Sunday, February 9, 2014

Biotta Naturals - Legal Juicing.

When I was a kid I remember my parents making me sit at the table until I finished my beets. I remember sitting at the table by myself an hour after dinner trying in vain to wait everyone out before finally relenting. So last year, when I heard Team Rev 3 was getting a Beet Juice sponsor, I was less than thrilled.
But then I met Doug Weiss, and got the opportunity to learn a bit more about Biotta and I started to like what I was hearing. Founded in Switzerland in 1931 by Dr. Hugo Brandenberger, the organic beverage company, Biotta, has remained dedicated to their original goal of producing top-quality juice from fruits and vegetables just as nature intended–fresh from the field into the bottle. Biotta produced and launched their first line of juices in 1957. Over the years, Biotta has farmed more than 1,700 acres of chemical, fertilizer, and toxic-free land — a very rare find among today’s farmland. Along with three generations of family farmers, Biotta has established reliable and scientific organic growing techniques, which leads to a uniquely designed production process, protecting the natural wholesomeness and taste of all ingredients. Biotta juices use only natural and physical processing methods as opposed to commonly used chemical methods. Nothing artificial is added during the manufacturing process. Production routines at Biotta have a direct impact on the quality of the juices: the fewer processing steps the higher the nutritional value.
All Biotta organic juices are made from naturally grown fruits and vegetables. The quality of Biotta’s produce is the foundation of the nutritional value of their juices. All fruits and vegetables are vine/field-ripened and are selected using the highest quality standards in relation to flavor and content. After thorough washing and inspection of the raw materials, the selected fruits and vegetables are placed in a closed manufacturing process. The next time oxygen and the product will meet is when the consumer opens the bottle. This process is one of three key steps that result in Biotta’s quality.

The second key to Biotta’s quality is juicing. Instead of pressing the fruit or vegetable, where it may lose some nutritional value due to the rough process, Biotta pulls the juice out of the fruits and vegetables through a gentle process called decanter technology. Decanting is a short process of centrifugation (separating the juice from the mash) which takes only a couple of minutes, allowing maximum nutrition to be maintained in all of Biotta’s juices.

The third and final key to Biotta’s quality is the pasteurization. Biotta juices are pasteurized at a very low temperature, whereas many competitive juices are sterilized at a very high temperature. The low heat levels of the pasteurization process permit Biotta’s juices to retain the high nutritional value, fresh taste and two-year shelf life. Biotta not only believes in producing high quality, functional organic juices, but also places great value on being environmentally conscious: Biotta sells the unusable by-products from the processed fruits and vegetables to farmers for use as organic animal pomace, ensuring that every element of the crop is put to good use; Biotta uses only glass bottles providing the best product protection and allowing for full retention of flavor, content and nutrients as well as recyclability; Biotta’s labels are printed on FSC-certified paper in an effort to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations

I also started to learn about the health benefits of beet juice. Beet Juice is high in nitrates. When dietary nitrate turns into nitric oxide in the body, it reduces the amount of oxygen required to perform exercise. Nitric oxide has many functions in the body, one of the key ones is that it facilitates vasodilation or widening in blood vessels, which promotes increased blood flow and regulates blood pressure. Nitrates also function to help with muscle contractility, glucose and calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial respiration. More research needs to be done in order to understand exactly how nitrates are producing these results, however the results are significant and so far they are worth juicing for!
With regards to blood pressure, a study published online in the American Heart Association Journal found that blood pressure was lowered within 24 hours in people who took nitrate tablets, and people who drank beetroot juice. This was a follow up to a previous study that wanted to isolate nitrates as the cause for the blood pressure reduction. Study author Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor of Vascular Biology at Queen Mary's William Harvey Research Institute notes, "We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure. We also found that only a small amount of juice is needed —just 250 mL—to have this effect, and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the greater the decrease caused by the nitrate."
Beet Juice also has been shown in a number of studies to enhance athletic performance in endurance activities. In several tests with cyclists, researchers observed an increase of up to 16% in time to exhaustion, and improved ability to lower oxygen demand to increase power output. As beet juice has been shown to thin blood and reduce blood pressure, it does allow the blood to deliver oxygen to the muscules more efficiently which will impact endurance.
I decided to put test Biotta Beet juice to the test at the Revolution 3 Quassy weekend last year, to see how it would work for me. I found beet juice mixes very well with out juices including cranberry and cherry juice, which makes it tasty for those who are fans of beets. I drank half a bottle a day for four days before Quassy, did the 5K glow run Friday Night, the Olympic Rev Saturday morning, and the Half Rev Sunday Morning. I definitely could feel the difference, I finished 2nd Overall in the glow run, running a 5K PR and it felt easy, I finished with a course PR in the Olympic (4th time) and had a good time in the Half Rev. I had dehydration issues on Saturday and Sunday which impacted my running (Poor execution of my nutrition plan on the bike legs)which hurt my times, but I was absolutely convinced that Biotta Beet Juice worked for me. As a result, I used it before every major race in 2013 including the USAT Half Max, Rev3 Williamsburg, and Ironman Lake Placid. At the end of the year, I qualified for the Rev3 Age Group Series Championship and achieved my best ever USAT Ranking/score at age 43. Proof is in the pudding Beet Juice certainly can help improve performance.
I am now a huge fan of Biotta and Biotta Beet Juice and am excited that I can now find it at national grocery chains such as Giant Foodstores, and Whole Foods. I strongly recommend trying out Biotta Beet Juice and their other products such as Breuss Vegetable, Black Currant, Elderberry, Celery, and many more. Healthy, organic, and may help you improve your performance on race day. Gotta love it.

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