Energy. Your body is made of it — matter is after all 'frozen' energy — so how is it that everyone is always seeking more? Nevertheless, that's the way of it, and ingredients that can promise an energy boost, whether for athletes or office workers, have a promising future ahead. Supplements in this category range from those providing a direct energy boost (read: caffeine and calories) to ones promising a more efficient energy burn during exercise or those that promote a faster, more efficient recovery.
Caffeine, certainly the tastiest energy-boosting ingredient in the book when it comes housed in its Starbucks cup, has continued its dominance, especially now that ephedra is off the shelves. Time was, the world's first professional endurance athletes, Tour de France cyclists, made their own pre-race functional beverages with an espresso and a quick snort of red wine.
Caffeine, often formulated as green tea extract to piggyback on tea's antioxidant benefits and positive consumer associations, is the key active ingredient in a plethora of energy shots, gels, stick packs, gummies and even some bars. But if you're peddling just caffeine you might as well get in line at Starbucks (full disclosure: we own no stock, but there is a shop just down the block). Fortunately, there is an ammo box full of ingredients backed with good science to help formulators hit the energy bull's eye.
Beverages still dominate this market sector, with consumers putting more stock in an energy benefit from a beverage than they are willing to do for other functional claims. And there's history here, too: Gatorade, the granddaddy of energy drinks, is in its fifth decade on the market.
Among the ingredients making a splash in energy beverages is Bioenergy's D-Ribose, an ingredient made from glucose syrup via fermentation. D-Ribose boosts the body's level of ATP, a key compound in the cell's energy pathway, so it helps the body mobilize its energy reserves more efficiently, rather than just pouring fuel on the fire in the form of carbohydrates or stimulants.
"What we can provide (formulators) is point of difference if they're looking for an energy that is a natural energy and is not caffeine," said Kathy Lund, BioEnergy's marketing director.
"We have quite a few energy drinks. We're in a Vitamin Water. We're in Full Throttle and we're in GoFast. We're in a host of other natural nutraceutical-type beverages and we're in a lot of supplements.
"I think in the beverage area there's a lot of space there," Lund said. "We're looking at expanding the opportunities within the world of recovery and endurance. A combination with an antioxidant-type product would be fabulous."
But the company is not averse to a possible pairing with caffeine.
"We looked at what does caffeine do in the body and what does ribose do. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it races the heart. Ribose modulates the heart rate," she said.
Also on the podium
L-carnitine is a molecule that is part of the cell's fat-metabolism pathway. Lonza, based in Switzerland, offers a branded L-carnitine ingredient called Carnipure and cites studies that showed increased VO2 max for athletes during exercise and decreased muscle soreness after a workout. Lonza's studies also indicate that Carnipure inhibits the buildup of lactic acid, delaying fatigue during a prolonged workout or event.
Other ingredients in the recovery sector include National Enzyme's BioCore Edge, which boosts the bioavailability of protein, and Powergrape, a red-grape ingredient from Naturex whose antioxidant properties help recovery and performance.
ActivMSM is the only GRAS-designated MSM available. MSM has been long recognized by nutritionists, athletes and active individuals as a proven supplement aiding joint and cartilage health. ActivMSM™ is manufactured by Bergstrom Nutrition® and distributed exclusively by our sister company TandemRain Innovations®.
Draco Natural Products
Fruit Phytoconcentrates of Lemon, Black Currant, Blueberry, Jack Fruit and Prunus Mume
High ORAC value and rich in phytocompounds, these fruit concentrate/extracts are excellent for post-workout recovery. Studies of similar extracts show reduced time to recovery after exercising. Jack Fruit rind contains artosterone, a naturally occurring muscle growth and repair compound.
San Jose, California, USA
Pterostilbene, a compound found in blueberries and other fruits, is closely related to resveratrol. Pterostilbene promotes mitochondrial health and biogenesis which can lead to more productive sessions and quicker recovery after workouts. pTeroPure™ Pterostilbene is suitable for powder-based and softgel sports nutrition products.
Irvine, California, USA
Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc.
Benexia Omega-3 Chia is an organic, gluten-free, ancient, whole grain, and one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Seeds typically contain 20% protein, 34% oil and 25% dietary fiber. The health benefits include cardiovascular, brain and immune system support, as well as support of a healthy inflammatory response. Visit www.pnibrands.com.
Kearney, New Jersey, USA
AstaPure natural astaxanthin
Atlantic Chemicals Trading of North America Inc.
The fundamental role of Bioenergy Ribose in energy synthesis and salvage is to accelerate tissue energy recovery, helping to restore the physiological condition of the muscle; reduce cell damage; limit free radical formation; and protect the heart and muscles from the rigors of strenuous exercise.
Ham Lake, Minnesota
Bio Serae Laboratories SAS
ViNitrox is a natural ingredient made of active fruit polyphenols (specific grape and apple blend) for healthy sports nutrition. A complete set of studies highlighted that ViNitrox™ acts as a nitric oxide (NO) enhancer and offers powerful vasodilating properties as well as enhanced antioxidant protection.
+33 468 76 76 20
AlphaSize Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (A-GPC)
DSM Nutritional Products
A water-soluble casein hydrolysate high in di and tri-peptides for fast absorption has gained immense popularity in sports nutrition. Backed by 7 published human studies showing benefits in performance, endurance, and muscle recovery, this unique protein peptide, PeptoPro, has become a firm favorite for weekend warriors and serious athletes. Please visit www.peptopro.com.
Fluxome Beta Glucan
Gencor Nutrients, Inc.
TESTOFEN is backed by two double-blind randomized placebo controlled human clinical studies. The study conducted on 60 healthy men between the ages of 18-35 years showed that TESTOFEN increased free testosterone levels (98%) in the active group, and improved muscle mass, anabolic activity and immunity. See www.Testofen.com for details.
Anaheim, California, USA
7-Keto is a leading ingredient in today's weight loss marketplace, with several leading sports nutrition companies using 7-Keto in their weight loss formulas due to the solid clinical trial pedigree of 7-Keto supporting both safety and top shelf efficacy. Additionally, new clinical data have shown that 7-Keto can increase resting metabolic rate by 5.4% versus placebo. Given the fact that 7-Keto is not a stimulant, this result is both novel and preferred by sports-nutrition consumers because it maximizes consumer safety.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Improve USA, Inc.
Aloe vera gel; whole leaf decolorized
Consuming our daily supplements with aloe instead of water increases the bioavailability. A study at the University of California, Davis showed an increase in the bioavailability of vitamin C and B12 when consumed with 3 ounces of aloe. Get more from the vitamins and minerals you consume daily.
Desoto, Texas, USA
InterHealth Nutraceuticals, Inc.
Kyowa Hakko USA
Sustamine L - Alanyl — L - Glutamine
The result of a novel enzymatic process that bonds two amino acids together naturally, Sustamine is a true dipeptide that is much smaller than a complete protein and can be absorbed quickly to aid recovery. All-natural, clinically tested Sustamine is GRAS and designed to help athletes go the distance by promoting muscle rehydration and recovery.
New York, New York, USA
Carnipure L-Carnitine plays an essential role in human energy production. The fundamental role Carnipure plays in energy metabolism makes it a crucial energy provider. Its brand satisfies all relevant food and pharmaceutical standards, is kosher certified and GRAS.
Allendale, New Jersey, USA
National Enzyme Co.
ZIP EX2 is a powerful, all-natural three-tiered energy management solution with a unique blend of digestive enzymes featuring BioCore Lipo, B complex vitamins and energy-filled herbs. This all natural combination offers sustained energy without a crash or jittery feeling.
Forsyth, Missouri, USA
Nutra Bridge Corp.
Controlled Delivery Nutraceuticals
OmniActive Health Technologies, Inc.
Capsimax™ Capsicum Extract
Capsimax is a proprietary encapsulated form of premium, highly concentrated natural capsicum (hot red pepper) extract. A number of clinical studies Capsimax's active component, capsaicinoids, show they help manage appetite, support healthy metabolism to burn calories, help increase energy expenditure in the body and reduce body mass and body fat.
Short Hills, New Jersey, USA
RhodioLife generates sustained energy and promotes wellness…including psychological, emotional and physical conditioning. RhodioLife is a powerful adaptogen. RhodioLife supports functional healthy biological response modifiers necessary for healthy immune, cardio pulmonary and endocrine systems.
973-984-0900 ext 214
Morristown, New Jersey, USA
Roquette America Inc.
NUTRALYS S85F marks the start of a new generation of pea protein. The change? — The taste! With NUTRALYS® the taste and smell generally associated with vegetable proteins are significantly reduced. NUTRALYS S85F opens up new prospects for food application development such as dairy, dietary and slimming products.
Keokuk, IA, USA
TandemRain Innovations, Inc.
ActivMSM brand methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
Trace Mineral Research
ConcenTrace Ionic Trace Mineral Blend
TSI Health Sciences, Inc.
PEAK ATP, Promilin®, PromilinPro®