As Britain’s sporting love affair continues courtesy of the Paralympics this week, a Derbyshire-based startup is set to launch the UK’s first fresh milk-based sports drink.

Xcel milk uses fresh milk from pedigree Jersey cows, to which vitamins, whey protein, sugar and flavourings have been added, and was developed with the help of Ron Maughan, emeritus professor of sport and exercise nutrition at Loughborough University.

It will initially be available in strawberry in semi-skimmed (Xcel Milk) and skimmed (Xcel Milk Lite), but chocolate and lime flavours are also in the pipeline.

Based in Walton-on-Trent, Xcel Milk will be produced at Whitehall Farm, owned by George White, managing director of GLW Feeds, the UK’s largest independently owned animal feed mill. Production is expected to kick off at the end of September, and will initially be sold through, for £2.49 for a 500ml bottle. But Xcel is in talks with sports clubs about listings.

In contrast to other sports drinks such as For Goodness Shakes, which contain UHT milk, Xcel Milk is made from fresh, pasteurised milk. Sales and marketing manager Jenny Forrester said it had been created in response to research into the role of milk in post-exercise recovery.

“It’s a science-driven product purposely developed for today’s athlete to form an integral part of their training programme, with a genuinely fresh, delicious taste,” she said.

The launch of Xcel Milk comes as dairy interest in the fast-growing £1.7bn sports and energy drinks market, and sports nutrition, intensifies. In response, The Grocer is unveiling five exclusive sports milk bottle concepts produced by design agency Dragon Rouge.