Called Alp Sport, the product has been on the market for several years in Europe. It’s the brainchild of German biochemist Dr Oliver Schnorr, PhD. Before earning his doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Düsseldorf, Dr Schnorr was an elite level athlete, competing in the hammer throw.
One stop shop for athletic nutrition
Dr Schnorr said conversations he had with fellow athletes at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens led to the foundation of his company, Alp Nutrition, which is based on the bioavailability and nutrient density of liquid delivery forms.
“It was at the games in Athens that the idea to develop a liquid supplement was born. We all agreed that these nutrient blends were wonderful, but it was annoying to have to take all of these pills,” Dr Schnorr told NutraIngredients-USA.
The company says the ingredients in Alp Sport are meant to support and increase physical performance, the immune system, fast regeneration and muscle building. The product contains a combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and phytonutrients contained in an extract of seven different herbs branded as Alp Phyto.
Purity from the Alps
The company is in part trading on the purity message surrounding those herbs. They are grown organically in a plot high in the Swiss Alps. Among the herbs are chamomile, edelweiss and Melissa officinalis (lemon balm).
“In Europe it is definitely a plus to have something from Switzerland. It’s a small country that is very clean and pure, and our herbs are grown at an altitude of 1,600 meters (almost 5,300 ft). For the American market, I can’t judge, but in general I think they like Swiss and German products,” Dr Schnorr said.
In addition to the herbs, Dr Schnorr said care was taken with the other nutrients. For example, he chose bioavailable forms of magnesium, zinc and CoQ10 for the product.
“Magnesium is very important for athletes. You usually find this in products as an oxide or carbonate. We chose a bisglycinate form so the absorption of this product is much higher than the common forms,” he said.
Avoiding the endorser pitfalls
Like some other sports nutrition brands, Alp Nutrition has signed on some athlete endorsers, including former world record hammer thrower Betty Heidler. Dr Schnorr said that he believes the strict controls in the world of German sport insulates the company from one of the pitfalls of the practice, that of having spent a lot of money on branding and promotion connected to an athlete only to have that athlete fall from grace after failing a doping control.
“We test this product to make sure it is not contaminated with any substance. We are 100% sure there is nothing inside that could cause a failure on a doping test. You can never be 100% sure with an athlete, but these athletes I’m consulting with personally are under the anti doping system in Germany which is really strict, more strict than what you have in the States. In the year she competed in the Olympics, Betty had 14 unannounced anti doping controls,” he said.
Dr Schnorr’s claims for the product bear some added weight with the amount of research he has done personally on nutritional compounds. In the past he has been a coauthor on cocoa flavanols and l-arginine studies. In addition, Dr Schnorr completed a 2-year Diploma in Sports Nutrition program put on by the International Olympic Committee.