All of England is abuzz in preparation for the upcoming London Summer Olympics and the excitement is even more palpable for Nelson, Lancashire, U.K.-based Provexis plc, owner of the Science in Sport (SiS) range of sports nutrition products. Provexis recently celebrated the opening of a new manufacturing facility, dubbed The Innovation Centre, which will serve as the production hub for its newly redesigned SiS product range.
The Innovation Centre is approximately 38,000 square feet, employs more than 50 people, and is accredited to the Informed Sports quality assurance programme for sports nutrition products, suppliers to the sports nutrition industry and supplement manufacturing facilities.
The programme certifies that all nutritional supplements, ingredients and sites that bear the Informed Sport logo have been tested for banned substances by the sports anti-doping laboratory, HFL Sport Science.
The SiS makeover consisted of boosting the brand image and simplifying the range into two more cohesive core offerings: SiS GO for preparation and performance, and SiS REGO for recovery. SiS GO focuses on “effective preparation to support and sustain your performance during sport,” and includes isotonic gel supplements. SiS REGO includes products that promote recovery after a training session.
“Science in Sport (SiS) offers scientifically advanced sports nutrition solutions that fuel some of the world’s top athletes, from the top pro-cyling teams in the world to teams getting ready for the London Olympics,” said Luke Heeney, new product director for Provexis plc. “In light of this, we wanted tore-launch the SiS brand to be as innovative and forward looking as our products. The existing SiS range had little brand identity and there was no sense of synergy between the different products in the range.”
One of the company’s marquis products is SiS GO + Nitrates. “Leading endurance athletes around the world are realizing the benefits that nitrate-enhanced products can bring to their training regimes,” explained Mr. Heeney. “Nitric oxide (NO) helps enhance performance by relaxing and widening blood vessels. In turn, this increases blood flow to the organs and tissues—delivering increased oxygen and nutrients to help the body perform at optimal levels during exercise. Additionally, nitric oxide has been shown to have an effect on cell metabolism, further enhancing performance.”
He went on to cite the research-validated positive impact that nitrates can have on performance. “Results of one controlled study carried out on subjects taking nitrates for a 4- to 6-day period show that the time to exhaustion during severe-intensity running was increased by 15%, while the oxygen ‘cost ‘of walking was reduced by 12-14%,” he said. “NO can also reduce oxidation damage and help with recovery after exercise.”
SiS Go + Nitrates is formulated to deliver the optimum amount of nitrates and has been certified by independent anti-doping bodies. It also includes folic acid, which Mr. Heeney said is needed for normal nitric oxide pathway function. “To achieve the full endurance benefit, consumers need to build up the nitrate-derived nitrite in the body, which requires an intake of 500-600mg nitrate per day,” he said. “As folic acid works in synergy with the body to help nitric oxide absorption, consuming 360-400mg of folic acid per day is also highly recommended. Both targets can be easily achieved by consuming two to three SiS GO + Nitrate gels each day, starting approximately six days before an endurance event, with the last gel to be consumed one hour before.”
Fruitflow Collaboration with DSM
Provexis said it also planned to develop further commercial opportunities for its Fruitflow product as part of its collaboration with DSM. Fruitflow is a natural, scientifically-substantiated ingredient for healthy blood flow.The company said it will likely include the integration of Fruitflow technology into existing SiS sports nutrition products, with further development and product testing in progress.
“Blood platelet aggregation can occur after highly strenuous exercise,” explained Mr. Heeney. “Otherwise described as a ‘stickiness’ of platelets in the blood vessel, blood platelet aggregation can increase the risk of blood clots and cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. This is especially true for people who aren’t used to intense physical activity, as unlike trained endurance athletes, they don’t produce enough platelet-calming nitric oxide to maintain healthy blood flow.”
He added that SiS scientists are currently investigating Fruitflow can be used in sports applications. “The effects of strenuous physical exercise can be fatal for those with underlying health conditions, such as atherosclerosis or cardiac health problems,” he said. “It is estimated that physically inactive individuals have about a 50-fold increase in the risk of sudden death and a 100-fold increase in the risk of heart attack when they perform vigorous exercise. These risk levels can be substantially reduced by regular physical training, but an association with vigorous exercise still remains (risk raised two to five fold in athletes). Approximately 70% of exercise induced sudden deaths and heart attacks in the over-35 age group are attributed to obstruction of arteries by platelet clots.”
Fruitflow’s “platelet-smoothing qualities” could help alleviate the detrimental effects of strenuous exercise among consumer groups who suffer from existing conditions or who do not exercise regularly. “In terms of consumer appeal, there is much potential for a sports nutrition product containing Fruitflow.” Mr. Heeney said. “According to a recent Datamonitor report, one emerging group of consumers purchasing sports nutrition products are so called ‘lifestyle users’—those who purchase sports nutrition products as part of a focus on health and wellness. Sports drinks encompassing ingredients like Fruitflow will appeal to some users in this category, helping them to exercise in a safe and controlled way.”