists your body in using fat for energy. This combination can be beneficial when the person exercises regularly and maintains a quality diet.
If we have a customer who is mainly interested in getting a better pump and more energy in the gym, I would recommend our pre-workout product, Hemo Rage Ultra Concentrate. We recently released a brand new flavor called Apple Ambush and it tastes great. The pump and energy you will get from this product is insane. No matter how long your day is or how tired you are, Hemo Rage will wake you up and get you ready for a great workout.
What kind of athlete/weightlifter are you trying to cater to? Do you have a target demographic?
We currently offer a range of Lipo-6 diet products that appeal to everyone from the housewife to the endurance athlete, to the strength coach, and professional bodybuilder. We also have a large following among serious sports and muscle-building enthusiasts who respect this company as a hardcore, no-nonsense type of product manufacturer.
We believe that we have a product for anyone who wants to achieve a fitness goal whether it is to gain more muscle mass, lose body fat, compete in a bodybuilding competition, do CrossFit, or simply replace a meal every now and then with a Muscle Infusion protein shake. We have customers who call in to talk to our customer support staff about which Nutrex products to take and some of them are just starting out.
We are more than happy to help these people along their journey and it can be rewarding to see them reach their goal. We always aim higher for ourselves as a company and to do that, we need to be open to whatever customer comes our way and prepared to help them with the goals they have.
How important are the trade shows and expos to the growth of your company?
I believe bodybuilding tradeshows are important to our growth and presence in the industry. Having our Nutrex booth up and running is a great way to meet our customers, old and new, and engage them on an individual basis. We love to hear their feedback so we can constantly make sure we are on the right track.
Recently, we decided to give our booth a facelift and that made a huge difference in the attendee participation. It is more interactive now and has a great flow to it. Our athletes and models do a wonderful job with fans and have a huge following, which also keeps the booth packed. Everybody works hard to make sure each event goes smoothly and, in the process, we grow stronger as a team.
Tradeshows are also a great way to see what else is going on in the industry as far as trends, popular products, and where we stack up. We strive to be the best and are always eager to see how we can improve. Our presence at shows has increased dramatically in the past couple years to include Brazil, Spain, U.K., India, Australia, and many other countries. No matter where we go, anywhere in the world, the Nutrex booth will be packed!
Do you think people care more or less about fitness than they did when Nutrex got its start 12 years ago?
Due to ongoing advances in modern technology, physical activity has become less a part of our everyday life. Because of this, I believe people are starting to make a conscious decision to put dedicated time away for a fitness program.
I definitely think more people than ever care about their health and are implementing different forms of exercise like weightlifting, running, yoga, CrossFit, etc. There are so many different types of gyms, programs, and companies out there now for people to choose from that it leaves our society with no excuses. The industry as we know it has been evolving and now includes a much broader demographic of people. This is great to see.
The average person is also a lot more educated nowadays when it comes to fitness, supplementation, and eating healthy. Thanks to social media and websites like Bodybuilding.com, people have resources to go to where they can learn and ask questions. Our customers are calling in with more educated inquiries now and their goals are no longer just to lose weight.
Instead, we hear things like "I want to tone up, lose body fat, and increase muscle mass." People are now able to take their knowledge to form a plan that is their own and they have a variety of Nutrex products to help them along the way.
Ethics are important to supplements buyers, what does your company do to ensure ethical standards?
We hold ourselves to high standards when it comes to ethics. Everything we do is based on pure hard work, dedication, and honesty. We do not pay retail stores super high "Spiffs" so they push our products. All of our online reviews go through an intense verification process, are from actual customers, and have not been bought.
If a customer calls us directly, we do not push products on them. Instead, we listen to what their goals are and try our best to accommodate their needs and steer them in the right direction. We have the ability to help people achieve their dreams and goals. Gaining new customers is something that should not be taken lightly or paid for; it should happen organically and honestly.
Another thing we do is source and use high-quality materials, methods of delivery, and formulation blends. Even though this costs us extra, we do not pass this on to the consumer. Our customers get more quality product for the same amount—if not less money—than some of our top competitors.
'Research' is in the name of your company. Can you explain how your research arm functions, and what it does to help solidify trust in your products?
Nutrex has always been researching the highest-quality botanical and synthetic ingredients for potential use in our products. We have worked closely with several leading ingredient suppliers to obtain the best yields possible when dealing with many unique botanicals. Our goal was to make sure that we had something superior when launching new dietary supplements.
For instance, we determined that a liquid capsule product would offer the best delivery available; a blend of dietary ingredients made into a liquid solution provides greater bioavailability. The net effect is that the human body can absorb more of a specific compound and also at a quicker rate.
At that time, nobody had ever ventured into this unknown field of making liquid capsules in a mass environment. Through all of our research, thorough and stringent testing, and accelerated stability, we discovered and identified the proper compounds that could be used to successfully launch products consisting of all liquid capsules. This made us the first company in our industry to introduce liquid capsule technology.
The launch of liquid capsules created its own challenges when testing for label accuracy to adhere to the newest GMP requirements passed down by the FDA. As a result, a lot of diligent research went into proper testing procedures. We discovered that testing many of the liquid lipid matrices required specialized methods that most labs simply could not conduct.
So, we worked closely with a few chemists to research ways to properly test our liquid capsule products to ensure that we achieved accurate results that matched our label values for all of our products. Nutrex Research has had, for many years, a long-term partnership in one of the only FDA/DEA approved laboratories to test both our liquid capsules and powders.
After a successful 12 years in our industry, the launch of liquid capsules has been one of the highlights, setting Nutrex apart from the rest. We have been the leader of the liquid capsule category for many years now.
Our customers can rest assured knowing that Nutrex offers some of the most heavily researched products this industry has to offer and everything is tested rigorously to match label claims.
Before we wrap this up, is there anything else you would like to share? Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to? Where do you go in the future?
The most important thing I have learned in all my years as an entrepreneur is that you need to follow your heart. It's important that you choose a profession and a direction in life you truly like, enjoy, and absolutely want.
Don't let other people talk you into something if your heart is not in it. Take chances, but make sure they come with a calculated risk. Don't let setbacks discourage you. Believe in yourself, work hard, and surround yourself with good, able, loyal, and motivated people.
Who I truly would like to thank is, without a doubt, this great country. Being an immigrant, I can't emphasize enough how grateful I am for the opportunities this country has offered me. A lot of good has happened in my life since I moved to the United States 12 years ago. I will never take the privilege of being here for granted and I am trying to give back as much as I can.
As far as the future is concerned, I think if Nutrex and I stay on our current path, we will be just fine!
Sponsored Athlete: Larissa Reis, IFBB Figure PRO
How long have you been sponsored/involved with Nutrex? What made you join the team?
I started in 2009. Nutrex has the best products and amazing people to work for. They let me be free with what I do and freedom is art.
Do you think it's important for athletes to earn sponsorships? Why?
Yes I believe it very important to let your fans and the people you inspire know which products you use to achieve this level of physique. I only have sponsors which have products I like to use. I like high-quality products and I like working with the best companies.
I think it's important to be faithful to what you broadcast to the world as well and not always be changing. You have to be dedicated and faithful to this sport. The supplements and products you use daily are what make you the best version of you.
Sponsors are not only your bosses, they are like family. You travel with them, they know about your life, and they help to make you a pro. I have the best sponsors and they make my life and job wonderful.
When training, what is your favorite Nutrex supplement? How do you use it?
Lipo 6 UNLIMITED, it's a great fat burner. I take 2 liquid capsules in the morning before cardio to get my day started and 2 more liquid capsules in the afternoon. It's great for appetite control too. I also like HEMO-RAGE Black Ultra Concentrate Turbo Energy Shot. I like to use this as my pre-workout and I take it 10-15 minutes before my workout. It gives you that extra energy when you need it and the taste is great and kicks in fast.
Do you feel Nutrex treats its customers well? If you weren't its sponsored athlete, would you still buy its products?
They are the best company to work for. The people involved all have great energy and they are always developing new products that everybody can use. They just don't have one line.
They create new stuff—even this year—and have best selection available to customers. I have my restaurant and I used their protein everyday for cooking because it is the best. I will continue to everyday.
What sort of changes have you noticed in your recent Figure competitions?
This sport had lots of politics and it always has, but it what's the fans want that is important. The judges aren't watching you every day. It's the people you inspire and your fans and I want to inspire people to be free from judgment.
Be who you are meant to be and what you want. Competitions are hard and take lots of dedication, but when you step on stage with your peers and also friends, the hard work that got you there is what is judged and that's based on the physical results!
Do you lift the same as you did when you first started competing? What changed?
I've been training 15 years. I can focus on what I need to when I know my peak parts. My legs were already big, but this competition I focused on my back and hired a trainer and ate my own food. So I trained on back and did lots more cardio to lean my legs out and abs!
I like doing outdoor cardio. It changes when you travel and do different types—like the steps In Santa Monica, Calif., beaches around the world, then Rio, Germany, Bondi, Australia ... it's beautiful everywhere. I'll do outdoor cardio for 30 minutes. I love to run in Las Vegas with my dog Bella when I'm home. Make up your own! Test yourself.
What can we expect from you in 2014?
I wanna focus on the next level, I love my restaurant! I want my own PH to be worldwide. I want to find freedom in art and I love photography. I wanna live a Buddhist life and spread world peace and help strong women everywhere!