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Located in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland, Active Root is a sports drink company committed to delivering innovative natural sports drinks to athletes of all levels. We use natural root ginger to help keep athlete's stomachs settled and balanced during exercise. Our goal is to provide a product that helps make a genuine difference to your athletic performance while only using natural ingredients.
Active Root is used by athletes of all standards, from professional marathon runners, cyclists, triathletes and OCR racers to budding amateur sport enthusiasts and week-night joggers. We also work with and support multiple team sports clubs. Our products are available online, and can be found at sporting goods retailers, pharmacists and outdoor stores.
The Active Root mascot is Ginger the fox. Our inspiration for a fox came from an encounter with a real fox on the Edinburgh Meadows during one of our market research tasting sessions. He shot across the grass at a rate of knots avoiding dogs and pedestrians then sprang over a wall. We were impressed!
"As an ultra runner, I have been on a mission to find sustenance that I can tolerate for hours at a time. I used Active Root at a recent British 100km Championship and I never got fed up of the taste, I never bonked, I felt there was a steady stream of energy throughout the race."
- Robert Turner, British 100km Ultra Running Champion
"OCR demands maximum performance from every muscle in your body and it's essential to be correctly fuelled & hydrated on race day. While using Active Root I have never felt the weakness set in when using just water, or nausea that can come from overly sweet sports drinks."
- Kieron Ross, OCR trainer @ Race Fitness
"It has been such a great help to be supported by Active Root for my nutrition. I am also delighted to be apart of your wonderful team! I used Active Root in the days prior to my race as well as on race day which was fantastic."
- Jemima Cooper, British Age Group Triathlete
"Riding long distances can be really testing for the digestive system. I have found that Active Root really calms my stomach helping me to maintain an appetite. The spice makes it great on the palette too and a refreshing change from the sweet drinks and snacks so often consumed when exercising. It has now become a integral part of my routine."
- Toby Willis, Endurance Cyclist
"Active Root has completely changed my training and racing. I’ve found it hard to find carbs that I can tolerate especially during high intensity work but Active Root has changed that and now I can push myself harder for longer and my training has improved. I’m hoping this translates into race results this coming season!"
- Juliette Strauss, Triathlete
"I drink Active Root because it tastes great and keeps my stomach well during my long runs in the Pentlands. I wouldn't go without it now!"
- Chiara Franzosi, Ultra Runner
"As an ultra runner I wouldn’t be without Active Root, with my long runs or races taking anywhere from 4 hours to 48 hours, I need something that not only keeps me going but also helps me keep my appetite."
- Lucja Leonard, Ultra-runner
"I drink Active Root for the taste but also because it is the only drink that I can keep having from the start to the finish line during my ultras. I tried different products, and with most of them I could not drink or eat after a certain distance. When I tried AR, I was surprised to find some appetite and not feel sick after a certain distance."
- Romain Borgeal, Ultra Runner and Triathlete
"I always struggled on the longer distances to fuel - I’d get a sore tummy and sick of all the food. I was struggling to find anything but messaged Active Root about their ingredients, and was overjoyed to find I could have it. And it’s perfect! I love that I can add as little or as much as I want to my water, and it doesn’t make me feel sick or give me any other nasty side effects that gels do."
- Kate Pearson, Triathlete and PT
Active Root was formed by sports enthusiasts Will Townsend and George Ashley.
Will, a keen marathon runner, had often complained how main-stream sports drinks tended to upset his stomach during races. Will suggested that there must be a better way of staying hydrated and energised without the inhibiting side effects of nausea and stomach issues.
He remembered as a child whenever he got sick his Mum used to give him a ginger beer. It tasted great and made his stomach feel better. Will suggested that there could be a way of getting the benefits of ginger into a sports drink. With this idea in mind, Will and George experimented mixing root ginger into water and carbohydrates. The aim was to create a sports drink that provided optimal hydration and energy, a flavour not too sweet or spicy, and crucially deliver the stomach settling benefits of ginger during exercise. After much trial and error in the kitchen, they came up with a starting recipe!
The team had made a basic sports drink and had a theory that the ginger in Active Root could reduce stomach issues. Now they needed to see if this was even true.
Will found several journals that prove ginger does help reduce stomach discomfort and particularly, nausea (these can be read in our science section). The next step was to see if ginger could help alleviate such stomach discomfort DURING and AFTER exercise.
In stepped sports and nutrition scientist Huw Stradling. Over a 12 week period he conducted trial tests on athletes running 5km races. With his guideance the team analysed whether the consumption of a ginger isotonic beverage had an effect on an individual's gastro-intestinal (GI) discomfort. The study became the basis of Huw's Masters Thesis in Sports Nutrition. Using three variations; water, a ginger based isotonic beverage and a carrot based isotonic beverage, athletes compared measures of GI discomfort before, during and after exercise. Great news! The results showed that the ginger based beverage significantly decreased nausea and general stomach discomfort during and after exercise. Read more in our science section
With strong research background into the benefits of ginger, it was time to make a sports drink!
The next step was to ensure the ingredients in the formula worked in harmony with the stomach settling effects of ginger. The best way to achieve this was to only use where possible natural ingredients. After much testing we settled on a natural carbohydrate source, unbleached cane sugar and sea salt for electrolytes. Our focus on natural ingredients meant we also completely omitted artificial flavours, sweeteners and preservatives. Compared to factory produced ingredients such as maltodextrin and glucose, our natural ingredients are kinder on the stomach , easier for the body to process, and also crucially taste much better!
What are the benefits of ginger?
Ginger has been used to cure nausea and sea sickness since the times of ancient China. However, the athletic performance benefits of ginger have never been properly applied. Until now. Active Root uses natural root ginger in all its products to help soothe the stomach and prevent gastric discomfort before, during and after exercise. Studies have shown that between 30-50% of endurance athletes suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort. Hardly surprising when you think about the sheer impact activities such as running, cycling and swimming have on your body! To find out more about how ginger can make you feel better during exercise, check out our science section.
What ingredients does Active Root contain?
Active Root contains just 4 familiar and natural ingredients: unbleached cane sugar; citric acid; sea salt and natural root ginger. We have configured these ingredients into a formulation designed to help keep your body balanced, fueled and hydrated for longer periods. Our formula is completely free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colours and was created with the help of our resident Sports Nutrition Scientist Huw Stradling. He has over 5 years experience working on nutritional plans for high-level sports teams across the UK. Huw tells us, "Our simple ingredients profile creates a cleaner tasting, better performing product. Understanding what is going into the body helps athletes trust what they are drinking and how it will aid performance." Please read the positive feedback from athletes using Active Root.
Is Active Root vegan?
Yes! All the ingredients in Active Root are suitable for vegans and are produced using methods that do not introduce or use meat or derivatives of meat. Our products are manufactured under strict hygiene guidelines where no contaminants can be introduced to the recipe.
How best to get Active Root to dissolve?
Tip a single scoop of Active Root into your sports bottle and (depending upon how strong you prefer it) add 500-700ml of water. Firmly tighten the bottle lid and vigorously shake, turning upside down repeatedly. Active Root uses unbleached cane sugar as a core carb and as a consequence may take slightly longer to dissolve compared to other more processed powders. However, the powder will dissolve after approx 5 mins. It is well worth the wait, the cane sugar in Active Root not only tastes great but is also a lower GI index compared to other fructose / glucose-based sports drinks. This means Active Root will deliver slower release carbs and help you avoid that the typical sports drink sugar spike.
When do I drink Active Root?
Active Root can be drunk before, during and after exercise. For more information see our hydration section.
Where can I buy Active Root?
Active Root can be bought online, at high street retailers and at events. Online you can buy on the Active Root website (https://www.activeroot.co.uk/store) and Amazon Prime (goo.gl/tWw1iv). We currently stock several high street retailers that include Tiso and Run4It. These can be found here.
Because we want to make sure all our products taste and work great we have our athletic brand ambassadors test our products regularly.
We are always listening for feedback and welcome any ideas or suggestions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our manufacturing facility is in Glasgow, Scotland. A well established and trusted manufacturer, they can assure that all Active Root products are produced carefully and extensively batch tested.
All Active Root products are produced in a controlled sterile environment, free from nuts and dairy.
Active Root is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.
At Active Root we support the recycling of plastic so that it doesn’t make its way to our beloved oceans. All our products are recyclable and we take great consideration in reducing packaging waste. We are currently running a bottle exchange initiative where we collect your old unwanted sports bottles and replace them with brand new ones. Those old bottles then get efficiently recycled at an approved recycling plant. Keep an eye out for our Bottle Exchange Initiative at events near you.