Active Root - About Us
About Us - Active Root

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 athletes keep their stomachs settled and balanced during exercise. We aim to improve athletic performance with a product made only from natural ingredients.

Active Root is used by athletes of all standards, from professional marathon runners, cyclists, triathletes and OCR racers to amateur sports enthusiasts and week-night joggers. We also work with multiple team sports clubs. Our products are available online as well as from sports retailers, pharmacists and outdoor stores.

The Active Root mascot is Ginger the fox. We chose Ginger after an encounter with a fox on the Edinburgh Meadows during a market research tasting session. He shot across the grass at a rate of knots, avoiding dogs and pedestrians then sprang over a wall. We were impressed. Now he is our good luck charm at all events we do!

Testimonials & Reviews

Please read feedback from happy customers.
 

More customer reviews can be accessed through our Product listings (under the 'Reviews' thumbnail) and also Amazon


If you have feedback please share it on our social media pages, our website or emailing us direct - [email protected]

 

"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 

 

- Ultra Runner Robert Turner tells us why he drinks Active Root! 

5 Star Reviews - Click here to read
Robert Turner

 As an ultra runner, I have been on a mission to find sustenance that I can tolerate for hours at a time.  I wanted to simplify things because I was carting every possible food/drink combination with me to races. I have been on the lookout for a drink that I can consume all the way through a race and Active Root came at the right time. I used active root at the recent British 100km Championships, this was the first big test under race conditions.  I had used the product in long (5+ hour) training runs in the lead up to the race, so I was confident it would work.  I wasn't wrong, I never got fed up of the taste, I never bonked, I felt there was a steady stream of energy throughout the race.  At last I had found that perfect drink.

Juliette Strauss

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!

Peter Macdonald

Just wanted to give you a bit of feedback and say thanks for a great product. I ran my first Ultra Marathon at the John Muir Ultra last week. I was introduced to Active Root by my friend Owain Williams. I trained with it in the lead up to the Ultra and it does a very good job, tastes great and really settles the stomach. I started off with Active Root in my soft flasks, but at the half way point of the Ultra, for some unknown reason, I decided to accept a cup of flat coke from someone at the drink station. Within the next half mile, I was feeling sick, my stomach was rejecting the coke and I almost felt like I couldn't continue. I managed to make it to the next drink station and take on more active root and refill my bottles with more. Thankfully, it worked and my stomach calmed down and I was able to finish the run. So, massive thanks for your great product. I'm pretty convinced it enabled my mid run recovery.

Adrian Beale

Loving the Active Root. Had a 2 HR brute of a session on the turbo yesterday fuelled only by Active Root. Great results. Very happy!

Toby Willis

 Riding long distances can be really testing for the digestive system. I have found that ActiveRoot 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. 

Lucja Leonard

"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."

 

etite."

Lisa W

I love the ginger flavour and the taste is not over powering like most branded sports drinks. Very practical for ultras when you can take your own supplies and add at aid stations. The new Active Root dissolves easier too, although adding a small amount of warm water helps. Marathon running b/friend with sensitive stomach has recently been converted too, so guess I'll have to order even more now!

Michael Sparks

I love this one during or after my runs when I not looking for a Caffeine boast. It reminds me of a non carbonated version of a good ginger ale. I have used this on many of my long runs and love how it keeps my tummy nice and calm. 

Keep making great stuff!!!

Steve B

Does what it says on the tin, refreshing and sweet or sticky, no stomach issues on long events :-)

Kerry-Liam Wilson

Excellent product. Been looking for something that can help with the stomach issues One has endured and these guys have produced just that!!
Normally have it with cold water, however tastes just as great with hot water especially after a long plod in the cold weather ????

Dave Reynolds

I’ve always struggled with finding a sports drink that isn’t sickly sweet and doesn’t give you an upset stomach.

Originally tried a sample of Active Root at one of the Spartan races and haven’t looked back. Great taste and it certainly settles those pre race nerves.
Been used for obstacle course races, trail runs, half marathons and CrossFit session.
Thoroughly recommend it.

John Cox Sports Therapy

I’d been looking for a product that I could drink that wouldn’t leave me feeling bloated or have that ‘yacky’ feeling in my mouth afterwards. After being put in the direction of active root there was an hallelujah moment. Personally I use this before or after a run, and have used it during long cycles. I find I don’t get flavour fatigue and enjoy the taste from the start to the finish! I also love that there isn’t anything synthetic in it, and as long as I moderate my sugar intake to take into account the high levels in this it’s all good and balanced!! 
Good job Active Root!

Fletcher Murdoch

On my 4th tub of the Green tea & ginger! Always been a fan of green tea at home, and of crystallised ginger & ginger beer on long runs. Don't do ultras any more, but this "ticks all the boxes" for me! It's a great regular hot drink at home, esp. good as a hangover cure! and works for me as a run & gym drink in preventing nausea. 

Gary F

Been using it far well over a year, it's my first choice drink for any activity, I have Gastric issues and Active Root has never caused me any problems. I have tried a taster of the Green Tea flavour and it was nice, but I still stick to the original, it's never let me down :)

John

A great start to a run and a good finisher rehydration.
Also useful during an aerobic gym session.

Laura Todd

I've struggled with adequate fueling and hydration that doesn't upset my stomach during long runs, but since trying Active Root out during Wooler Marathon I have to say I'm hooked. It tastes lovely, doesn't upset the stomach and gives me enough fuel to keep going. 

Ive since purchased the mixed sachet box to try all flavours but my favourite is the Original Ginger so have since bought the big tub. Great product, great value and even great to have as a hot drink when feeling a little tired and sluggish too. Well worth trying folks!

Cassandra

Great tasting easy to mix and does the job.

I found the one with green tea a bit sweet so stick to original which is my personal preference.

Mark Hughes

Great product, mixes easily. Easy on the stomach and tastes great. Will be buying again.

Janis Mcarthur

I’ve beeb running for years, I also suffer from gastro issues like most folk who run, anything over a 5k I took unwell and since reduced my mileage cause I couldn’t cope. I came across Active Root a few months ago reading a blog of a runner with similar issues and haven’t looked back. I got some free samples to find out my favourite flavour then got Santa to bring me these tubs so that I was never without my active root. Not only does it help me after runs, it fuels me before. I also drink it when I’m teaching fitness classes back to back and even took it whilst I was suffering a cold over Xmas. I just can’t get enough of it and wish I found it years ago

Will Jenkins

I have been using this product for 18 months, and I find it fantastic. I use it on sportives and triathlons and it is much easier to drink on the bike than other brands. I will continue to use this product through my training to do my first Ironman in Wales in September.

Kevin Church

Pre -and during- race fuelling and hydration are important to me. I’m one of those people that has routine and kit choices from years of doing runs that I stick to, so once I’ve found something that works for me it takes a lot to change it as it may result in bad luck of some kind.

I had previously been a dissolvable tablet fan but I first tried Active Root after a club run and liked the combination of it being just the right sweetness, the flavour it was supposed to be and the slight warming ‘burn’ of ginger at the end. I went on to buy a tub and use it pre every significant run or race and it’s the only thing in my bike bottles nowadays.

It sits well in the stomach and gives energy and hydration.

I now get panicky when I’m near the end of a tub as I won’t turn back to the tablets. Active Root is now part of my kit and my routine.

    

 
Brian Owens

I've ridden 8 thousand miles so far this year and achieved many personal bests from 5 miles to 100 plus. I am over 1100 achievements on Strava for my first year of retirement. I am no spring chicken ( aged 64) but am holding my own in my own way with much younger riders who help and encourage me . I actually do most of my training solo and behave on group rides! No smashing it up!! 
I first met you at Cambridge TOC which I found a very tough day and sampled a free drink after severe cramping with the finish in sight . I then bought a sample pack , listened to your good advice and help as I was really struggling and have continued using the supplement . 
I am now virtually free of taking the previous medication and wanted to express my thanks to you. I have subsequently reordered the tubs as and when. The drink has helped in many ways. A huge thank you.

Cliff Beechey

Been using original ginger active root for a few weeks now. Love the taste and definitely powers my long weekend rides. Recommended to friends who hopefully have placed orders :)

Christine

I love this stuff, and no longer use any other energy drink product. I use it on my long training runs and during ultramarathon races. It tastes great and I have never had any stomach problems when using it. Can't ask for more.

Neil Toner

Quality product that meets all my hydration needs. I first used it last summer which as you know was extremely hot. Drank 500ml before each race and never once tired or dehydrated and came 1st in my age group. I have carried on using it ever since and have recommended the ginger flavour to my companions.

Recipes

.

Active Root Ginger Biscuits

Enjoy the gingery taste of Active Root in a ginger biscuit! 

- Vegan & gluten free

Ingredients

- 110g unsalted margarine
- 110g Active Root powder (you decide the favour)
- 110g Treacle

- 235g Gluten Free Plain Flour (we like Dove Farm)
- 2 Level tea spoons of fresh baking powder

- Extra dash of ginger powder if you like them extra fiery...
 

Instructions

Gently heat together margarine, Active Root and Treacle in a medium sized pan until liquified. Allow to cool a bit. Weigh 235g of gluten free plain white flour and mix 2 tea spoons of baking powder in. 

Pour flour into the liquid already in the pan. Mix into a dough with a spatula. Shape approx 16 balls of dough on a greased baking tray. 

Space out balls with gaps so they have room to spread out 😄. Bake for 15mins at 180 degrees. Check half way through that they’re not burning! ☄️Then voila! You have your perfect 👌 Active Root ginger biscuit. Crunchy, tangy and gingery. Ideal for long bike rides or just dunked in coffee!

 

History

Active Root was formed by sports enthusiasts Will Townsend and George Ashley.

Will, a keen marathon runner, often complained that mainstream sports drinks tended to upset his stomach during races. He believed there must be a better way of staying hydrated and energised without the accompanying side effects of nausea and stomach problems.

He remembered that his Mum had given him ginger beer to cure stomach ailments when he was a child. It tasted great and cured the problem. He wondered if there might be a way to get the benefits of ginger into a sports drink. With this interest piqued, Will worked with George and they experimented, mixing root ginger into water and carbohydrates. The aim was to create a sports drink that provided optimal hydration and energy with a flavour that was not too sweet or spicy. Crucially, it had to deliver the stomach settling benefits of ginger during exercise. After much trial and error in the kitchen, they came up with a starting recipe!

Testing Active Root

The team had created a basic sports drink and had a theory that the ginger in Active Root could reduce stomach problems. Now they had to test whether that was true.

Will found some journals containing proof that ginger does help reduce stomach discomfort and, particularly, nausea. You can read excerpts from the journals in our science section. The next stage was to see if those same benefits of ginger applied DURING and AFTER exercise.

At this point, sports and nutrition scientist Huw Stradling became involved in the project. Over a 12-week period he conducted trial tests on athletes running 5km races. With his guidance, 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 Master’s 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. The results showed that the ginger-based beverage significantly decreased nausea and general stomach discomfort in the pre and post-exercise phase.

Armed with strong evidence of ginger’s benefits, 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 use natural ingredients as far as possible. After much testing, the solution emerged – a natural carbohydrate source, unbleached cane sugar and sea salt for electrolytes. This focus on natural ingredients made it possible to completely omit artificial flavours, sweeteners and preservatives. Compared to factory-produced ingredients such as maltodextrin and glucose, the natural ingredients are kinder on the stomach, easier for the body to process, and they also taste much better!

FAQ's

What are the benefits of ginger?

Ginger has been used to cure nausea and sea sickness since ancient Chinese times. However, until now, its athletic performance benefits have never been properly applied. 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 30%-50% of endurance athletes suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort. 

That’s hardly surprising given the impact on the body of activities such as running, cycling and swimming. Further information on how ginger can make you feel better during exercise are in our science section.

What ingredients does Active Root contain?

All four of the ingredients in Active Root are familiar and natural: unbleached cane sugar, citric acid, sea salt and natural root ginger. We have configured these ingredients into a formula that helps keep the body balanced, fuelled and hydrated for longer than similar products. 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 five years’ experience of working on nutritional plans for high-level sports teams across the UK. Huw says, "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.

What’s the best way 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. Tighten the bottle lid and shake vigorously, turning upside down repeatedly. Active Root uses unbleached cane sugar as a core carb so it will take about five minutes to dissolve – a little longer than processed powders. It is worth the wait, as 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 prevent the sugar spike produced by typical sports drinks.

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?

You can buy Active Root online, at high street retailers and at events. Online outlets are the Active Root website (https://www.activeroot.co.uk/store) and Amazon Prime (goo.gl/tWw1iv). Among the high street stockists of Active Root are Tiso and Run4It. These can be found here.

Quality Assurance

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 [email protected]

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.

Bottle recycle

Saving our oceans

At Active Root, we support the recycling of plastic to prevent it reaching our oceans. All our products are recyclable and we strive to reduce packaging waste. We have a bottle exchange initiative where we collect your old unwanted sports bottles and replace them with brand new ones. We deliver the old bottles to an approved recycling plant. Keep an eye out for our Bottle Exchange Initiative at events near you.