BY Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Patrick Sullivan Jr. and Ashley Leroux started playing pickleball in 2018 and quickly became addicted.
Enjoying the sport so much, the couple incorporated it into their business, Jigsaw Health, a North Scottsdale-based vitamin and supplement company. Launched earlier this year, Pickleball Cocktail is designed to reduce cramping and increase hydration in pickleballers.
Pickleball Cocktail is a sugar-free, orange-flavored electrolyte powder containing 800 mg of potassium, roughly the equivalent of two bananas. The formula was created by Sullivan Jr.’s dad, Patrick Sullivan.
“We use a combination of stevia and monk fruit, two natural sweeteners,” Leroux says. “There are no sugar alcohols, so people won’t have tummy problems.”
It also includes dimagnesium malate, an energizing form of magnesium, as well as sodium chloride to keep pickleballers hydrated, energized and free from cramps.
“Most players don’t realize there are actually two types of muscle cramps,” says Leroux, the business development manager at Jigsaw Health. “If you start cramping during a game, that’s a sign that your body is low in potassium. If you cramp up in the middle of the night, that’s a sign your body is low in magnesium. Jigsaw Pickleball Cocktail addresses both of these concerns.”
Nearly 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium, company literature says. The couple believes it’s due to a lack of education on magnesium. Since 2005, Jigsaw Health has been developing science-based dietary supplements with a focus on magnesium featuring sustained release technology, which controls the release of active ingredients so absorption can happen over time. So, MagSRT was created.
MagSRT was evaluated in the Scottsdale magnesium study, a placebo-controlled, human clinical trial of 91 participants. The study measured serum magnesium, red blood cell, magnesium and magnesium deficiency symptoms. The results were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Sullivan Jr. and Leroux began playing pickleball in the summer of 2018 in Flagstaff. Sullivan Jr. has a background in tennis, but Leroux previously hadn’t picked up a racquet. The Fountain Hills couple were 41 and 35, respectively.
After Sullivan created the products, the couple hit the ground running, so to speak, handing out samples to pickleballers on courts around the Valley.
“People really like it,” says Sullivan Jr., the chief entertainment officer. “We have so many friends hooked on it.”
Sullivan Jr. and Leroux took their love of pickleball a step further and sponsored seven of the world’s top pros, all of whom have been featured in the company’s “We Love Pickleball, Too,” commercials. Recently, they constructed a pickleball court at its headquarters.
Pickleball has seen a 650% increase in player numbers over the past seven years, according to USA Pickleball Association, and boasts more than 3 million players worldwide. The paddleball sport combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. While anyone can play, the sport is especially popular with active people 60 years and older; however, the largest growth contingency has been with middle-aged participants.
“One of the great things about pickleball for the baby boomer generation who may have played tennis or racquetball is that they’re immediately decent players,” he says.
“It’s on a smaller court, so the ball doesn’t bounce as high. You don’t have to run around as much. It allows people to get into competitive sports without a large number of injuries.”
In addition to Jigsaw Pickleball Cocktail, the company is best known in the pickleball community for creating the musical parody “I Wanna Dink with Somebody,” featuring Leroux singing the Whitney Houston classic to video clips from 63 different pro and amateur pickleballers. The video has nearly 300,000 views to date.
Jigsaw Health’s motto is “It’s Fun to Feel Good.”
“The organization’s goals are to help our clients feel good with nutritional and vitamin supplements needed to live a full, happy and healthy life,” Sullivan Jr. says.