A proposed class action lawsuit claims that BA Sports Nutrition, LLC misrepresented the health benefits and nutrient content of its BodyArmor SuperDrink and deceptively marketed the product to the general public as a healthy option for non-athletes.
According to the case, BA Sports Nutrition claims on its labels that BodyArmor sports drink provides “more natural” and “better” hydration than water or competing sports drinks. The company furthers this representation, the suit continues, through advertisements and paid endorsements that are directed at the general public, including children. BodyArmor’s marketing material also allegedly states the product is packed with various vitamins and therefore offers health benefits like lower blood pressure.
Despite the defendant’s representations, the case contends, BodyArmor is “not nutrient beneficial” for the general public, to whom the drink is marketed. Instead of being a healthy option for the average American, BodyArmor is “an unlawfully fortified junk food” with an excessive amount of sugar, according to the suit.
“In essence,” the complaint states, “BodyArmor is a dressed-up soda masquerading as a health drink. A single 16-ounce serving of BodyArmor has 36 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of nine teaspoons of sugar.”
The amount of sugar contained in BodyArmor exceeds the daily limit of six teaspoons of added sugar recommended for women and children by the American Heart Association, the case explains, and is equivalent to the recommended daily maximum of nine teaspoons of sugar for adult men.
The lawsuit further contends BA Sports Nutrition has admitted to the Council of the Better Business Bureaus that there is no evidence BodyArmor provides “superior hydration” to water or other sports drinks. In addition, the case argues that the defendant’s claims that its products are made with natural ingredients are false, because the drinks contain unnatural ingredients, such as magnesium oxide, vitamin E and folic acid.
The lawsuit also takes issue with BodyArmor’s claims about its vitamin content. According to the case, the FDA has prohibited the fortification of junk foods in order to prevent “the deceptive promotion of foods as healthy that do not have a net nutritional benefit, or which are otherwise problematic nutritionally, simply by infusing them with some vitamin or vitamins.”
Lastly, the suit claims that BodyArmor’s marketing is deceptive when compared to the practices of companies like PepsiCo., who specifically targets athletes rather than the general public in marketing its Gatorade sports drink. In contrast, the suit argues that BodyArmor aimed its marketing squarely at the average consumer, including by launching campaigns specifically targeting children and their parents.
With regard to the named plaintiffs, the case claims that none of the four individuals were endurance athletes, but were all convinced by the defendant’s marketing that BodyArmor was “appropriate and optimal for them” and bought the drink as a result. If they had known the truth about the drink’s content, the suit contends, the plaintiffs would not have purchased BodyArmor or would not have been willing to pay as much as they did.
The lawsuit looks to represent everyone in the U.S. who purchased one or more BodyArmor sports drinks during the applicable time period, with separate classes for consumers in California, New York and Pennsylvania.