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Co-Founder and Sports Nutritionist Huw Stradling has overseen the development of Active Root. His studies demonstrated the benefits of Active Root in reducing gastrointestinal disturbances during exercise. The study at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh has since been peer reviewed and can be viewed here. He also has experience working with top level sports teams across the UK and in the military.
Huw discusses WHY, WHEN and HOW you might use Active Root in your training or racing.
At Active Root, our focus is making natural, delicious & stomach settling sports nutrition with eco-friendly credentials. All our products are blended and batch tested in the UK to ensure highest quality. Our entire range is suitable for vegan, vegetarian and gluten free diets.
Read below about the 3 key benefits of Active Root products - BALANCE, FUEL & HYDRATE. Depending on whether you're taking gels or drinks these 3 key features are designed to improve your performance.
How does Active Root ginger make you feel better during exercise?
The ginger in Active Root can help contribute towards a settled stomach and prevent bloating. Studies have shown that up to 90% of athletes experience some form of gastric discomfort during exercise, whether it’s pre-race nerves before, feeling sick during the event or bloating afterwards. (De Oliveira & Jeukendrup, 2013).
Active Root contains a compound called gingerol which is a relative of the compounds found in chilli peppers and turmeric. It has been suggested that gingerol can contribute to soothing the stomach by relaxing the muscles in the gut, so that stomach contents are released into the small intestine. It may also have a calming effect, so it helps get rid of excess gas, thus reducing bloating and stomach discomfort. The ginger that Active Root uses has been specially selected because of its high gingerol ratio.
How much ginger?
All Active Root drinks contain 204mg of ginger root extract per serving, the equivalent of 4g of raw ginger. Our Gel Mix contains 102mg (2g raw equivalent) per serving.
Many peer reviewed scientific studies have suggested this range of ginger dosage may help alleviate stomach discomfort and contribute to normal gut function.
Depending on exertion levels we recommend drinking one 500-750ml bottle of Active Root drink per hour and up to 3 servings of Gel Mix.
How much fuel do you need?
The body needs 80-90g of carbohydrate per hour during high intensity exercise. The body’s ability to process this depends on the type of carbohydrate and how it is absorbed. For example, the small intestine can only absorb 60g of glucose per hour. So, if your fuel source only contains glucose, you will only process 66% of the recommended hourly amount. Sugars such as maltodextrin and glucose also have a high glycemic index and are more likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
How is Active Root Fuel Better?
All Active Root products use high quality unbleached natural cane sugar as the main fuel source. Unbleached cane sugar is a natural disaccharide which is made up of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Because it's a mix of two types of sugars with different absorption methods it's easier for the small intestine to absorb the maximum amount of fuel needed for the body to function.
Unbleached cane sugar has a lower glycemic index than pure glucose or maltodextrin and is comparable to bananas and dates. This helps to provide steadier fuel delivery with fewer peaks and troughs in your blood sugar levels.
Regular Active Root Sports Drink contains 33g of cane sugar per 500ml drink. Active Root Electrolite contains 8g per 500ml drink and Gel Mix 24g per 37.5ml serving.
How does Active Root keep you optimally hydrated?
All Active Root hydration products contain natural sea salt which contributes to hydration and normal electrolyte balance.
It is generally agreed that athletes can use 400-
1100mg/l for 1 hour’s activity, confirmed by many studies . In the Active Root core range, we use 400mg per serving.
How does dehydration occur?
When the body is dehydrated, electrolyte levels become unbalanced, leading to reduced performance. Dehydration not only means that you have a greater chance of being hampered by cramping, queasiness and heat stroke, but your physical performance will also deteriorate. This is because decreased blood volume can lead to reduced cardiac output and muscle contraction. It's actually far more common for performance to become hindered by dehydration than a lack of fuel.
Salt attracts fluid, so the more salt that's in your bloodstream (within the usage range above), the higher your blood volume. A higher blood volume decreases the amount of effort your heart has to do. As a result, it doesn’t have to beat as fast to move the same amount of blood through your body. The result is that exercise feels easier 
 Nutrition for Sport and Exercise (Dunford and Doyle, 2015)
 Quote for Dr Evan Johnson (Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at the University of Arkansas) – Bicycling.com
The sea salt in Active Root is harvested from the Black Sea. Mainly containing sodium and chloride, it also contains trace minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. These trace minerals provide elements of the electrolytes in their natural form, aiding hydration and reducing muscle cramp.
There are three different types of Active Root product - Sports Drinks, Gel Mix & ElectroLite - which all help to keep the stomach behaving normally, but vary in the amounts of fuel and hydration they provide. So, when should you use these and how might you create a training or racing nutrition plan using Active Root products? Below you will find the details of what each of our product ranges contains and information on how you could create a race or training nutrition strategy using Active Root products.
After working out what you need, the next thing is to think about how and whether it's possible to take it with you. For instance, if you're running the London Marathon in April, you won't be able to rely upon 6x 500ml Active Root bottles. You'd probably take one bottle and a couple of 150ml gel soft flasks. If you're riding a tour however, you'll probably have 2x bottle cages and a couple of pockets for soft flask in your cycle jersey as well as plenty of space on the handle bars.
The golden rule when it comes to nutrition is 'try before race day', multiple times if you can. The last thing you want is to hate the taste of the fuel that you're going to be using for the next 3 hours, or not be able to get your soft flask out of your waist belt without stopping and taking it off! We hope this goes some way in explaining how you could create an Active Root nutrition plan. We've attached some recent examples from our own racing/training below as well as a guide to using Before/During or After.. As always, if you have any questions please get in touch here at email@example.com
- 3x Gel Mix servings in 150ml soft flask
- 1x ElectroLite serving in 150ml soft flask
- (Post Run) 1x bottle of Sports Drink (Green Tea)
- 2x 500ml bottles of Sports Drink (Original and Peppermint)
- 6x Gel Mix servings in 2x 150ml soft flasks
- 1x 500ml bottle of Sports Drink (Original)
- (Post session) 1x 500ml bottle of ElectroLite
I love this stuff, and no longer use any other energy drink product. I use it on my long training runs and during ultra-marathon races. It tastes great and I have never had any stomach problems when using it. Can't ask for more.
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.
I don’t usually do this type of think but felt inspired to drop you an email. Being a long term sufferer of bowel disease, I often had to choose between having the energy to finish a ultra bike or running event, or facing the potential race ending effect most energy products have on my stomach. That was until I discovered your products! To say that they are the holy grail of energy supplements to me is an understatement, so thank you very much.
Very happy customer
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 100 km 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 - Ultra Runner
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.
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.