Tag Archives: Nutrient

Ingredient Spotlight: Benefits of Beetroot Juice

27 Dec

A Nutra-Ingredients article has recently reported the findings of a study of nitrate-rich beetroot juice; in a study using trained female runners, it was determined that drinking the juice for four days leading up to a running time-trial could greatly improve the runner’s performance.

As little as 140 milliliters per day of beetroot juice proved beneficial for systolic blood pressure and, in turn, a runner’s 5-kilometer performance, as determined by scientists at Sheffield Hallam University.

“Although not statistically significant,” they wrote, “these results suggest beetroot juice supplementation improved 5-km time trial performance over PLA by 31 s (2.4%). Athletes should consider ingesting beetroot juice to improve 5-km running performance.”

The study of beetroot juice and its potential nutritional and cardiovascular benefits has gained momentum in recent years, especially in the United Kingdom. In past studies, scientists from the University of Exeter (U.K.) found that beetroot juice could help individuals increase stamina and exercise for as much as 16% longer; scientists at the University of Maastricht have noted similar improvements in performance among cyclists. Publications in the Journal of Applied Psychology have suggested that the juice’s nitrate content, which helps reduce oxygen uptake, may be responsible for easing [quite effectively] the “tiring effect” of exercising.

That particular study was led by Professor Andy Jones, who offered a brief summary: “Our study is the first to show that nitrate-rich food can increase exercise endurance. We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training.”

In the new study, led by Robyn Lancely and her co-workers, a double-blind “crossover design” with repeated measures a two-week washout period was used to determine whether supplementation of beetroot juice would affect 5-km running time-trial performance.

Eleven trained female runners with an average age of 20 were assigned to receive 140 mL of the juice per day, as compared to no supplementation and a placebo. While there were no major differences in systolic blood pressure among the groups, the researchers identified a trend toward reductions following consumption of the juice; those who consumed it had an average value of 114 mmHg, compared to 122 mmHg for the control intervention and 120 mmHg for the placebo intervention.

“One km split times were similar between conditions except for the 2nd km where beetroot juice was faster than control by 16 seconds and placebo by 12 seconds.”



Power Brands Consulting Finds that Food Labeling DOES Affect What Food Brands Kids Want

13 Jun

The beverage experts at Power Brands Consulting came across a study that shows kids are very visual when choosing their food items. The relationship between common food marketing techniques and kids’ reactions to the different kinds of labeling tactics are revealed in this report.

The study was conducted by the Cancer Council Victoria’s Center for Behavioral Research in Cancer. It was published in the journal Pediatric Obesity and it analyzed the preferences of 1,302 children, in school grades 5+6.

The study focused on two primary points:

  • Whether sports stars and their endorsements of unhealthy food products, emphasized right on the labeling, had any influence on the kid’s food choices.
  • It also looked at the relationship between kid’s food choices and the nutritional information provided on the labeling.

Power Brands Consulting Digs a Little Deeper into the Study

The study shows that sports star endorsements right on the labeling of unhealthy, energy dense and low nutrient foods does directly affect which food items young boys choose.

The study also shows that both boys and girls were more apt to choose food products that emphasized nutrient based information like great “source of calcium” or “reduced fat” labeling.

The parameters of the study were based on specifically designed food packaging in the following categories:

  1. Sweetened breakfast cereal
  2. Cheese dip snacks
  3. Ice cream bars
  4. Frozen chicken nuggets
  5. Flavored milk drinks

Reporting directly from the study:

For each food product category, a comparison pack was prepared, matched on packaging style to control for visual appeal of factors other than the promotion condition, but with a healthier nutritional profile,” The study concluded that “Overall, results show that on-pack nutrient content claims made pre-adolescents more likely to choose energy-dense, nutrient-poor products and increased perceptions of their nutrient content. Sports celebrity endorsements made boys more likely to choose energy-dense, nutrient poor products.

 Power Brands Consulting Summarizes the Study

Power Brands Consulting notes that there are already policies and laws in place that make it so that food items cannot make false claims of nutritional benefits. This study suggests that we should focus now on including new policies regarding the celebrity endorsement of low nutrient items and rules regarding specifically marketing food products towards kids.

Dr. Helen Dixon, the lead author of the study, suggests the following:

Stricter measures need to be introduced to limit food manufacturers’ use of nutrient content claims and sports celebrity endorsements to promote unhealthy foods, to ensure consumers aren’t confused about the healthiness such products.”