Sports ingredients and applications: part II


Dr Kevin Robinson spoke to Dr Sybille Buchwald-Werner, Managing Director, Vital Solutions GmbH, to discover more about the company’s portfolio of sports nutrition ingredients, their applications and the drivers behind the increasingly dynamic active nutrition industry

Part II of this article introduces the company’s ingredients, their benefits and possible applications in sports nutrition concepts (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Possible applications in sports nutrition concepts

Figure 1: Possible applications in sports nutrition concepts

Benegut: Benegut is a natural health ingredient, obtained by water extraction from Perilla frutescens L leaves, an annual edible herbaceous plant native to Asia. Benegut regulates digestion and helps to reduce bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort, such as cramps and pain.

For this purpose, Benegut has a balancing effect on the nervous and immune system.1 Benegut has beneficial effects for endurance athletes, as well as for bodybuilders. Approximately 50% of endurance athletes suffer from digestive discomfort, such as reflux, cramps or diarrhoea during intensive training or competitions.2

Many bodybuilders also experience similar symptoms, which are not only induced by physical activity but also by high protein intake. As Benegut is readily water soluble and has a pleasant taste, it can be added without limitation to beverages, powder blends or solid dosage forms such as tablets. Vital Solutions has also developed a stickpack and a chewable tablet with Benegut. Both formulations can be taken conveniently without water during exercise.

Bluenesse: Bluenesse is obtained by water extraction from a special breeding line of Melissa officinalis L leaves, an annual edible herb native to Europe. Vital Solutions has identified special lemon balm breeding lines, which support mental health. Bluenesse improves cognitive performance, reduces stress hormones and contributes to a good mood.

Additionally, it balances neurotransmitter concentrations and activation within the nervous system.3 Athletes involved in activities that require intense concentration and quick reactions, such as hockey or tennis, may benefit from Bluenesse.

And, for those who find it hard to switch off or stop thinking about work, for example, Bluenesse can help with relaxation and focus, which is not only an important factor in reaction times, but also for activities that require concentration (such as yoga). Furthermore, Bluenesse supports overall motivation and reduces stress hormones, which consequently makes it easier to enjoy sports.

This is particularly important for beginners, who might be stressed by the physical challenge. Body conscious athletes might also benefit, as the pressure to lose weight can also cause stress. Bluenesse dissolves easily in water and has a pleasant taste. As such, it can be included in various food, beverage and food supplement formulations without limitation.

Careless: Careless is a natural health ingredient, a 100% pure mango fruit powder obtained from Mangifera indica L, a special mango variety from India. Fruits for Careless are harvested at a specific degree of ripeness, which is validated for efficacy.

Careless activates the body’s metabolism, enabling an active and healthy lifestyle and supporting a healthy body weight. Careless activates the key metabolic master switch enzymes, AMPK und SIRT1, which regulate energy homeostasis and ensure that the body always gets the energy it needs.

Sugar and fat metabolism are also stimulated, as well as circulation. Consequently, overall nutrient supply and uptake is increased, and additional metabolic processes are triggered, leading to more muscle cell and mitochondrial activity.4

Careless is also able to boost the beneficial effects of sports. It can be applied to promote endurance and is also well suited for overweight, disabled or elderly people who may have limited capacity to exercise. Owing to its metabolic boost and positive effects on fat oxidation, it supports a healthy body weight and body fat reduction.

Vital Solutions has developed a beverage stick formulation with Careless. It forms a fine suspension in water with a pleasant, fruity taste. It can be applied to powder blends, bars, and oral supplements such as tablets or capsules.

Recoverben: Recoverben is obtained by water extraction from Aloysia triphylla L leaves, an annual edible herb native to Europe. Recoverben shortens recovery time after exercise and supports physical performance and motivation for sports.

For this purpose, Recoverben supports physiological, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory systems, thereby protecting muscles and joints. Recoverben can be applied in sports nutrition products for all types of athletes because almost everyone wants to reduce post-exercise soreness and regenerate muscles more quickly. Recoverben dissolves easily in water and has a pleasant taste. It can be included in various food, beverage and food supplement formulations without limitation.

FreshPower: co-operative innovative for sports beverages: FreshPower is a product line from Josef Möller GmbH & Co. KG for the production of refreshing, sugar- and colourant- free sports and leisure beverages. They are available in 16 flavours.

The FreshPower range also includes beverage dispensing systems. The aim of the co-operation is to enhance existing beverage blends with Vital Solutions’ functional ingredients. The final beverages are dissolved in water at the ratio of 1:100, with the recommended dose being delivered in 1L of water.


Regular exercise supports overall health and both physical and mental well-being. Consumers are increasingly looking for tasty, convenient and easy-to-understand products that support physical capacity and motivation, and which later help to improve their physical performance.

Today, health and fitness clubs are important points of sale for sports beverages and nutrition products such as protein powders and bars. The market is growing and sports nutrition suppliers, as well as health and fitness club managers, are working together to fulfil consumer needs. A good example of this is that more and more gyms offer flat rates for beverages within their membership contracts. Vital Solutions would like to support its customers with innovative concepts and help them to participate in this growing market.


1. S. Buchwald-Werner, et al., “Perilla Extract Improves Gastrointestinal Discomfort in a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Double Blind Human Pilot Study,” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14, 173–183 (2014).

2. E. Prado de Oliveira, et al., “Gastrointestinal Complaints During Exercise: Prevalence, Etiology and Nutritional Recommendations,” Sports Med. 44(Suppl. 1), 79–85 (2014).

3. A. Scholey, et al., “Anti-Stress Effects of Lemon Balm-Containing Foods,” Nutrients 6(11), 4805–4821 (2014).

4. A. Gerstgrasser, et al., “In Vitro Activation of eNOS by Mangifera indica (Careless) and Determination of an Effective Dosage in a Randomized, Double Blind Human Pilot Study on Microcirculation,” Planta Med. 82(4), 298–304 (2015).