While a medical condition halted his athletic career in high school, Lamar Letts, a 2012 Hewlett High graduate, did not stop thinking on how to live a healthy life as two years later he created Hylux, a sports drink that he thinks is a healthier alternative to Gatorade and Powerade.
“Hylux was born out of a need to provide athletes with the nutritional hydration they need, which is a true alternative to sugary sports drinks,” Letts said. “When I had my own health scare, it was a true wake-up call that I didn’t just need better nutrition, but so did athletes across the world. Our bodies deserve it.”
Letts was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall, at the beginning of his senior year at Hewlett High School, which put an end to his track and field career as a runner and hurdler.
Letts, 26, said his doctor suggested a healthier, more nutrient-rich diet. In 2014, Lett invented while he attended Northeastern University. It is a vitamin-enhanced water that is low calorie, low sugar and high nutrient drink.
“Functional beverages on the market contain too much sugar and too many unhealthy ingredients,” he said. “Before Hylux, the current beverages on the market did not address some of the most prominent nutritional challenges that athletes and everyday consumers face.”
Dan Gregory has been a mentor and adviser to Letts since Hylux was invented at Northeastern. Gregory said that from the beginning, he was amazed at the passion Letts had for Hylux.
“From the start, what impressed me most about Lamar was his charisma and his passion.” Gregory said. “He has a very easy and appealing manner with people. Once he’s engaged, he hooks people with the passion that he brings to his life and his venture.”
Winslow Sargeant was the first investor in Hylux. He is managing director of S&T, LLC, a firm supporting investment and business development for early-stage growth companies. Sargeant was introduced to Letts by a professor at Northeastern and was impressed by the progress he made on his idea in the early stages.
“I agreed to talk to Lamar and learn more about the product and all the work he had done,” Sergeant said. “People will come up with an idea and it stays in the idea stage for a long time. With Lamar, he already had his product in the marketplace at such an early stage.”
Last month, Hylux became available for purchase on Amazon. Letts described the news as being a “giant sigh of relief.” “There were a lot of hurdles and challenges that came up during this process,” he said. “To finally be able to see Hylux is Amazon shows that the hard work paid off.”
Going forward, Letts want Hylux to be a “premier” sports drink on the market. “I want Hylux to be viewed as a product that has set itself apart from other sports drinks,” he said. “Not only do I want it to be known nationwide, I want it to be a drink known worldwide.”