Health Innovation and Real Madrid: A Winning Team

The Abbott-Real Madrid Innovation Lab opens the door to exploring the future of athlete health and nutrition.

Health Innovation and Real Madrid: A Winning Team

Teamwork. From meeting with coworkers in the office to practicing winning plays with fellow weekend warriors, strong teamwork allows us to learn from each other as we work toward a common goal.

So, what’s possible when an internationally renowned football (soccer) club and leading health scientists team up?

Abbott and Real Madrid have come together to open the new Abbott-Real Madrid Innovation Lab, located inside Real Madrid’s first men’s team training grounds in Madrid, Spain. The space allows Abbott scientists and the club’s medical staff to collaborate on research projects, generate innovative thinking, and explore the future of sport physiology, including how nutrition impacts performance and recovery. The work done at the Lab will benefit Real Madrid, Abbott and global athletes of all skill levels, and our discoveries can help unlock what is next at the intersection of health, sports and innovation.

“Hydration. Injury. Performance. Recovery. There is so much to explore when it comes to the combination of health, nutrition and athletics, and the research that will occur at the Abbott-Real Madrid Innovation Lab has the potential to influence how coaches, medical teams and athletes approach what they do each day,” said Hakim Bouzamondo, M.D., divisional vice president of global research and development for Abbott's nutrition business. “Now is the time to push the limits of sports science to help people reach their full potential.”

Real Madrid

The Abbott-Real Madrid Innovation Lab is a first-of-its-kind area within a professional sports team facility, bringing healthcare and sports together to drive insights that can benefit what we know about the connection between health, nutrition and physical activity. From scientific publications to educational seminars, what we learn through this partnership can help inform both the scientific community and athletes — and our work has already begun. A study we co-authored with Real Madrid in Frontiers found that biomarkers play an important role in helping us understand player fatigue and recovery. Further analysis could help medical teams better design personalized recovery protocols for athletes.

“This is the first time Real Madrid has worked with a partner to carve out a dedicated research space within the players’ training area, which gives us a unique opportunity to drive cutting-edge work that can benefit athletes both inside and outside of Real Madrid,” said Dr. Niko Mihic, head of medical services for Real Madrid C.F. “Partnering with Abbott gives us the ability to leverage the company’s scientific innovation to personalize treatment and optimize player performance.”


Teaming Up for Better Health

We’ve been the Health Sciences and Nutrition Partner of Real Madrid and the Global Partner of the Real Madrid Foundation since 2021. In this role, we’ve supported Real Madrid Foundation schools around the world by providing malnutrition screening, education and nutrition support, and we’ve helped Real Madrid athletes by providing nutritional guidance backed by science. Our collaboration demonstrates our commitment to addressing global malnutrition and supporting people so they can have access to a healthier life and a better future – and this connects to our 2030 Sustainability Plan, which outlines how we aim to transform care for malnutrition, chronic disease and infectious diseases, with a goal to improve the lives of more than 3 billion people by the end of the decade.

Real Madrid Gives Summer School a Kick

At the Abbott-Real Madrid Innovation Lab, we’re working closely with the club to co-develop research, host events and push the limits of sports science across key topics, including recovery, hydration, muscle injury and performance, to provide Real Madrid’s men’s, women’s and Academy teams the nutritional and scientific support they need to be at the top of their game. Real Madrid players currently rely on Abbott products, such as Pedialyte® Sport, Ensure® Max Protein, Ensure® Plus Advanced and Abound®* to build muscle, support immune health, stay hydrated and recover from injury.

We won’t understand what we don’t explore, and with the help of Real Madrid, we can dive into the best ways to support athletes so they’re at their best in training, on match day and during recovery.

This is just the beginning for this elite team.

* Abound is available in select countries outside the U.S. A comparable product called Juven® is available in the U.S.

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