Introducing 7D formulator and co-founder, Ahmed Khan
“I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN SUPPLEMENTS DESIGN AND SPORT FOR A VERY LONG TIME, AND FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS DIRECTLY BEEN INVOLVED IN SUPPLEMENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND BRINGING TO MARKET, AND MY ROLE IN 7D IS TO LOOK AT NEW AND INNOVATIVE SUPPLEMENTS THAT WE CAN USE TO HELP WITH PEOPLES’ DIETS. WE DON’T SAY THAT SUPPLEMENTS ARE THE DO ALL AND END ALL, WE JUST SAY THAT THEY ARE IMPORTANT IN CONJUNCTION WITH HEALTHY EATING HABITS.”
Ahmed retrained into herbal medicine 11 years ago, completed a post grad in sports science, and now in the process of doing a research masters which will lead to a PHD in nutrient delivery for supplements. A budding mountaineer, ex-athlete, and father of two, we chat to Ahmed about finding his calling in nutrition…
So, Ahmed, how do you find the time for all of this?
I just segment out my day, because a lot of the work is interrelated anyway so I’m not jumping around from one point to another. So it’s not as if I need to do something completely left field. If you plan your day properly you can find time to do a lot of things.
I always wanted to retain at some point out of engineering and I couldn’t figure out the best time, so someone introduced me to the course at East London university on herbal medicine, and it kind of appealed to me. It was a new area not many people do what they call phytochemistry, which is what they call the chemistry of plants, and I’ve enjoyed it. I found it really fun. It’s very rare to find somebody in my field and when you look at it, most of the nutrients we ever get comes from plants
How is phytochemistry different to other solutions on the market?
Most of the medicine is designed to be taken to for a short period of time, but the body heals and works over a long period of time, and if you give the right fuel to the body and you give the right nutrients, it has a better chance of dealing with a lot of the ailments. We’re not saying that we can solve them, we’re just giving the body the right nutrients rather than waiting for the body to break down and giving it something to fix that.
It sounds like a proactive approach…
Very proactive, long term strategy, a bit like when you take your car in for an MOT, we are doing the MOT on the body. If you eat healthy, have a varied diet, pick things from your diet which is not the same thing you eat everyday. And then just as a top-up to that, we have supplements to enhance the diet, it’s not a replacement to the diet.
Is that where you get the inspiration for new formulas?
That’s where it starts from. One of the things we try and do at 7D is to make any formula as close to the plant as we can, bc if we can get it close to the plant in the ways it grows and looks after itself, then there’s a better chance that if I put all of those nutrients into a capsule, then you’re going to get far more out of it than just an isolated part of the plant.
What’s the story between yourself and Tony then?
BEEN WORKING WITH TONY FOR 3 YEARS, WE MET THROUGH SOME WORK WE WERE DOING WITH ONE OF THE FOOTBALL CLUBS, AND WHAT TONY SAID TO ME WAS “CONVINCE ME THAT IF I PUT THESE SUPPLEMENTS YOU’VE MADE INTO MY DIET, THEY WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE”, AND HE WAS SO PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS THAT WE HAVE BEEN FRIENDS EVER SINCE AND I’VE NOW ENDED UP FORMULATING FOR HIM AS WELL
When you two go into product development, is it collaborative effort?
Tony has a background in sports science, so he understands muscle fatigue, he understands recovery, he understands what happens to the body during exercise, so from there we will formulate . So when we did the Regen7D it was to help post-exercise, so what happens to the body post-exercise? There was a lot of incomplete metabolism occurring, a lot of stress that the body has gone through with exercise, so our idea was- if we can almost clean the body after doing a training session then it should heal better, so between the two of us we came up with that idea. Tony mentioned ‘most of the impact of exercise is with recovery, so if we can help with recovery (not speed it up) that will mean the body recovers better from exercise – because we gave it the right nutrients.
How has it been working with Tony?
He’s one of the brightest people in this sports science area, and also one of the humblest. If you have those two accolades, you will work better with people. So he compliments some of the things I’m looking at, and I value his skills when it comes to sport in practice. He’s played football at the highest level, he’s coached multi-million pound footballers, so between the two of us we look at it: if we can bring together the science, supplements and the diet then hopefully we can come up with some pretty good products. I like working with him bc, he and I set ourselves goals. We go away and do them, we come back and review them and we launch those products, we don’t waste a lot of time. The thing I like is that he gives me full scope to look at the formulas and what needs to go in there
Does this synergy makes 7D products stand out from the crowd?
Yes, we always try and make innovative and forward thinking supplements to get that final push on recovery, re-workout etc, we always look at unique formulas we can be first to market with
What would you say is the mantra you go by?
All of our supplements are designed to be as close to the plant as possible, which gives our customers partners the highest quality performance
Thanks Ahmed, the 7D family can’t wait to see what’s next, keep your eyes peeled on this one…
- Herbal Cert
- Sport Science, BA, MSc