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Co-Founder and Sports Nutritionist Huw Stradling has overseen the development of Active Root. His studies produced evidence on the benefits of ginger 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.
Below Huw discusses the key benefits of Active Root for sport and looks into some of the extra health benefits associated with ginger.
Ginger contains a compound called gingerol which is a relative of the compounds found in chilli peppers and tumeric. Gingerol helps sooth the stomach by relaxing the muscles in the gut so that stomach contents are released into the small intestine. It also has a calming effect, so it helps get rid of excess gas and as a result reduces bloating and stomach discomfort. The ginger that Active Root uses has been specially selected because of its high gingerol ratio.
Active Root ginger contains 204mg of ginger root extract the equivalent of 4g of raw ginger. That’s well above the threshold daily amount proven to prevent nausea (1.1-1.5grams according to research done by the US National Institute of Health).
Active Root helps settle the 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).
The body needs 80-90g of carbohydrate per hour during high intensity exercise. The body’s ability to process 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 2/3 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 Better than other sports drinks?
Active Root uses 32.7g of naturally occurring cane sugar sucrose, a dissacharide which is made up of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Because it is a mix of two types of sugars with differing methods of absorption, it is easier for the small intestine to absorb the maximum amount of fuel needed for the body to function. Active Root cane sugar also has a lower glycemic index that is similar to bananas and dates. This helps deliver steadier fuel delivery with fewer peaks and troughs in your blood sugar levels.
When the body is dehydrated, electrolyte levels become unbalanced. That can lead to performance being hampered by cramping, queasiness and heat stroke.
Active Root contains natural sea salt to help keep you hydrated. Because Active Root’s sea salt is naturally occurring and unrefined, it retains all the essential natural minerals from the sea including magnesium and potassium – and not only sodium.
That means it is more efficient at re-hydrating the body and keeping electrolytes in balance. Balanced electrolytes allow for a faster absorption of fluids from the gut.
Active Root also contains a dash of citrus to help deliver a balanced easy-drinking fresh flavour that tastes great and is easy on the stomach.
As well as helping reduce nausea and sickness, ginger is also regarded as having the following beneficial effects:
• Helps ease joint pains through its anti-inflammatory qualities
• Aids digestion
• Improves absorption of nutrients
• Lowers cholesterol
• Thins the blood – akin to aspirin
• Relieves morning and sea sickness
• Stimulates the production of saliva, making it easier to swallow
• Warms the body
Ginger was exported to Europe via India in the first century AD as part of the lucrative spice trade and was used extensively by the Romans. The Indians and ancient Chinese used the root of ginger as a tonic to treat common ailments. In the 14th century, ginger was a valuable commodity – a pound in weight cost the same as a sheep. Fortunately, we're able to bring you Active Root at a slightly better price today! The ginger found in Active Root comes from India. It was originally cultivated there over 5,000 years ago and is hand processed in the same way today.
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'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.
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.
Great product, mixes easily. Easy on the stomach and tastes great. Will be buying again.
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.
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.