Over the past few years, the sports nutrition industry has been undergoing an exciting change driven by the “active consumer.” These consumers are looking to improve their overall health, and understand the importance of having an active lifestyle in helping them achieve this goal. In short, sports nutrition is now mainstream, and involves individuals beyond professional athletes or fitness gurus. As a result, the products within the industry also require an upgrade to cater to a wider group of consumers.
A market survey done by Bio-gen Extracts found that the active consumer considered the following to be the most important parameters while selecting products: safety, efficacy, taste, convenience, and cost per dose. Consumers are also looking to not only improve one aspect of their health, but overall health. Therefore, a significant demand exists for a more holistic approach to managing one’s health with products providing complementary benefits to the consumer. Bio-gen Extracts offers a natural solution providing such benefits to product formulators and brand owners through TruBeet®.
TruBeet®, developed using green extraction technology, is an extract of red beets containing no less than 6% inorganic nitrates. This high concentration of nitrates is 3 to 6 times that of standard beetroot powders and extracts; this addresses consumers desire for increased convenience and lower cost per dose. Its water solubility and neutral taste further enhance its value proposition, as product formulators will find the ingredient to be extremely versatile and useable in a wide range of applications. The supply chain and manufacturing practices of Bio-gen Extracts also ensures that the ingredient is free of oxalates, solvents, pesticides, aflatoxins, chlorates & perchlorates.
Inorganic nitrate offer sports nutrition brands a chance to address the diverse demands of active consumers. There is an extensive body of evidence linking inorganic nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide (NO) in the body, to a wide range of positive health outcomes. As NO increases blood flow, researchers have evaluated the effect of inorganic nitrates on variables including exercise performance, cognitive function, lung function, immune function and cardiovascular health.
The research suggests inorganic nitrates have the rare mix of properties needed to meet the diverse active nutrition demands of modern consumers. However, the studies also suggest many existing products may lack the quantities of inorganic nitrates needed to drive improved outcomes. With the literature showing 7 to 12 mmol of nitrate is needed, brands must familiarize themselves with the science to avoid under or overdosing consumers.
To validate the safety & efficacy of TruBeet®, a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study on 12 physically active subjects over 7 days was conducted. Between days 1-6 of the supplementation period, subjects consumed the test products—either placebo or 8 mmol of nitrate from TruBeet®. On day 7, the subjects consumed the test products 2 hours prior to the experimental trial. During the experimental trial, the subjects completed a 2-hour moderate-intensity cycling exercise which immediately transitioned into a 60 second end-sprint performance test.
There was a significant increase of plasma nitrate in subjects who had consumed TruBeet®, while no significant change was observed in the placebo group. The group consuming TruBeet® demonstrated increased exercise endurance performance during the end sprint of a prolonged moderate intensity exercise (see Figure 1). This attribute was linked to physiological changes as well, as the subjects who had consumed TruBeet® showed significantly higher muscle oxygenation or lower deoxyhaemoglobin when compared to the placebo group.
Vital signs and laboratory data showed that both test products were safe and did not interfere with the normal functioning of the subjects. Increased endurance exercise performance demonstrated by TruBeet® is representative of real-world endurance-based events and provides a great platform to product formulators in designing convenient finished products for the active consumer. TruBeet® is ready to ride this wave of change with continuous investment in further clinical studies with a holistic approach in managing overall health. With upcoming research on cardiorespiratory health, cognitive function and muscle & joint health, the ingredient is well-positioned to take on the dynamic changes in the industry.