Together with Tom Dowd, Mark Wahlberg started Performance Inspired, a line of supplements aimed at everyday athletes aiming to improve their strength, speed, and recovery with products that taste great. Men’s Fitness caught up with Dowd, a 25-year veteran of supplements giant GNC, to understand how he and his co-star are taking on this industry.
Men’s Fitness: So how did your partnership with Wahlberg come about?
Tom Dowd: We met when he was filming The Other Guys in New York and bonded instantly. We became fast friends, and solidified it the following week when he gave me a call to just chitchat about golf. He’d won a long-drive contest—he hit it over 300 yards. He really pounds the hell out of it.
Men’s Fitness: What’s the thinking behind Performance Inspired?
Tom Dowd: Being with GNC for 25 years, I’m always amazed how many people ask me, “Is this product safe?” So an all-natural line of products has always been on my mind. Our products aren’t junked up with things you can’t pronounce.
Men’s Fitness: How should the regular guy work supplements into his routine?
Tom Dowd: People are more active today, and looking for products for energy, quality protein, recovery, and getting ripped or dropping a few pounds; so we started with a strong base of core products. We’re excited to get our protein bars and RTDs (“ready-to-drinks”) launched this year. Our introductory lineup of products starts with a thermogenic 25g protein bar, which is great as a midday booster, for satiety and dieting, and to help push through the day. Our Performance 25g Whey has 5g of fiber, and we added digestive enzymes. And our pre-workout is really loaded up with the meaningful ingredients.
Men’s Fitness: This isn’t Wahlberg’s only health-minded business venture. Is he just seeing growth opportunities or is he actually passionate about this stuff?
Tom Dowd: He won’t do anything that’s not organic to who he is. He won’t do a cologne if he doesn’t use cologne. He’s famous for his ferocious workout regimen—if I stay in his guesthouse, we work out at 4 a.m., and he kicks my ass. We were up filming in Boston, and we were doing two-a-days! That’s authentic.