The ingredient, an extract of red spinach (Amaranthus dubius), was developed in India under the auspices of PTL’s partner DolCas Biotech. It fills a hole in the market, said PLT’s director of new product development Sid Hulse. He said PLT believes this is the first ingredient standardized to a level of nitrate, delivering 9000 mg of nitrate per 100 grams. It’s a multiple of the amount found in beet root powder and an order of magnitude more than what it typically found in beet root juice, Hulse said.
“That our ingredient is the first to offer a standardized value, that’s our understanding from the marketplace. The reason I say it that way is I don’t pretend to know every product out there,” Hulse told NutraIngredients-USA.
The vasodilating potential of nitrates has intrigued researchers and product developers for years. Nitrate supplementation is associated with higher levels of nitric oxide in the blood, which has been studied for a range of physiological effects. For example, according to recent research, NO plays a key role in the regulation of blood flow, muscle contractility, myocyte differentiation, and glucose and calcium homeostasis. NO has also been shown to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis.
A number of studies have shown significant performance boosts from the consumption of beet root ingredients. For example, a 2012 double blind, placebo-controlled study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that trained cyclists recorded faster 10 kilometer time trials and higher power outputs when being supplemented with a concentrated beet root juice ingredient. The potential of beet root juice even led the Auburn University football team to adopt a policy of drinking the juice before games.
Hulse said demand from the market let PLT to conduct a search for a standardized ingredient. While not denigrating beet juice and root powders as ingredients per se, Hulse said their variability led formulators to clamor for something more consistent.
“The nitrate level can be extremely variable, and it can vary not only because of the time of harvest but because of the humidity at harvest,” Hulse said.
“I’ve been trying to develop a standardized nitrate product for a number of years,” he said.
Hulse calls the new ingredient an “optimized” form of nitrate. “It is a concentrated form of nitrate, standardized to a minimum 9% nitrate content. But almost as important is what isn’t in it. Oxystorm does not contain oxalate which is often found in spinach, and beet greens. It also does not contain sugar – which many beet-based products do in relatively high amounts,” he said.
Market demand beyond protein
“Most of the growth in supplements has been in protein, and that can be ascribed to the sports nutrition market. We think protein will continue to grow, but with think the non protein part of the market will grow significantly, too,” Hulse said.
PLT will be highlighting the new ingredient at booth No. 3343 at upcoming Supply Side West trade show in Las Vegas.
NutraIngredients-USA will host an online forum featuring experts from Euromonitor and Musclepharm on Trends in Sport Nutrition on Oct. 1 at 11 am Eastern time. For more information and to register, click here.