Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James teamed up with actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olympian ski racer Lindsey Vonn, and model and entrepreneur Cindy Crawford to launch a wellness brand called Ladder.
The business was born out of a desire for safe and regulated wellness items. Its products – two protein powders, an energy powder, and a greens powder – are certified by testing organization NSF International, that guarantees safe, high-quality ingredients. Three out of Ladder’s four products are vegan: the greens powder, the energy powder, and one of the protein powders.
The latter product, called Plant Protein, is made with pea and pumpkin protein. It offers all of the essential amino acids the body needs, the website says, helping users shed fat, build muscle, and improve immunity.
“We believe the time has come to shift the mindset of the wellness industry, and that requires strength in numbers,” said the Ladder founders. “That’s why we’ve combined our unique perspectives to create a more balanced approach to fitness, nutrition, and health.”
The vision for Ladder came about after James’ cramping incident at the 2014 NBA Finals, whereby he was carried off the court before the end of the game. His trainer Mike Mancias struggled to find a suitable recovery powder that was adequate for James so he turned to a private lab to develop his own.
Schwarzenegger shared his own concerns with James about the ingredients used in the commonly unregulated supplement industry, inspiring the two to band together to form Ladder, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports. They were soon joined by Vonn, who has won four World Cup overall championships as an alpine ski racer, and Crawford who has seen success in the business world with her line of beauty products. He’s been outspoken recently as well about meat consumption, announcing that his diet is mostly vegan. In a 2016 campaign with “Game Changers” producer James Cameron, he urged China to reduce its meat consumption for the health of its citizens and the planet.
Speaking to WSJ, Schwarzenegger said the company came together “organically.” By producing their own products rather than endorsing existing brands, the venture allows the group of celebrities to have more control in the products they are advertising, he said.
Alongside the four high-profile names, a team of trainers, nutritionists, and physicians helped to develop the products. “We know there is no magic pill. Living your best life takes work. Our goal is to provide support and better information, so that you don’t waste your time or feel frustrated or misunderstood,” reads a joint statement by the Ladder founders online.
Ladder’s plant-based items are the latest addition to the sport industry that’s increasingly seeing plant power being used to fuel athletes. Ironman Conor Devine, Olympic figure skater Meagan Duhamel, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, and tennis pros Novak Djokovic and Venus and Serena Williams are all dominating the athletic world with the help of their vegan diets.
Ladder’s products can be purchased from its website.