Tennis champion Venus Williams continues to be unstoppable both on and off the court proving you can be at the top of your game athletically and a savvy entrepreneur with heart.
Her latest business venture is no exception. The seven-time Grand Slam Champion and four-time Olympic Gold medalist has announced the launch ofHappy Viking, a line of 100% vegan protein shakes. Plant-based living is close to Williams’ heart because she made the lifestyle change herself after a shocking medical diagnosis nine years ago threatened to derail everything she’d worked for.
Williams was diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome at 31, shortly after she was forced to withdraw from the 2011 US Open to focus on her health after suffering from extreme fatigue and joint pain. Sjögren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its healthy cells. Part of Williams road ahead to recovery was to begin living a plant-based lifestyle.
Happy Viking, founded by Williams in partnership with leading multi-brand beverage company Dyla Brands, is a plant-based protein company created to be a nutritious option for consumers to fuel their bodies and minds in a way that’s effective and doesn’t sacrifice taste. Williams and her team developed a unique combination of Complete Body Mind Macronutrients or CBMM™ – that is made up of 20g of complete protein and brain-boosting ingredients such as DHA-Omega 3, sunflower oil, and fiber in addition to all nine essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, which are vital for protein synthesis, nutrient absorption, and tissue repair for a speedy recovery post-workout.
“This is amazing for your digestive system because 80% of your immune system is in your gut, so for someone like me who needs to take care of their immune system, this gives me a boost every day,” says Williams who’s excited to bring the product to those who need it most. “So I’m very excited about what we’re doing here because it’s not just a protein drink. It’s actually a drink for your mind and your body.”
After her diagnosis, Williams’ doctors recommended she adopt a vegan, plant-based diet to help manage her chronic illness. Williams felt she was unable to find a product that was nutritious and tasty that could fit into her busy schedule, so the idea to create Happy Viking was born.
“I’m so excited about it because this is the life that I live and now to be able to give people this, to me is, is just a game changer,” says Williams.
For those considering making the switch to a plant-based diet, Williams wants you to know that the benefits are real. Her favorite, she says, is having “great skin.”
“It really does give you great skin,” says Williams. “The more raw elements that you can incorporate into your diet, [the more] your skin just starts to glow. Also, it creates energy, which is super helpful, and increased cognitive power and awareness, less brain fog, and better memory. All those different things are great. Plus, a nice waistline too.”
Happy Viking will first launch with a plant-based protein shake that will be available direct-to-consumer on its website and Amazon. Kroger is confirmed as Happy Viking’s first retailer. The products will be available at Kroger grocery retail stores nationwide in spring 2021.