Bioactor in the spotlight: Nutrition Insight discusses WATTS’UP

-This art first appeared on Nutrition Insight’s website (

22 Jun 2017 — As sports nutrition has continued its move mainstream, one major feature has been the rising interest in active nutrition, which is giving a performance positioning to more food and beverage products. One highly innovative ingredient that could exploit this market trend toward natural sports nutrition is WATTS’UP, an innovative ingredient developed by BioActor that has just been adopted in GNC’s Beyond Raw Precision BCAA Anabolic Recovery & Power Output (end of 2016, US) and Born Watts & Minerals Electrolyte Drink (early 2017, The Netherlands). The performance ingredient can offer the typical clean and natural label of “orange flavonoid extract.”

“WATTS’UP is a first in class sports nutrition ingredient for enhancing performance, based on a very specific orange extract that has been standardized for having the most active flavonoid; so it’s a really unique extract,” Hans van der Saag of BioActor tells NutritionInsight. “We have data showing relevance for both high intensity training athletes and endurance athletes and we have seen launches in both segments.”

The citrus fruit extract has been clinically tested in a placebo-controlled and double-blind study. WATTS’UP increases aerobic and anaerobic power in athletes through a direct effect on the mitochondria. A low daily dose of 500mg has shown to be sufficient to reach these beneficial effects. Two additional open label studies further identify the action of WATTS’UP on Peak Force, and Rate Of Force Development, which is consequently claimed to make it the ideal ergogenic sports nutrition ingredient for a large range of sports and workouts.

WATTS’UP was specifically developed for an improved bioavailability in the body. A bioavailability study showed that WATTS’UP starts to be taken up by the body within minutes. Furthermore, the active metabolites remain available for several hours. This higher bioavailability offers great potential to significantly boost performance from the first minutes of the effort, and then ensure sustained power during high intensity interval and endurance trainings. WATTS’UP increases aerobic and anaerobic power through a direct effect on the mitochondria. WATTS’UP shows positive effects on Peak Force, RFD and Endurance, making it the ideal sports supplement for both trained athletes and active people, who want to get more out of their training sessions.

“The GNC product is typically targeting the resistance athletes with an anabolic recovery positioning, where this ingredient is combined with BCAAs and really helps people to have their workout last longer. We also have a very nice launch in the Netherlands, the market leader in the endurance segment, combining WATTs with minerals and electrolytes. This combines recovery and performance in one product, but in an effervescent format, which is very nice and user-friendly and good tasting solution for endurance.”

But van der Saag claims that the product has mainstream potential too. “You typically see that you get your first launches in more demanding and innovative segments, but we see more opportunities in the active living space too, where you can create benefits for people that want to go jogging regularly but without necessarily competing in an iron man competition. Then you are looking for formats such as gummies, of which there will be a launch later this year in France, you can see more isotonic drinks but with very good flavors and also in the active living space. That is where I see a lot of growth potential,” he explains.

Van der Saag notes that in the US, the company can claim that the ingredient “may enhance performance,” “may enhance energy” and that there “may be an effect on mitochondrial efficiency.”

However, the US is not the company’s only area of interest, with van der Saag noting that “our pipeline is filled with European projects, including some household names with whom we also conduct studies on our ingredients.”

For a video interview with Hans van der Saag, see here.