Today I am joined by Alex Tarnava, the founder and CEO of DrinkHRW, a consumer targeted brand of science-based supplements based around his primary invention, a tablet that turns regular water into hydrogen water.
Alex Tarnava is the CEO of Drink HRW and Natural Wellness Now, sister corporations in the hydrogen water industry space focusing on health and wellness. He is based in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, where he operates DrinkHRW which is based in California.
Before Alex founded one of the most cutting-edge health companies in the world to date, he managed substantial sales teams, where he learned how to motivate and influence large groups of people. Upon learning that he had rapidly developed osteoarthritis after a mystery illness afflicted himat the height of his physical prime, Alex set off on a journey to heal himself, or at least mitigate the pain and slow down the damage. That’s when he dove head first into the world of molecular hydrogen.
After 16 months of research he headed with a team of experts and thousands of trials on potential formulations and processes to generate clinically relevant doses of hydrogen water, Alex successfully launched his technology under the brand DrinkHRW, next seeking to relentlessly pursue truth through the scientific process. Alex is now working with researchers all around the world, supporting both preclinical and clinical research programs under open agreements to publish data regardless of the outcome.
With this, I got straight to asking some questions about how he optimized his business idea and worked on taking it to the next level of success. Here is what Alex had to say:
How did the idea for your business come about?
I’ve always been inquisitive, searching for answers rather than simply accepting what I’m told are realities. Upon discovering differences in dosing between commercially available options and what had found benefits in research, particularly when dose conversions from rodents to humans were made, I set to develop a “Do It Yourself” solution, focusing on how to deliver an efficacious dosage. With my own safety in mind, I sought out the help of my founding partner Richard Holand, a PhD medicinal chemist. After initial skepticism, a review of the scientific literature swayed him to help me out. The “DIY” project turned into 16 months of obsession with thousands of adjustments to our process, all with the help of experts in many other fields I had enlisted. Finally, we had a working solution.
Today, dozens of pro athletes, coaches and trainers are endorsing us and we are providing product, informally, to over 200 UFC fighters and 150 NFL players. In addition to the 6 published clinical trials and 2 case studies using our hydrogen tablets, we have 15 clinical trials underway at various stages, four preclinical research programs underway using our hydrogen tablets, and are working with twelve universities all over the world. We are also the only hydrogen supplement in the USA with New Dietary Ingredient status with the FDA.
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
When I am not moving forward, I have a voice in my head constantly, asking myself "Is this my existence?"
How did you come up with the name for your company?
Drink HRW was obvious due to HRW being the common acronym used in the scientific journals for hydrogen rich water. Natural Wellness Now was meant to be ironic, and I literally picked it as I put another call on hold to answer my corporate attorney's call asking me to pick a name.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Why is pursuing clinical research through public research teams so important to you?
- I have the best technology by a landslide
- I answer every email, every day, usually within minutes
- I flew or drove to meet large new distributors, often within days of starting talks
- I have expertise in the science of hydrogen therapy, which the vast majority of my competitors do not
- I was the only company aggressively pursuing regulatory compliance and clinical research
- For my brand, I have written more content on the subject than any other company on hydrogen therapy, and it isn't close
- We treat our customers right
- We speak the truth, even if it goes against our own benefit
There's a lot of bad actors in the supplement industry, both those who set out to intentionally deceive and those who simply do not understand science, following the bad actors. For companies that conduct clinical research, overwhelmingly it is in a manner that doesn't lead towards truth. Private research will be conducted with protocols that require the funders approval, which leads to skewed results, and contracts will dictate that results can only be published if a benefit is found. Say, for instance, a company runs a trial 10x before they find the result they want. Did that product actually work for the outcome? Or was it just a statistical anomaly? When I made the decision to enter this industry, I committed to searching for the truth, regardless of the outcome. I work with public research teams, and while I may email suggestions on strengthening the design to give a better study, I do not request contracts that give me final say on protocol and design. I also do not require contracts that forbid publishing results if they aren't to my liking. The truth will come out eventually, and I believe it is my responsibility to seek the truth.
Learn more about Alex Tarnava’s work at https://drinkhrw.com/
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.