ST. CHARLES – Joe Giustino and Ashley Biggs want to educate people about what it takes to be healthy.
They own Core Nutrition, which sells protein shakes and other healthy drinks. Core Nutrition recently opened at 303 N. 2nd St., Suite D, St. Charles, next to Dick Pond Athletics.
Giustino and Biggs also own The Speed School in St. Charles, a strength and conditioning facility for adults and student athletes. Giustino is the founder and head coach of The Speed School, which opened in 2008.
The mission of The Speed School is "to promote a winning environment that provides athletes the opportunity to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally."
Core Nutrition opened in early February. They decided to open the business after the products they now sell in the store proved to be popular at The Speed School.
"We integrated the nutrition line to help kids with hydration and recovery," Giustino said. "We are trying to improve their performance and we're trying to improve their overall level of nutrition."
As owners of Core Nutrition, they also are concerned about the nutritional health of their customers.
"When you come in, you get a full meal replacement shake and you get a shot of aloe for digestion, which also helps you absorb more of the nutrients from the shake," Biggs said.
Included with a purchase of a shake is a tea shot that provides a boost of energy and reduces inflammation, among other things.
A 20 ounce shake provides 24 grams of protein along with 24 vitamins and minerals, but it is low in calories and sugar. The shakes that Core Nutrition sells contain between 200 and 350 calories.
The shakes come in a variety of flavors, including wild berry, peanut butter cup and birthday cake.
"It's a very healthy alternative to meals when you are on the go, when you need something quick or you just don't have time to cook," Giustino said. "It's just something as an alternative to always eating meals."
Biggs started drinking the shakes for weight reduction and lost 36 pounds in approximately 5 1/2 months. The shakes were part of a regime that also included working out and eating healthy meals.
Besides shakes, Core Nutrition also sells snacks and a variety of other drinks, including teas and high protein iced coffee. A tea bomb is Core Nutrition's healthy version of an energy drink.
"It gives you kind of the sense of an energy drink, but it doesn't have all the garbage and sugar in it," Giustino said. "It's all vitamins."
Core Nutrition sells two different product lines – a general meal replacement line and a sports performance line.
"It depends on what the need of the client is," he said. "If someone comes in after working out, we'll make them something with a little less calories but give them the nutrients that they need."
And if a customer has questions about any of the products, the staff members at Core Nutrition are more than happy to educate them.
"We teach you about the products, we see which ones work best for you and we support you every step along the way," Giustino said.
Athletes are not the only ones who want to eat healthy. A wide variety of people have walked into Core Nutrition since it opened.
"We are seeing a lot of moms and office people," Biggs said.
Education is key to Core Nutrition's mission. Giustino and Biggs plan to offer cooking classes.
"We're going to teach them how to cook and do different types of meal preparation with the products," he said. "We're going to have educational classes where people can come in and learn how to use the product better and integrate it into their families and integrate it into their lifestyle. It's about improving their overall fitness level and health."
As Biggs pointed out, the protein powder can be used to make much more than just shakes.
"You can make things like waffles, pancakes and tortilla wraps," she said. "Also, we will teach about making healthy meals."
Core Nutrition is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays.