Kenneth Wolf, who took the reigns as president of NAI Oct. 1, explained that SRCarnoSyn, which launched in October, delivers a higher amount of beta-alanine more comfortably in a single-dose than the original CarnoSyn, and therefore appeals to more people.
“The sustained release properties help us eliminate the paresthesia associated with beta-alanine” up to 1.6 grams compared to regular CarnoSyn, which might cause a tingling sensation and red flush at a lower dose of 1 gram, he said.
“If you are a hardcore gym rat you might love that feeling because it shows you something is going on in your body,” but the company’s research found women, older consumers and those seeking general wellness support were alarmed and turned off by the paresthesia, Wolf said.
The new sustained release powder allows NAI to better target these groups, as well as those in physical therapy or rehabilitation, by offering an effective dose without the side effect. Hardcore athletes who don’t mind the paresthesia also benefit from the new formula because they can take a larger amount at once, which reduces the frequency with which they need to take it throughout the day.
Beyond offering just a more comfortable product, NAI has more than 55 clinical studies on beta-alanine that show it stops the buildup of lactic acid in muscles for a longer workout prior to failure – which appeals to fitness enthusiasts as well as consumers in physical therapy.
In particular, the research shows that beta-alanine supplementation led to muscle carnosine increase of 80% after 10 weeks of supplementation, an increased physical working capacity of 16.9% in men and 12% in women after 28 days and an 11.4% increase in peak power output in cyclists after eight weeks.
Several studies also support the product’s use by elderly by demonstrating that it can prevent or slow muscle-wasting and improve mobility, Wolf said. He added that the risk of paresthesia, which could be confused with other ailments, previously held the company back from marketing to this group.
NAI also plans to publish more information around four or five recent studies related to the cognitive benefits of beta-alanine, Wolf said. “We have done studies with the Israeli special forces around mental acuity and focus, and two studies around concussions that show beta-alanine seems to have some sort of benefit for protecting the brain when it is under stress.”
He acknowledges that the company does not understand yet how the supplement can benefit consumers with concussions, but it is exploring additional research. This also is an area in which the company will need to tread lightly as FDA has cracked down on supplements making claims related to concussions in recent years.
SR CarnoSyn powder offers flexibility
The new sustained release powder also gives manufacturers more flexibility with formulations, beyond NAI’s previously offered sustained release tablet, Wolf said.
He explained that the sustained release properties of the tablet came from the tablet formulation process, and so could not be applied to other formats before now. But many sports nutrition consumers did not like the tablet, because they perceived it as a format for “old people,” Wolf said. Plus, this market prefers powders that can be blended for multiple benefits.
SR CarnoSyn powder addresses these concerns and can be added to functional and medical foods – further expanding the applications and marketing opportunities, Wolf said.
Benefits beyond the ingredient
Manufacturers that contract with NAI for CarnoSyn get more than just the ingredient, Wolf noted. They also will have access to NAI’s research to support advertising, guaranteed supply chain for timely production and benefits from the company’s vigorous patent protection efforts.
The last is an essential and potentially overlooked benefit in an industry that is often plagued by adulteration and sub-par quality product, Wolf said. He noted that NAI is committed to protecting its patents and reputation from other companies that attempt to illegally use the name for substandard ingredients or to defame the product.
“Consumers understand that the CarnoSyn tradename means higher quality, it means purity and that it is clinically tested,” and the company will protect tat trust through litigation if necesssary, he said.
In addition, NAI recently recommitted to a robust business to business and business to consumer marketing campaign that will increase brand awareness and help drive sales of products that use the ingredient, he said.