We are very delighted that Dru Barley Grass has been named as winner of the Best Sport Nutrition Award by Health Food Business magazine. This award is the result of votes cast by independent health food retailers, as part of Health Food Business magazine’s annual search for the best natural products on the market.
Barley Grass is beneficial for most people, but what makes it especially good for sports nutrition?
Looking at scientific research we found a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (Berardi et al., 2008) which investigated plant-based dietary supplements and their efficiency to tip the acid/base status in your body to an optimal balance.
Certain dietary supplements, particularly the so-called "green food" category of powdered fruit, vegetable and herbal extracts e.g. barley grass, are often purported to have an alkaline influence in the human body. In the study they used one such commercially available green food supplement to be the subject of at least one controlled trial in a university setting.
We know from research that the net acid load of the typical Western diet has the potential to influence many aspects of human health, including osteoporosis, obesity, cardiovascular disease and overall well-being.
This gets even more important in sports nutrition. Intense exercise induces a state of metabolic acidosis, and the natural buffering needed leads to disturbed mineral homeostasis.
The higher protein intake of body builders and other athletes is known to increase urine acidity and calcium loss. Also, pre-exercise diet influences body pH, which in its turn significantly influences recovery and endurance during multiple exercise bouts.
The study found that supplementation with a plant-based dietary product for at least seven days increases urinary pH, which was used as a measure of the alkalinity of the body.
They therefore concluded that plant-based dietary supplements might play a beneficial role in helping to neutralize the net acid load of the Western diet. As acidity is a particular challenge for athletes, they might especially benefit from this.
The study was small and quite simple and follow up work is required. As is often the case with natural products, the question is, who is going to fund scientific research in this field.
In the mean time let’s enjoy our natural products and benefit from them whilst science continues to discover their qualities.