Billy Yost

Portraits by
Cass Davis

Design + Digital Illustrations by
Arturo Magallanes

The Black Mamba isn’t the largest snake in the world, or even the most poisonous, but it is 100 percent fatal. The snake’s speed, its repeated inclination to attack (most snakes bite and flee), its venom’s toxicity, and its ability to lift up nearly half its body off the ground to strike make it the snake you’d least like to run into, say, the office of Federico Muyshondt, CEO of BODYARMOR Sports Nutrition.

Fortunately, there’s no snake in sight during Hispanic Executive’s interview with Muyshondt, but the spirit remains. A collage of Kobe Bryant, the legendary Los Angeles Laker and possibly the greatest NBA athlete of all time, hangs behind him. Bryant took the snake’s name as his alter ego, to embody the fierce predator who could be counted on to strike at the pivotal moment. The basketball legend was an early investor in BODYARMOR, and his “Mamba Mentality” lives on at the company with the intent to take down the proverbial king cobra of the sports drink world: Gatorade.

“BODYARMOR is the biggest brand in consumer packaged goods [CPG] that no one knows about,” Muyshondt says. “It’s up to my team to tell the story. We have zero artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes. We offer superior hydration, we are better for you, and we’re better tasting. Taking on Gatorade may seem like the Red Sox trying to take on the Yankees years ago, but we will win.”

While Gatorade still controls roughly 68 percent of the sports drink market share, a seismic number in any market, BODYARMOR brought a friend to the fight. In 2021, the Coca-Cola Company acquired full ownership of the company, pairing a one-two punch with its Powerade brand, which Muyshondt sees as a more direct competitor to Gatorade.

“Powerade is more for that moment of sweat,” he says. “These two brands mean very different things for very different people. BODYARMOR transcends sports. We’re part of health, wellness, and a more holistic health experience.”

The distinction makes sense. While Powerade boasts twice as many electrolytes in its formula as typical sports drinks, it also includes vitamins C and B12, which most competitors do not. Plus, BODYARMOR is preservative-, gluten-, and caffeine-free. It contains half the sugar and calories of typical sports drinks (its LYTE version even less so), and no artificial coloring, or GMO ingredients.

At present, BODYARMOR has claimed 14.5 percent of the sports drink market share while its sister brand Powerade owns 14 percent. “It’s not just mano a mano,” he says. “We’re taking on Goliath with a little bit of backup [Powerade]. It will be a battle, but I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think it could be done.”

Federico Muyshondt
BODYARMOR Sports Nutrition

Several very high-profile names agree. At press time, a new campaign released with a spot features Jennifer Lopez hitting her alarm at 4:45 a.m. and downing a bottle of BODYARMOR LYTE prior to a long beach run across, the sun beginning its ascent over the horizon. While the company has previously featured a diverse cast of elite athletes like Naomi Osaka, Baker Mayfield, and James Harden, Lopez is simply on another level.

Muyshondt says the new partnership makes perfect sense, because BODYARMOR was already part of the star’s early morning routine.

“The campaign is all about what people don’t see when it comes to someone like Jennifer Lopez,” Muyshondt says. “She’s not on a stage with backup dancers and smoke machines. She’s waking up in the middle of the night to get ready for a hardcore run. She’s fifty-three years old, and she works her butt off. We’re part of that, and we wanted to celebrate it.”

The size and magnitude of the new campaign is kicking BODYARMOR’s business into another gear. But despite the name recognition of a worldwide star, Muyshondt says his company will continue to operate as the scrappy underdog, innovating as quickly as possible and continuing to defy the odds.

Celebrity Ambassador Jennifer Lopez in a 2022 ad for BODYARMOR LYTE

Whether it’s Jennifer Lopez or BODYARMOR as a whole, Muyshondt knows a thing or two about defying the odds. Muyshondt was born in the middle of the Salvadorian Civil War, a period of unrest in El Salvador that lasted from 1979 to 1992. The United Nations reports that more than seventy-five thousand people lost their lives, with an additional eight thousand considered “disappeared.” Murder, kidnapping, and torture became a part of life for residents of the population that has just recently exceeded six million people. Muyshondt was not immune from the violence or the hardship.

“During third and fourth grade, I slept under my bed every night. Not on top of it, under it,” the CEO says.

Years later, Muyshondt began to understand that the way he grew up was not typical. Whether it was only being allowed to shower or use water at certain times of the day, or the ten hours of electricity his family was allotted, the young Muyshondt just thought it was how one lived.

“I have so much love for where I come from, but it’s also a place where the one percent is the one percent, and the ninety-nine percent is the ninety-nine. There is no middle class,” he admits. “The more and more I was exposed to the United States, the more I began to believe in this country and what the American dream could mean for me.”

The Latino market only continues to grow. As the marketplace continues to diversify, Muyshondt says being a multicultural leader becomes increasingly important to succeed on a global level. It’s also important to find ways to lure that diverse demographic into the CPG industry.

Courtesy of BODYARMOR


Federico Muyshondt may be a natural leader for BODYARMOR, but he doesn’t take his leadership skills or well-being lightly. The CEO says he pays a great deal of attention to the “inputs” in his life.

“Great coaches like Bill Belichick or Nick Saban talk a lot about not focusing on the output, but instead focusing on the process, the inputs,” the CEO says. “I’m obsessed with inputs. I know for a fact that you can get just a little bit better every day—make one better decision or work out just a little bit harder in the gym—the outputs will follow.”

The CEO says he refuses to surround himself with those who view the world through a negative lens. That kind of energy drains him, and he knows how bad attitudes can spread quickly. By building on his own life and his own teams at BODYARMOR, Muyshondt is surrounded by people who love their lives and love what they do.

Building such a life may take some time, but like Muyshondt says, just a little bit of work every day can add up to something big.

The Latino market only continues to grow. As the marketplace continues to diversify, Muyshondt says being a multicultural leader becomes increasingly important to succeed on a global level. It’s also important to find ways to lure that diverse demographic into the CPG industry.

Tech may be sexier, the CEO says, but Hispanics’ knowledge of their culture and their shopping habits, as well as their acumen working cross-culturally, are all standout attributes that would make them extremely attractive to his industry. But it’s not just Hispanics, Muyshondt urges. It’s anyone whose life has existed outside of the word “traditional.”

“To be multicultural or multilingual doesn’t mean you have to be Hispanic,” Muyshondt says. “But having experienced different things in different parts of the world is going to be a huge benefit for people entering the CPG environment.”
That said, the CEO takes time and effort to help encourage more Latinos to enter the space. He knows what it means to fall in love with an industry far before he knew it could be his life’s work.

Muyshondt grew up watching The Price Is Right with his grandmother, and when he had the chance to visit the US, he treated local grocery stores like Disney World. The wide aisles, the bright lighting, and the massive refrigeration units were as exciting to him as a roller coaster to any other child. The future CEO was enamored with the consumer experience, so it’s no wonder why he’s found so much success in the CPG field.

That success includes stints at Frito-Lay, Danone, and Chobani, the last of which seems to have left the most lasting impact on Muyshondt’s leadership. The CEO greatly appreciated the leadership demonstrated by Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya and former President Peter Mcguinness, whose visions extend far beyond the boardroom.

“[Ulukaya] is an entrepreneur, and he has a beautiful vision,” Muyshondt says. “The work that he does to make his people’s lives better, and the lives of immigrants and refugees is just incredible. He doesn’t see capitalism as a bad force in the world. He sees it as a way to accomplish good for others. Hamdi and Peter opened my eyes to a completely different way of looking at business.”

There was another guiding force that accounts for the companies where Muyshondt has spent time. The CEO is a firm believer that you are what you eat, and he wanted to devote his energy to businesses that have their customers’ health in mind. Maintaining that mindset means that he wants to use his role for good and make people’s lives healthier and more worthwhile.

BODYARMOR came at the perfect moment in the CEO’s journey to help more people find more health-conscious ways to live. “In many ways, I see BODYARMOR as the Chobani of hydration,” Muyshondt says. “I will always work for a company that stands for superior food [and] superior credentials, and using that platform to make lives better.”

Heading up the leadership of the BODYARMOR brand is Muyshondt’s opportunity to follow in the footsteps of people he greatly admires, from Kobe Bryant to company founder Mike Repole. Repole is a legend in his industry, having also created Vitaminwater. And when it comes to Bryant, the CEO says he sees the spirit of the Black Mamba in the eagerness and passion of his people every single day.

BODYARMOR’s home base in Queens, New York, is the perfect location for a company wanting to keep its ear to the ground. Muyshondt calls BODYARMOR “Queens Meets Kobe,” a tribute to the ingenuity, battling disposition, and willingness to get the hard job done.

Concerning his own leadership, the CEO says he’s been given a wide berth to drive innovation at the company. It’s a perfect combination of latitude, but also knowing he has the manpower and scope of a company like Coca-Cola backing up his team to wage the good fight against its much older and established competitor.

Muyshondt rises every morning at dawn. He’ll spend twenty-to-thirty minutes planning out his day, prioritizing spending as much time as he can with wife Faye, eleven-year-old daughter Addie, and eight-year-old son Ollie. It’s not exactly meditation, but it’s essential quiet time that energizes.

“The rest of the day is taking the war to Gatorade,” Muyshondt with a laugh. But if you know anything about the spirit of the Black Mamba, and if you’re in the sports drink industry, you should do anything but laugh along.

A Brief History of Sports Drinks

BODYARMOR and Powerade are challenging sports drink giant Gatorade. Here are just a few moments of sweat history.






The first sports drink: Glucozade (later named Lucozade) is pioneered by British chemist William Walker Hunter.


Industry darling Gatorade is invented by a University of Florida lab team led by Dr. James Robert Cade. The name is a reference to the university’s mascot, the Gator.


Powerade, Coca-Cola’s response to Pepsi’s Gatorade, is first released.


BODYARMOR, created by Mike Repole (who also created Vitaminwater), makes its market debut, focused on natural ingredients and a more holistic lifestyle focus. The company would ultimately be acquired by Coca-Cola in 2021.


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billy yost

cass davis

web development
Jose Reinaldo Montoya

Michele Cantos

Design + Digital Illustrations
Arturo Magallanes