Interview with Shaina Zaidi of Tu Me Turmeric Infused Water

10 Sep

goodbye to gatoraide2

You just may have noticed by now that I’m somewhat into food that acts as medicine- prolonging life, fighting disease- you know, the superhero foods. Anti-inflammatory Turmeric is way up at the top of my list, so when one of my running buddies introduced me to his friend Shaina and told me about her company, Tu Me water,  I was instantly intrigued. She sent me bottles of her magical turmeric infused water to try and I was like a kid on Christmas waiting for the delivery. (I know you’re judging me for saying that. Go ahead, I understand)

Listen up athletes and heavy sweaters: Tu Me water is probably the most amazing sports drink ever.

I know it takes more than water to replace lost electrolytes and minerals when I run long distances, but Gatorade is prettttty nasty and honestly, as much as I want to love coconut water,  I just don’t. So sampling and loving Tu Me water and it’s super clean list of ingredients was a very exciting day for this runner. I’m patiently counting the days until it’s available near me.  I’m so. freaking. pumped. to have an alternative to what’s currently on the market!

Shaina is so incredible and was more than happy to shed some light on my new favorite post-run refresher. She’s basically amazing: a world-traveled athlete, an articulate  businesswoman, a wellness enthusiast, and the creator of a product that’s already being embraced by celebrities and athletes. No biggie.




Tell me about yourself.

I’m a 28 year old female health enthusiast and have always been excited about being involved in sports & health and business. I grew up in Southern California, attended Marlborough School in Los Angeles and went on to earn a degree in Political Science from UCLA. I love to travel and when given the opportunity to play basketball overseas professionally, I took it and flew with it for 4 years. I love seeing the world, trying new things, staying active, and meeting new people.

Tell me about Tu Me – I’m beyond excited about this product,

Tu Me – Turmeric Infused water is a revolutionary new sports drink. It’s all natural and made with real ingredients, with real health benefits. It has fewer calories, less sugar, less sodium, and more nutrition than the other drinks on the market. All Tu Me waters are made with our proprietary blend of TurmericXtract, and meant to promote wellness as well as enhance post-workout recovery.

What inspired you to create Tu Me and how is it being received by the general market?

My Dad and I started Tu Me for a few different reasons, all with one thing in common – to help people.  We did not have to go very far to reach out to those in need. Having grown up in Pakistan, my dad was familiar with the practice of incorporating healing herbs into his daily routine—be it the amazing curry dishes that my grandmother would lovingly prepare daily or the homemade turmeric paste she would apply to his  cuts and scrapes.  I turned to my Dad for his recollection of his tradition using the herb when I suffered from exercise induced inflammation. In my last year playing overseas I had a nagging lower back injury, and the team doctors wanted to give me steroid injections such as cortisone during the game. Luckily I declined because I was aware of the negative effects associated with such injections and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as causing irritation of the stomach and other harmful effects on the body.

It all came together when I was home visiting my family and our neighbor who was diagnosed with cancer knocked on our door because she was a believer of the growing trend that turmeric could help in the reduction of cancer cells. We feverishly went to the kitchen to prepare every curry/turmeric dish we knew, but she would have to eat tons of Indian food to achieve the health benefits of turmeric.  So it made us think- why can’t there be an easier, low-calorie way to get turmeric’s known healing powers into your daily diet?  That is when it came to us- turmeric infused water.  We began experimenting with ways to eliminate the bitter taste of of turmeric and establish curcumin potency. Hundreds of gallons later, we took their recipe to, and joined forces with a world-renown food chemist and arrived at the cutting edge formulation of Tu Me Water.

What are some of the challenges of launching a company in this industry?

Launching a company in the beverage industry takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and that in itself can be a challenge. Almost daily, we work 15 hour days, devoting our time to development, production, marketing, design, research, etc. Given that we are still a start-up company we are at the stage of development where we are seeking to secure partnerships and investors to take it to the next level, and that too is a challenge. I have become immune to hearing “no,” and I think often times people see that as a challenge, but being able to channel those no’s into lessons and moving forward only helps gain momentum. Validation was once a challenge for us. We knew we had something great, but we needed to hear others say so. A big challenge in the beverage industry is developing a product that not only is good for you, but tastes good too! After sampling at the LA Marathon for a group of over 10,000 people we had our validation – people LOVED Tu Me! We have since then done many more focused group sampling and taste testings, including the Hollywood 1/2 Marathon, Youth Football Camp, and in store tasting.

What’s your favorite way to sweat?

I love to play basketball and tennis, those are my first loves and anytime I can play either I am sure to work up a great sweat. It is fun going to LA Fitness, or a basketball gym and to see all the guys faces when I ask to play next, because I am a “girl.” Then I go out there and play hard and not only work up a sweat but help them break one too! Besides playing basketball and tennis I have gotten into spinning! One of my friends took me down to both Fly Wheel and Soul Cycle and I absolutely loved them!

How do you balance holding a current job, launching a company, and staying healthy?

That is a great question, that I have yet to master! Staying healthy in the chaotic world we live in is no easy task. We are constantly on the go and surrounded by mostly unhealthy choices. But thankfully, I often times look for motivation, tips, and ideas from blogs like yours – Legwarmer Nation as well as from social media, particularly Instagram. Staying active is probably the biggest way for me to keep my sanity and stay healthy. Working out and breaking a sweat is so therapeutic, it helps me think clearly, keeps me smiling, and helps me stay fit.

Favorite Natural Health/ Beauty Secrets?

Tu Me – Turmeric Infused water! =) Right now it is a secret product that has had a soft launch in regional stores across the [San Fernando] valley and online, and is soon going to hit stores all over So Cal. It is low calorie, refreshing, and delicious. It is ideal on the go, with a meal, during, or after a workout. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins that promote wellness and enhance post-workout recovery! Check it out at – Turmeric is nature’s golden healing herb. It has been around for thousands of years and has a range of medicinal properties. Its rich antioxidants and power anti-inflammatory properties are even being researched for their cancer fighting capabilities. When most of the modern day diseases are caused by inflammation, incorporating Turmeric into your diet is a no brainer! Drink Tu Me and live well!

tume dude

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