Christin Wu of Essentials Protein Bar

Christin Wu joins John Vallis on the Wellness in China podcast.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Wellness in China podcast. In this episode I speak with Christin Wu , the founder of Essentials Protein Bar, one of Shanghai’s first cafes for sports nutrition.

I wanted to speak with Christin for a couple reasons. For one, she was born and raised in Shanghai, and I’m always keen to get the unique insights from people who have been on the ground, observing the ongoing changes in the health and wellness market over the past several years.

Secondly, the young female market in China is the demographic that is leading much of the growth in the health and wellness industry, however there remains a lot of misconceptions around many topics therin. I asked Christin about these misconceptions, and the various ways her company, as well as other companies in the industry, are attempting to educate their target clientele.

Lastly, Christin is a passionate advocate and practitioner of resistance training, and has no problem with a squat rack, bench press, or any other gym equipment. This however, is quite different from most Chinese women. For some reason, many young women in China have been conditioned to avoid any form of resistance training, in favor of ’softer’ forms of exercise, such as Yoga or running. When SHE started lifting weights, Christin says her friends thought she was crazy, but as time went on, and her friends noticed that rather than turning into the hulk, she simply looked fit, curvy and healthy, many of her peers began to follow suit. This is not an uncommon phenomenon regarding new trends and consumer behaviour in China, and I ask Christin if she could speculate on other areas where long-held beliefs may be undergoing change.

In addition to that, of course we talked about the emerging trends in the Chinese health and wellness market, evolving ideas of nutrition and healthy eating, her personal approach to diet and exercise, and a bunch of great advice.

One of my favourite pieces of advice from Christin was, quote. ‘If you focus on what you do, and believe in what you do, it will work.”

Quick warning. The sound of jackhammers is a near constant in China, as even in a developed city like Shanghai, there is always some kind of construction going on. So we were interrupted about 20 minutes in, and took our interview to the streets, for a stroll around the trendy neighbourhood of XinTianDi. My apologies if it’s a little more noisy than usual.

So without further ado, please enjoy my chat with the founder of Essentials Protein Bar, Ms. Christin Wu.

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