October 1, 2005
By Joanna Cosgrove
Anjinomoto breaks into the finished beverage arena with two amino acid beverages for athletes and the healthy-minded
The Japan-based Ajinomoto Group is probably best known as a supplier of amino acid ingredients to food and beverage manufacturers. Last month the company forayed into the finished beverage segment with the debut of its Amino Vital Puredge ready-to-drink (RTD) and Endurance powdered drink mix products.
According to the company, the beverages are amino acid sports supplements that are formulated with pharmaceutical-grade branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, plus arginine. When used before, during and after exertion, these ingredients are said to help “energize, hydrate, focus and repair.” Other benefits include supplying energy while combating fatigue; fast absorption to help prevent dehydration; helping maintain focus during workouts; and encouraging muscle recovery and repair.
RTD Puredge packs a rich supply of branched-chain amino acids, a source of muscular energy during strenuous exertion. Combined with the amino acid arginine, another protein building block, branched-chain amino acids also deliver what many top athletes report as a “quicker recovery with less soreness after especially tough workouts.”
Puredge delivers 740 mg. of branched-chain amino acids and arginine, with only 55 calories per 8-ounce serving. The beverage’s ingredients are also delivered at an “ideal osmotic pressure” for fast and steady absorption, according to the company.
Puredge contains no artificial flavors, colorings or sweeteners, and is available in Citrus Orange and Fruit Punch flavors. Sold nationwide at natural and health food stores, the beverage carries a suggested retail price of $3 a bottle.
Mix & Drink
Citrus Lemon flavored Amino Vital Endurance Mix & Shake powder is packaged in boxes of five individually portioned, 24-gram pouches. Each pouch is mixed with 20 ounces of water prior to consumption. The powder is designed for convenient thirst-quenching from a squeeze bottle while training or for working out at the gym.
Endurance is also available in a 28-ounce 20-serving canister. Each 20-ounce serving delivers 2,400 mg. of amino acids — including branched-chain amino acids for muscle energy support and recovery plus arginine and glutamine for overall health and well-being — plus 32 grams of carbohydrates and a blend of electrolytes, including phosphorous, magnesium, chloride, sodium and potassium. Endurance delivers amino acids plus extra carbohydrates and electrolytes athletes need for strenuous exertion, sustained energy and optimal recovery and repair.
Amino Vital Endurance is available at GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Vitamin World stores nationwide. The suggested retail price for the Endurance Mix & Shake Canister is $29.99, while the larger canister retails for $39.99.
Both Puredge and Endurance are formulated to be naturally energizing and are free of caffeine, ephedra and other stimulants.
According to Anjinomoto, both beverages are scientifically proven in terms of efficacy and safety, with optimal combinations of all key ingredients. The company also says the beverages are designed for long-term “amino acid conditioning,” which is described as the overall health and well-being derived from having a constantly, plentiful supply of the amino acids need by fit bodies.
Amino Vital is distributed by the New York City-based Nutraceuticals Division of Ajinomoto U.S.A. Inc.