What Happened To PRO-NRG After Shark Tank?

When entrepreneur Tania Patruno started her business, PRO-NRG, she was hoping to bring a viable alternative to traditional energy drinks to the market, free of negative side effects. While the majority of energy drinks contain an excessive amount of caffeine and other stimulating ingredients, PRO-NRG fuels the body in a different way, using protein and vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 was likely chosen due to its glucose-converting abilities, which in turn boosts energy levels naturally using properties already present in the body.

Described by Patruno as a "steak in a bottle," each 4-ounce portion of PRO-NRG contains 15 grams of protein instead of sugar, fat, and too much caffeine. Upon its inception, the beverage came in five flavors: grape, watermelon, citrus, berry, and pomegranate. After Patruno felt the company was heading down the right path, she turned to "Shark Tank," hoping for an investment to help the brand grow even further.

Despite good numbers PRO-NRG only garnered one Shark bite

PR-NRG owner Tania Patruno wasted no time before promoting her caffeine-free alternative as a more natural option than its competition. The company's pitch hit the airwaves on Season 4, Episode 6 of ABC's "Shark Tank," where Patruno added a little star power to the presentation, bringing out Super Bowl champion Brandon Jacobs, who said he enjoyed the energy drinks.

Patruno's goal was to bring down manufacturing costs. The drinks sold at a low price of $1.80, which wasn't a great long-term model since they cost 70 cents less to manufacture. Patruno walked into "Shark Tank," asking for $250,000 with a 15% stake in her company. She shared that the company earned $126,000 in the three months leading up to taping. So, what encouraged Patruno to enter this market? It started when she was seeking weight-loss solutions. She created the beverage for herself but eventually wanted to help others. In turn, she invested $75,000 to start her business. Despite PRO-NRG being in 3,000 stores, Patruno only received an offer from one Shark.

Although PRO-NRG founder Tania Patruno only wanted to give up 15% of her business, she ended up settling for 30% and $250,000 in a deal with Daymond John, who also attached the stipulation that PRO-NRG also had to make a deal with the protein and supplement company Badass Nutrition, with which John was partnered. Patruno immediately agreed.

The brand was redesigned as Protein Water

When the deal between Tania Patruno's PRO-NRG and Daymond John was finalized, they immediately got to work getting the company's website ready for the "Shark Tank" effect after the episode aired on October 19, 2012. "Daymond's team completely re-designed our website," she told the Shark Tank Blog. "The old one would have crashed in about five seconds. The internet just blew up. I had over 1,100 friend requests on my personal page ... Our website had the highest conversion rates in the show's history." She also said that John was helping get RPO-NRG in stores nationwide.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the East Coast, including Patruno's neighborhood, PRO-NRG changed its logo and design and had a re-launch party. The new design and name, Protein Water by PRO-NRG, was featured on its Facebook page on July 10, 2013, in the flavors berry, grape, and pomegranate, and soon added citrus and watermelon. Even more athletes, including Dion Sims, Dwayne Hendricks, and Glen Tapia, endorse Protein Water. Everything appeared to be going spectacularly for the company.

Those involved with the company were sued

In July 2013, a man named Joshua Fenwick sued Tania Patruno; her husband, Eddie Dukhman; Dukhman's sister, Helen Khorosh; their lawyer, Joseph M. Rasa; the company they set up, Santa Pur Solutions, LLC; Brandon Jacobs and his business, Brayden Enterprises, LLC. He claimed he and Dukhman had founded PRO-NRG together, but due to Dukhman's criminal history, Khorosh had acted as his representative, signing on his behalf anything that required his signature.

Fenwick alleged a complex web of deceit in which a shadow company, Santa Pur Solutions, was set up without his knowledge, and everyone, especially Dukhman, tried to force him out of the company. Fenwick also claimed that he and Dukhman originally came up with PRO-NRG's formulation, and Fenwick finalized the endorsement deal with Jacobs.

The first time Fenwick sued, the case was dismissed, but he refiled the following year. He also eventually added Daymond John to the lawsuit. Fenwick's lawyer was later brought in front of the Office of Attorney Ethics after it was alleged that they engaged "in frivolous litigation." It's unknown if all of the litigation had anything to do with PRO-NRG disappearing, but by October 25, 2014, both its Instagram and Facebook pages posted for the last time and its website disappeared.

The health and fitness industry is saturated with different protein drinks

The last decade has seen the market saturated with protein and energy drinks, with Protein2o, Pwr Lift, and Ready Protein becoming some of the most popular protein waters in business after PRO-NRG folded. However, those involved with the PRO-NRG have kept busy in different careers. Tania Patruno's Facebook page is dedicated to her work as a realtor, with pictures of beautiful houses for sale and tips on everything from installing a beadboard to making wreaths for your home.

Former NFL star Brandon Jacobs, PRO-NRG's outgoing celebrity promoter, posted his final Instagram endorsement of Protein Water by PRO-NRG on May 12, 2014. Since then, his various social media pages are mainly filled with his opinions and comments about his family and sports, with a focus on football, naturally. Jacobs also still does interviews about his time in the NFL from time to time.