The importance of the mitochondria for health

The importance of the mitochondria for health

March 24th, 2023

Mitochondria are essential organelles that produce cellular energy and play a crucial role in the overall health of the human body. This article explores the structure and function of mitochondria, including their role in exercise, aging, and maintaining cellular health. By understanding the importance of mitochondria, we can work towards maintaining their health and improving overall cellular health.

Mitochondria: structure and function

Mitochondria are tiny organelles that are often referred to as the “powerhouses” of the cell. These structures play a critical role in maintaining the overall health of the human body. In this article, we explore the function and significance of mitochondria in both health and disease.

The endosymbiotic theory suggests that mitochondria originated from free-living bacteria that were engulfed by early eukaryotic cells, leading to the development of a crucial component of the cell’s internal machinery. Today, mitochondria are present in the cells of many living things, including human cells (1).

Mitochondria are responsible for the production of cellular energy through a series of chemical processes that convert glucose into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In fact, mitochondria generate 90% of the energy required for our bodies to function properly (1). Mitochondria also participate in both cell development and cell death and are essential for the regulation of the cell cycle, cellular differentiation, and other cellular processes.

Mitochondria and exercise

Since mitochondria are responsible for generating energy for the cells, they are essential for exercise and physical activity.

During exercise, the demand for energy in the muscles rises, and the mitochondria produce ATP, the main source of energy for cells. As a result, the muscles may work harder and for longer periods of time (2).

Additionally, the mitochondria aid in the removal of lactic acid from the muscles, which delays the onset of fatigue and discomfort. Overall, mitochondria’s capacity to supply energy to cells is essential for exercise, enabling enhanced physical performance and recovery.

Mitochondria and aging

Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are created by the mitochondria as a byproduct of energy generation, are theorized to play a role in some aspects of aging (3).

These particles harm proteins, lipids, and DNA, and also harm the mitochondria’s functioning components.

When the mitochondria become dysfunctional, more ROS are produced, which worsens the damage.

Physical activity is thought to be a great approach to support mitochondrial health by controlling mitochondrial quality control (MQC) and allowing damaged mitochondria to be repaired or eliminated and new mitochondria to be synthesized, restoring the metabolic state.

Mitochondrial biogenesis is the process by which new mitochondria are created within cells. This process is essential for maintaining mitochondrial health and function, as it ensures that cells have a sufficient supply of these vital organelles.

Several factors can stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, including exercise, calorie restriction, and certain dietary supplements. Exercise, in particular, has been shown to have a powerful effect on mitochondrial biogenesis, as it increases the demand for energy in the muscles and stimulates the production of new mitochondria to meet this demand.

Maintaining mitochondrial health

Mitochondria are essential because they serve as the cell’s main energy source. The cell wouldn’t be able to perform its important activities without the energy provided by the mitochondria, which would result in cellular malfunction and ultimately, cell death.

Furthermore, mitochondrial health and function are essential for maintaining tissue and organ function as well as the general health of cells.

To maintain mitochondrial health, it is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and limiting exposure to contaminants in the environment.

Exercise is particularly important because it promotes mitochondrial quality control and decreases the formation of ROS, boosting the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and raising the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which favors calcium handling and contractility (4).

The importance of mitochondrial health

Mitochondria play a critical role in maintaining the overall health of the human body. They are essential for the production of cellular energy, the regulation of the cell cycle, and other cellular processes. To maintain mitochondrial health, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-balanced diet.

Physical activity is a great way to support mitochondrial health by promoting mitochondrial quality control and decreasing the formation of ROS (5). By understanding the function and significance of mitochondria in cells, we can concentrate on keeping these essential organelles active and functional.


Sports-Performance-Webinar

WEBINAR - Sports Performance

WEBINAR – Sports Performance

Product concepts with WATTS’UP® to improve performancein both endurance and strength

March 30th, 2023 at 3PM CEST.

A critical component of athletic performance is nutrition, and there exists a substantial market for supplementation within this domain. Join us while we dive in the clinical evidence supporting the sports performance boosting citrus extract WATTS’UP®, and product formulations with this ingredient. The webinar will take place at 3PM CEST.

SIGN UP HERE

Sports nutrition is a specialized field that focuses on optimizing the diets of athletes and active individuals to enhance performance and promote recovery. Proper nutrition can help athletes achieve their goals by providing the necessary energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients for their bodies to function at their best.

Supplementation of specific macronutrients is an important way to improve sports performance. It can help boost your energy, increase blood flow and enhance your power output.

Join our webinar and discover the clinical evidence supporting WATTS’UP® and how BioActor’s sweet orange extract can be integrated into effective products targeting sports performance.

Sign up now!

SIGN UP HERE

Meet the Speakers:

Meet the speakers! Yala-Stevens,-PhD,-Chief-Scientific-Officer-and-Bjarne-Maas,-Marketing-&-Account-Manager

What wil be discussed during this webinar?

Clinical Research

Presentation by Yala Stevens, PhD – Chief Scientific Officer, who will introduce the science behind WATTS’UP® and the clinical trials showing the positive effect of WATTS’UP® on power, peak performance and blood flow.
Duration: 15 minutes

Sports Performance trends & consumer insights

Presentation by Bjarne Maas – Marketing & Account Manager, who will discuss the consumer insights and product formulation examples related to sports performance.
Duration: 15 minutes

Q&A session

Duration: 10 minutes

SIGN UP HERE

Foods-for-energy

What foods are good for energy?

What foods are good for energy?

February 23rd, 2023

Maintaining high energy levels is crucial to effectively tackle daily tasks. While lifestyle habits like regular physical activity and good sleep patterns play a vital role, different foods might also has an impact on energy levels. Did you know B Vitamins, nitrate, hesperidin and Ashwaganda root are all part of these foods? Read more in this article!

Foods-for-energy

These foods will help you maintain your daily energy

To finish your daily tasks at home or during work it is nice to be fully energized. It allows you to perform well and to get the most out of your day. Spending time full of energy, is time well spent!

Lifestyle habits influence your energy levels. You should take care of your sleep pattern and engage in physical activity frequently, but did you know that your diet also influences your energy status?

And no, we’re not talking about jacking up your caffeine intake, because this might cause some negative side effects that some people are more susceptible to than others. That’s why we wrote this article about alternatives to caffeine to get a mental boost.

In this article, we will dive in the 4 best natural compounds to boost your overall energy!

B Vitamins for energy

B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that function as coenzymes in many bodily processes. There are eight different B vitamins that you can find in foods such as meat, seafood, and dairy.

Unlike instant energy boosters, B vitamins optimize the pathways which convert ingested food into energy for the body. Furthermore, certain B vitamins help in the formation of red blood cells, which are important to carry oxygen through the body. This oxygen is then used to energize your cells.

Supplements may help to boost energy levels of people who are deficient in vitamin B12. People that follow a varied diet are usually not short on vitamin B, but a deficiency might occur when people follow a vegan or vegetarian diet (1).

Nitrate containing foods to support energy levels

Nitrate is present in high amounts in beetroot and green-leafy vegetables such as arugula, spinach, celery, and lettuce. Dietary nitrate is a precursor of nitric oxide, which is an important signaling molecule in the body.

Nitric oxide induces vasodilation, which increases blood flow. When blood supply is enhanced, more oxygen and nutrients can reach the muscles, which is needed to provide energy to the working muscle.

Dietary nitrate also improves the efficiency of the mitochondria; the powerhouses of the cell. With the use of oxygen, mitochondria convert food into energy in the form of ATP. Dietary nitrate reduces the oxygen cost of ATP production, making it easier to produce energy on a cellular level.

Moreover, dietary nitrate reduces the amount of ATP used to contract your muscles, meaning that it takes a longer time before you are out of energy.

For submaximal endurance type physical activity, and for high-intensity physical activity it is especially beneficial to consume dietary nitrate (2)

Foods that contain hesperidin

Hesperidin is a polyphenol abundantly present in citrus fruits, like oranges. Once ingested, hesperidin is converted into hesperetin by bacteria in the intestines. Hesperetin is then absorbed into the blood and transported to different parts of the body.

The mitochondria are the main providers of energy for the cells, by turning carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into ATP. By increased stress on the mitochondria reactive oxygen species (ROS) is created, which makes you feel less energetic. This happens during exercise for example. Hesperitin is able to boost your energy by inhibiting the production of ROS. (3)

Hesperetin also increases the availability of nitric oxide, leading to increased blood flow to fatigued tissues leading to a higher supply of oxygen and nutrients. Additionally, pro-inflammatory markers are reduced upon hesperetin exposure.

These properties make hesperidin most suitable to enhance recovery after physical activity, optimize the oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscles, and boost your energy! That’s why there are many reasons for including hesperidin in supplements.

Ashwagandha root

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a traditional herb from India, and its extract is obtained from the root of the plant. Ashwagandha is an apoptogenic herb, meaning that it helps the body’s response to stress.

Due to its diverse composition of phytochemicals, Ashwagandha root extract has many biological implications. It reduces inflammation, and supports the protection mechanisms against infections, and metabolic and neurological illnesses. (4)

Ashwagandha root extract is suggested to enhance endothelial function, improve mitochondrial function, and reduces ROS. As a result, this extract is able to improve aerobic exercise capacity, clearly indicating its energy boosting capacities! (5)

Foods to support your energy levels

In conclusion, there are several natural compounds that can help boost your energy levels without resorting to caffeine or other instant energy boosters. B Vitamins, nitrate, hesperidin, and Ashwagandha root are all natural compounds found in various foods that can help optimize bodily processes, increase blood flow, reduce oxidative stress, and improve mitochondrial function. Incorporating these compounds into your diet, along with maintaining good sleep patterns and engaging in regular physical activity, can help you maintain high energy levels and perform well throughout the day.


Actiful-physical-and-mental-benefits

Actiful® - New Publication Reveals Physical and Mental Health Benefits in Elderly

Actiful® – New Publication Reveals Physical and Mental Health Benefits in Elderly

Maastricht, The Netherlands, August 29th, 2022

Press release
A new randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with Actiful® was recently published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Ageing. The study investigated whether Actiful® improves physical fitness and mental well-being in healthy elderly. Additionally, blood biomarkers for oxidative stress and endothelial function were measured. Key findings of the study were an improvement in handgrip strength, a measure of physical fitness, and psychological functioning facets, such as thinking, memory, learning, and concentration.

Actiful-physical-and-mental-benefits

The study

The new research, published in the Journal of Nutrition Health & Ageing, was conducted by researchers at Maastricht University led by Dr Freddy Troost in collaboration with BioActor, the developer and manufacturer of the branded ingredient, Actiful®.

Actiful® is a citrus flavonoid and pomegranate complex designed to boost vitality and support energy levels for an active lifestyle. The ingredient is standardised for its content in highly bioavailable 2S-hesperidin, an important citrus flavonoid which already showed in previous BioActor studies the efficacy in improving blood flow and sports performances in both highly trained and recreational athletes.

The new study investigated whether daily supplementation with 700mg of Actiful® would affect physical fitness and psychological functioning in a healthy elderly population.

As life expectancy increases rapidly, the elderly population is growing in numbers. Ageing is one of the main risk factors for a wide variety of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and reduced physical function. Therefore, strategies to support vitality in senior subjects are becoming increasingly relevant.

 

The methods

The study included 36 active seniors aged between 60-75 years old. The design of the clinical trial was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. All participants received both treatments and placebo: four weeks of supplementation with Actiful® and four weeks of supplementation with the placebo, separated by a washout period of 4 to 8 weeks.

During the intervention, participants completed the WHOQOL-100 questionnaire, a list of 100 questions created by the World Health Organisation and validated to assess the quality of life. In addition, a senior fitness test and handgrip measurements were performed, which are validated measures of physical performance.

Furthermore, nitrate levels were measured as a marker of endothelial function. Nitrate is considered an important signalling molecule involved in endothelial function by inducing vasodilation, leading to improved blood flow.

Oxidative stress was also evaluated by determining malondialdehyde (MDA) plasma levels. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body and can damage cells, proteins and DNA, contributing to ageing.

 

The results

The study results indicate that four weeks of daily Actiful® supplementation significantly improved handgrip strength in healthy elderly. Handgrip strength is an important measure of physical fitness associated with reduced all-cause mortality, as well as increased cognitive function, mobility, and functional status.

According to the researchers, a potential mechanism that might be associated with improving handgrip strength is improved mitochondrial function. In fact, the role of hesperetin – the main metabolite of Actiful®, in mitochondrial functioning, increased intracellular ATP production, and mitochondrial spare capacity was already observed in vitro.

“With age, the number and functionality of mitochondria decreases. Dysfunctional mitochondria have reduced the capacity for producing ATP – our muscles’ principal energy source. Therefore, the next step is to confirm the effect of Actiful® on mitochondrial biogenesis and functionality in humans in vivo”, the researchers commented.

In addition to the handgrip strength, also psychological function improved after the 4 weeks of supplementation with Actiful®.

Specifically, the researchers found a significantly higher score for the treatment group than the placebo in the thinking, memory, learning, and concentration facet. As the quality of life is an important factor in successful ageing, improved psychological functioning is deemed increasingly relevant.

MDA and NO3 were also analysed as a measure of oxidative stress and endothelial functions. After supplementation, plasma MDA decreased compared to the placebo, a sign of improved oxidative stress status.

Finally, higher production of NO3 was observed. NO3 is an important signalling molecule involved in endothelial function by causing vasodilation in smooth muscle cells and can contribute to improving blood flow and exercise capacity, as demonstrated in previous studies.

Overall, the study results suggest that Actiful® consumption results in improved physical performance and better quality of life, which are two crucial factors in successful ageing.

We are pleased with the results of this clinical trial, which includes improvements both in physical fitness and mental well-being, as well as improved oxidative stress markers. These results have piqued our interest regarding potential underlying mechanisms of action, which are currently being investigated in our new clinical trial.” Commented Sanne Ahles – clinical researcher at BioActor.

 

Opportunity for innovation

Actiful® has been developed to support vitality and energy levels contributing to healthy ageing. The active ingredient can already be found in various products on the market worldwide. Actiful® is easy to formulate, and it can be added to a wide variety of dietary supplements in several convenient formats, including gummies, effervescent tablets, capsules, ready-to-use sachets and drinks.

 

About BioActor

BioActor, based at the Maastricht Health Campus, Netherlands, is a life science company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & consumer health industries. The company focuses on the development of plant-based health ingredients for active living and healthy ageing. The goal is to provide the nutrition & consumer health industries with clinically tested innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact BioActor via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities that Actiful® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.actiful.eu and www.bioactor.com


man-training

The effects of Hesperidin on exercise performance - New publication from BioActor in collaboration with Maastricht University

The effects of Hesperidin on exercise performance – New publication from BioActor in collaboration with Maastricht University

Maastricht, The Netherlands, July 22nd, 2022

Press release
The review recently published in Nutrients was conducted by BioActor in collaboration with Maastricht University and examined the potential mechanisms through which hesperidin can improve exercise performance.

man-training

A review on hesperidin and exercise performance

Nutrients, a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal of human nutrition, has recently published a review about hesperidin’s effect on exercise performance. The research was conducted by M. Imperatrice, a clinical researcher at BioActor, in collaboration with the Maastricht University’s Department of Human Biology.

 

This review collects the results of randomized controlled trials (RTCs), animal studies, and in vitro studies providing more evidence on how hesperidin, a flavanone abundantly present in citrus fruits, could lead to enhancement in exercise performance.

 

According to the review’s results, hesperidin is able to improve endothelial function (via increased NO availability), inhibit ROS production, decrease production and plasma levels of pro-inflammatory markers, and improve anaerobic exercise outcomes (e.g. power, speed, energy).

 

We are really proud to share the results collected in our review about the potential mechanisms linking hesperidin to enhanced anaerobic performance, namely improved endothelial function, reduced exercise-induced oxidative stress, and inflammation. For elite and recreational athletes, hesperidin could be a promising food supplement to optimize the oxygen and nutrient supplies of the muscles, stimulate muscle contraction, and enhance muscle recovery between training sessions. The ergogenic effects that hesperidin can bring to the spectrum of improved exercise performance are promising and should be investigated further. With our “Actiful 2” ongoing Clinical Study, we are going to deepen this knowledge by investigating both the effects of hesperidin supplementation on endurance exercise and on changes in intramuscular markers via skeletal muscle biopsies.” said M. Imperatrice.

 

BioActor’s interest in hesperidin has resulted in the development of two active ingredients. The first ingredient branded under the name WATTS’UP® and targeting sports performance has already been tested in two randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials, one with highly trained athletes and one with moderately trained subjects. The second ingredient goes under the name Actiful® and targets energy and vitality. This ingredient has already been tested in randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials, in elderly subjects, showing physical and mental benefits.

 

About BioActor

BioActor, based at the Maastricht Health Campus, Netherlands, is a life science company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & consumer health industries. The company focuses on the development of plant-based health ingredients for active living and healthy ageing. The goal is to provide the nutrition & consumer health industries with clinically tested innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact BioActor via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities WATTS’UP® and Actiful® have to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.wattsup.eu, www.actiful.eu and www.bioactor.com


BioActor-starts-new-clinical-trial-on-Actiful

Started new clinical trial with Actiful®

Started new clinical trial with Actiful®

Maastricht, Netherlands, May 4th, 2022

Press release
BioActor has officially started a new clinical trial with Actiful® in healthy middle-aged adults. Actiful® is BioActor’s innovative citrus and pomegranate complex ingredient designed to enhance vitality and support an active lifestyle.

BioActor-starts-new-clinical-trial-on-Actiful

The new randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study

BioActor announced today that it has officially started the new intervention study on Actiful®.

Actiful® is an orange and pomegranate complex with demonstrated health benefits such as improving blood flow,  increasing energy levels, improving mitochondrial efficiency and boosting mental well-being.

This is the second clinical study that will be conducted with Actiful® and it will be performed in collaboration with Maastricht University at the research facilities in Maastricht and Venlo.

Duting this new double-blind placebo-controlled study, 52 healthy middle-aged (40-65 years) will take the supplements (or the placebo) for a duration of 12 weeks. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of Actiful® on physical fitness, vitality and quality of life.

The primary outcome (VO2max) will be estimated by use of the Ekblom-Bak submaximal test, a novel test performed on a cycle ergometer.

Additionally, a sub-group of participants will undergo a skeletal muscle biopsy to explore the effect of Actiful® on mitochondrial biogenesis and muscle repair.

As we age, we tend to have less energy and lose vitality. Functional foods and dietary supplements containing polyphenols are seen as an excellent strategy for long term sustained energy production. BioActor is addressing this need by developing a unique product- Actiful®. This product consists of all-natural ingredients from oranges and pomegranates.

“I’m really excited to be part of this project as the combined effect of hesperidin and punicalagin on enhanced performance has never been studied before”, says Maria Imperatrice, the study executive researcher in Maastricht. “We are very curious to explore their effect on human exercise and deepen the knowledge of the effect of polyphenols on mitochondrial biogenesis and muscle regeneration.”

About BioActor

BioActor, based at the Maastricht Health Campus, Netherlands, is a life science company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & consumer health industries. The company focuses on the development of plant-based health ingredients for active living and healthy ageing. The goal is to provide the nutrition & consumer health industries with clinically tested innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact BioActor via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities Actiful® has to offer.

Further information can be found on:  www.actiful.eu and www.bioactor.com


How-to-increase-endurance-performance-during-sport

How to increase endurance performance during sport

How to increase endurance performance during sport

April 14th, 2022

Do you experience an overall lack of energy during sports activities? Then it’s time to increase your endurance performance during physical activity. In this article, we will explain what endurance is, why is important for you and which nutrients and supplements can support your diet, boost your energy levels, help you recover faster, and enhance your overall performance during your training.

How-to-increase-endurance-performance-during-sport

Endurance Performance in different sports

Endurance is the ability to sustain an activity for extended periods of time and usually relates to aerobic or anaerobic exercise [1].

Aerobic endurance applies to sports like long-distance running or swimming where athletes exercise for extended periods of time. In this type of exercise, the body relies on supplying nutrients and oxygen to working muscles.

On the other hand, anaerobic endurance is related to high-intensity exercises that may last minutes such as weightlifting. In these cases, a different type of endurance (strength) is necessary to achieve the maximum number of sets and reps in a workout plan.

Nowadays, many athletes also focus on activities that include resistance with the body (calisthenics) or equipment such as weight machines and barbell exercises. In these cases, a different type of endurance (strength) is necessary to achieve the maximum number of sets and reps in a workout plan.

The conclusion in each case is that high volume of training puts extreme demands on the body from a physical (strength & power), mental (focus) and energy (endurance) retention standpoint.

Why is endurance performance important?

Endurance can benefit your overall wellness by improving heart health, lowering the levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, preventing injuries and controlling your weight.

As it concerns your performance skills, studies have shown that endurance helps athletes develop skills like agility, speed, power, and strength. More specifically, it is an efficient way of maintaining your energy levels before fatigue sets in.

As an example, you can consider a basketball player who wants to jump for rebounds in the final minutes of an intense game or even a marathon athlete that needs to run the last kilometers of a demanding race.

Thus, endurance can keep your circulatory system healthy and make the difference between winning or losing in different sports.

Ways to boost your endurance during sport

As Paul Krebs, MD, of Premier Orthopedics, part of Premier Physician Network asserted, “body has the ability to get oxygen to the body and to the muscles that are using it during exercise.” A workout program focused on endurance training can lower the level of work-related fatigue [2]. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends all adults get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week.

However, nutrition is also an essential factor that influences the endurance of athletes. More specifically, it has been proved that nutritional supplements in performance endurance and enhancement are essential for athletes, even though there is a lack of knowledge of their use. Thus, athletes need reliable information regarding supplements they can trust and use in their daily demanding life [3]. In the next section, we will focus on the ingredients that a supplement should include for increasing endurance performance.

Ingredients for endurance

L-Glutamine

Even if the body can synthesize glutamine, its levels might not be sufficient for athletes. The body can become depleted of glutamine in case of high intensity training [4] and as a result, athletes seek to increase the dosage intake by supplementation.

L-Glutamine accelerates muscle recovery while it helps athletes to exercise harder. The increased sodium uptake reduces muscle fatigue and breakdown while maintaining muscle growth.

The recommended dosage for L-Glutamine is between 3 to 6 grams [5].

Carbohydrates

As it was mentioned previously, athletes need endurance for different types of training. For example, marathon runners exercise for extended periods of time and require a lot of carbohydrates to sustain their performance.

Any athlete who exercises for more than 60 to 90 minutes requires carbohydrate intake during their performance to sustain sufficient energy levels for fueling muscles since their glycogen stores may only last a limited time.

A combination of carbohydrates with a small amount of protein has been shown to efficiently prevent the amount of muscle damage that occurs during an endurance exercise [6].

The daily recommended dosage for Carbohydrates depends on the type of exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and Dietitians of Canada (DC) recommend:

• Moderate endurance exercise (1 hour per day): 5-7 g/kg of body weight per day.

• Moderate to high-intensity endurance exercise (1-3 hours per day): 6-10 g/kg of body weight per day.

• Moderate to high-intensity endurance exercise (4-5 hours per day). 10-12 g/kg of body weight per day.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that athletes can use to temporarily boost their energy [8]. More specifically, it can increase the heart rates when athletes feel fatigued, and it has been proven to improve endurance performance [6].

Even if caffeine reduces athletes’ perception of effort, it is important to be aware of the side effects it might have in higher intakes [9]. Some of the side effects of too much caffeine are anxiety, insomnia, muscle breakdown, rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.

It is also possible that caffeine has the opposite result where the consumption of many caffeinated beverages is followed by fatigue [10].

The recommended clinical dose of caffeine is between 3 and 6 mg/kg.

Citrus flavonoids (hesperidin) – Power and endurance in one ingredient

If you want to increase your endurance, strength, and power during a high intense training, you should bear in mind an extra ingredient with the name of citrus flavonoids (hesperidin). BioActor has developed a proprietary ingredient that is optimized for bioavailability and performance, backed up by two clinical studies: WATTS’UP®.

WATTS’UP® was studied for its beneficial effects on endurance performance and high-intensity performance at a daily dose of 400-500 mg.

The first clinical trial was conducted at the Dutch Olympic training facility. It confirmed that WATTS’UP® is capable of significantly improving aerobic power in endurance athletes in comparison to placebo.

A second clinical trial was tested during the Wingate Anaerobic Test. It confirmed that WATTS’UP® can be very efficient for Peak Force, Anaerobic Power, and Endurance compared to placebo.

In conclusion, proper nutrition in addition to a well-designed training plan, can enhance sporting performance and reduce recovery time.


Which ingredients shoul be included in a pre-workout formula

Which ingredients should a pre-workout formula include?

Which ingredients should a pre-workout formula include?

January 13th, 2022

If you are looking for the ideal pre-workout formula, you came to the right place. In this article, we explore the most relevant ingredients that your pre-workout formula should include to target power, focus and endurance.

Which ingredients shoul be included in a pre-workout formula

Tingles and rashes, this is what the average gym visitor is looking for in a pre-workout formula. However, sometimes it can be difficult to choose the right product due to the endless lists of ingredients.

You may find yourself asking questions like: “Do I really need all these things?”, “What is it that really matters?”. If this is the case, in this article, we explore a few effective ingredients to target the 3 main benefits a high-quality pre-workout should provide: power, focus and endurance.

What is a pre-workout?

Pre-workouts are known to most as cocktails of rash- and tingle-causing formulations. However, these days, formulations are more sophisticated than they used to be. They are consumed by athletes from all disciplines briefly prior to their workout or training.

The goal of consuming these types of formulas is to enhance acute exercise performance [1]. You can find pre-workouts in different forms, like drinks, gels or capsules, yet ready-to-drink powders are by far the most common format.

Getting the most out of your workout

If you are considering consuming a pre-workout for improving your performance, you can pay attention to a few things before buying.

First, you would like to have an effective product that addresses three main benefits: power, focus and endurance.

Further, you would like this product to have a rapid onset of these effects, ideally within 15-30 minutes of intake.

Finally, you can consider choosing a formula that contains natural ingredients and avoid consuming high amounts of stimulants like caffeine.

In the next section, we look at the ingredients that you should be looking for in a pre-workout.

Ingredients for power

These ingredients provide fuel to maximize high-intensity movements within your training or workout [2].

 

Citrulline malate. Clinical dose: 6 g

This ingredient consists of citrulline, a non-essential amino acid, and malic acid, an intermediate in the citric acid cycle.

Citrulline malate is linked to improved blood flow during exercise by augmenting nitric oxide (NO) levels, as citrulline is a NO precursor [3].

Currently, it is unclear whether the performance improvement is linked to this mechanism, but several studies support an improvement in peak power output after citrulline malate consumption [4,5].

 

Creatine. Clinical dose: 3 g

Creatine is one of the most well-researched ingredients in sports nutrition. Creatine supplementation increases intramuscular creatine levels. Short-term energy generation in muscle tissue comes virtually 100% from creatine – the phosphorylated isoform, Cr-P.

Daily intake has been demonstrated to promote anaerobic performance in the gold standard Wingate Test [6]. Researchers also found beneficial effects on exercise recovery with creatine intake, reducing exercise-induced muscle damage [7].

Ingredients for focus

These ingredients make sure that you can focus on your movements to execute them with high precision [2]. Focus is more famously referred to as mind-muscle connection.

 

Brainberry®. Clinical dose: 65 mg

If you are looking for an alternative to caffeine to boost your focus, you might want to learn more about Brainberry®.
Brainberry® is a natural Aronia berry extract developed by BioActor to enhance cognitive performance. Research conducted on Brainberry® revealed that the consumption of Brainberry® can increase focus, psychomotor speed and mental flexibility [8,9].

In particular, a study which was performed on 35 professional basketball players, showed important benefits after one week of supplementation, highlighting the ability of Brainberry® to significantly enhance cognitive performance and improve basketball-specific skills like shooting, rebounding and dribbling.

Brainberry®’s benefits are attributed to the high levels of Cyanidin-3-O-Galactoside contained in the extract, a compound which plays an important role in improving brain health and cognitive functions.

Want to know more about Cy3Gal and how it is involved in brain health? Read this article!

 

Caffeine. Clinical dose: 200 mg

Similar to creatine, caffeine is one of the most well-researched ingredients in sports nutrition [2], often referred to as the primary ingredient responsible for acute ergogenic effects.
Low doses (3 mg/kg body weight) have been linked to improved alertness, vigilance, mood and cognitive processes during exercise [10].

However, a comparison between non-caffeine and caffeine-containing pre-workout formulas concluded that the caffeine-containing pre-workout reduces calmness. If you are training in the evening, this might be a reason to pass on caffeine [11].

Ingredients for endurance

These ingredients are important to provide nutrients to feel energized until the end of your workout [2].

 

Beta-alanine. Clinical dose 4-6 g

Beta-alanine is a carnosine precursor, a compound that buffers lactate build-up in the muscle tissue, prolonging the feeling of soreness.

It has been shown that 4-6 g of beta-alanine consumption per day for two weeks improves high-intensity exercise performance. Regular consumption maintains a certain level of intramuscular carnosine levels, as beta-alanine is the limiting factor in carnosine production [12].

 

Carbohydrates. Dose depending on exercise type [13]

This ingredient depends a lot on the exercise type you are performing. Typical gym sessions last between 45-120 minutes, for which a small amount of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates shortly before exercise can be beneficial.

Carbohydrates are the main energy source during resistance exercise and are mobilized from glycogen stores. A small amount of carbohydrates is able to support glycogen store replenishment [14].

Endurance exercise is typical of a longer duration and would require a larger pre-workout carbohydrate amount to optimize glycogen stores. Slow-release carbohydrates could be a consideration for this type of athlete, as they deliver energy over a longer period of time.

Citrus flavonoids (hesperidin) – Power and endurance in one ingredient

If you want to take your pre-workout to the next level, an additional ingredient you may want to include in your pre-workout formula, are citrus flavonoids (hesperidin).

WATTS’UP® is a natural Citrus sinensis extract researched and developed by BioActor. The recommended daily dose (clinical dose) for this ingredient is 400-500 mg.

Two randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials conducted by BioActor confirmed that WATTS’UP® is able to significantly improve peak force, endurance capacity and anaerobic power in trained subjects.

Further research revealed that WATTS’UP® works by stimulating nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in blood vessels, thus stimulating vasodilation and better blood flow. [15]

Moreover, it was demonstrated that WATTS’UP® boosts mitochondria efficiency and respiration capacity, resulting in 33% higher ATP production – the fuel for our muscle [16].


6 Reasons to Include Actiful® in Your Energy Supplement

Top 6 Reasons to Include Actiful® in Your Energy Supplement

Top 6 Reasons to Include Actiful® in Your Energy Supplement

November 1st, 2021

As energy-boosting dietary supplements are gaining popularity amongst consumers, the need for clinically-proven health ingredients is growing accordingly. If you are a formulator looking to craft an effective product targeting energy & vitality, you may be overwhelmed by the many ingredients available out there. Can’t make your mind up? In this article, we explore the top 6 reasons to include Actiful® in your product.

6 Reasons to Include Actiful® in Your Energy Supplement

The growing interest in energy-boosting supplements.

In today’s hectic world, more than ever, people suffer from tiredness and lack of energy. Many consumers indeed tackle physical and mental stress with the help of dietary supplements, which help them with avoiding the fatigue feeling, doing more sport and being more socially active.

The interest in nutritional solutions for an extra energy kick is increasingly gaining popularity. In fact, according to the recent CRN consumer survey on dietary supplements, improving energy levels is among the top 5 reasons for consuming such products (28%, a 7% increase yearly), showing how people are relying on supplements to get through the day.

What is Actiful®?

Actiful® is a patent-protected orange and pomegranate complex specifically designed to enhance energy and vitality, affecting short-term and long-term energy systems and improving mood.

This all-natural ingredient is standardized for highly bioavailable hesperidin, an important polyphenol found in sweet orange (Citrus Sinensis). Hesperidin containing foods are part of the type of foods that are good to support your faily energy.

BioActor developed Actiful® and, together with Maastricht University, researched the ingredient and confirmed its health benefits in multiple randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Including Actiful® in your formulation: top 6 reasons

If you are thinking of including Actiful® in your formulation, you must know the following:

 

1. It has been clinically tested in both young and senior subjects.
When the common goal is being more active, Actiful® is the ideal ingredient for both young and senior subjects.

The efficacy of Actiful® was first demonstrated in a 4-week randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study conducted with young subjects. The results show that immediate and sustained energy improved significantly for the supplementation group compared to placebo.

In another clinical trial, the objective was to measure the effect of Actiful® on energy and mental wellness in seniors. As expected, anaerobic power significantly improved in the supplementation group.

Interestingly, also the WHO Quality of Life scores on mental wellness significantly increased in the Actiful® group, compared to the placebo.

 

2. It boosts the NO levels, thereby improving the blood flow.
The active flavonoids in sweet orange, the major component of Actiful®, were found to activate the phosphorylation of Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS). eNOS is the key enzyme for Nitric Oxide (NO) synthesis. Consequently, NO increases, having a beneficial effect on the endothelium by promoting vasodilation and increasing blood flow.

As a direct consequence of the improved blood flow, oxygen and nutrients are more efficiently transported to the body districts where required.

Pomegranate further augments the production of NO as it is an excellent donor of highly bioavailable nitrate.

 

3. It works directly at the mitochondrial level.
Experiments in myotubes showed that Hesperitin, the active flavanone derived from the metabolization of Actiful®, enhances ATP production at the mitochondrial level.

By quenching the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reducing proton leakage between the intermembrane space and the mitochondrial matrix, Hesperitin is able to improve the proton gradient required for the ADP-ATP phosphorylation cycle.

This process results in a better “respiration capacity” of the mitochondria, leading to more ATP production, the fuel for our muscle.

 

4. It acts on the body as well as on the mind.
Mood is a crucial aspect of every individual’s well-being. Stress, anxiety, focus and happiness are all factors that affect our psychophysical wellness.

It was demonstrated that the supplementation with Actiful® not only positively affects the energy level, but it may also affect the mood.

As it is clear that body and mind work in tandem, Actiful® can be considered the perfect vitality enhancer!

 

5. High bioavailability is proven.
Bioavailability is an important aspect to consider in nutraceuticals, as it is a key indicator of absorption and directly influences the bio-activity of specific molecules.

Actiful® was developed with this concept in mind, and a human and in vitro study demonstrated that the active ingredient starts to be taken up by the body within minutes.

Furthermore, the active metabolites remain available for several hours after consumptions. Hence, Actiful® offers excellent potential for a significant immediate energy boost, maintained over time after consumption.

 

6. It is patent-protected.
Actiful® is an innovative and patent-protected ingredient. BioActor is a pioneer in researching the positive effect of citrus flavonoids on energy metabolism.

This further adds value and makes Actiful® even more unique. Why? Because you won’t find imitations in the marketplace.

If you are interested in learning more about Energy & Vitality – Trends, Clinical Research and Innovation, you should check out our webinar on this topic. Click here to register!


Webinar learn about vitality

WEBINAR – Learn about Vitality

WEBINAR – Learn about Vitality

June 7th 2021

Vitality is an attractive health proposition for many consumers. More than ever, people are looking for real solutions to achieve their goals in life, with physical and mental wellness among them.

The holistic approach and desire for vitality aren’t restricted to 50+ individuals trying to get back to their youth. In fact, younger generations are demanding products supporting their busy lifestyles. However, vitality could be seen as a hazy concept with different meanings. That’s why vitality positionings represent both an attractive and yet open opportunity for supplement brands.

At BioActor we have embraced the vitality concept, and we are focusing on the research in this field with a three-dimensional approach: physical, mental, and sexual health.

What are you going to learn during the webinar?

Trends & Consumer Insights

Who are these consumers and what are they looking for? Presentation by Marit Veenstra – Trends and consumers insights specialist, who will provide insights into the consumer trends driving the vitality segment of the nutraceutical and functional foods market.
Duration: 10 minutes

Clinical Research

How do you research vitality? Presentation by Sanne Ahles – Clinical researcher, who will dive into the science, explaining the relevant endpoints, tools and biomarkers, currently used in clinical research to assess vitality.
Duration: 10 minutes

Innovation

Why citrus flavonoids offer great possibilities to innovate and bring vitality to consumers? Presentation by Cosimo Cisternino – Account manager at BioActor, who will introduce the health ingredient Actiful® – A natural citrus flavonoids booster for energy and vitality.
Duration: 10 minutes

Q&A session

Duration: 10 minutes

Watch now on demand