Refresh Everywhere

Pepsi’s Refresh Project may be more refreshing than expected. Commentators questioned PepsiCo’s decision to bench its beverage brands during the Super Bowl in favor of investing $20 million in philanthropic projects submitted and voted on by the public, but the program has created an organic storm of positive buzz.

Projects have reached out to friends and contacts for support, splashing emails about their proposals and the Pepsi Refresh Project across cyberspace. Local news outlets have taken notice. For example, The Daily Times of Ottawa (Illinois) published a story about a local Boy Scout attempting to build a baseball diamond with Refresh Project funds, and In North Carolina, the Gaston Gazette reported that a local group is not only running for a Refresh Project grant, but has advertised their participation on a local billboard.

“The local media coverage that you see is evidence that these people are pouring their passions into bringing these ideas to their local communities,” said Bonin Bough, PepsiCo’s senior manager for social media.

According to Bough, the program’s submission rates illustrate growing interest. PepsiCo accepts 1,000 project proposals for each round of voting. For the first round, the company achieved that number in 72 hours. In the second round, Bough said, the company closed its entries in 16 hours. For the recently-completed third round, it took just 16 minutes.

“More and more, we’re realizing that the program is maybe not even big enough,” Bough said.

Bough said he expects the Refresh Project to change PepsiCo’s behavior in the long term. PepsiCo initially committed to the program for one year, but Bough said the initiative has achieved double its expected participation and has yet to anoint its first winners. At that point, he said, he expects to see more support and exposure.

“We believe that will turn into more sales of soda,” he said. “Consumers want to be aligned with brands that help co-create opportunities and experiences with them.”

Sustamine Increases Endurance

Kyowa USA’s Sustamine L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine increases performance in endurance exercise and activity, according to clinical study by Dr. Jay Hoffman, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the College of New Jersey. The study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

The data showed that subjects that ingested the Sustamine supplement during the rehydration period suffered significantly less performance reduction than when consuming water alone.

The clinical study covered the ability of Sustamine L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine to enhance fluid regulation in healthy, active individuals in relation to both endurance and high intensity exercise. It also examined sustamine’s potential benefits for the inflammatory, immune and recovery responses to these stresses.

Wellmune WGP Protects the Stressed

Biothera’s food, beverage and dietary supplement ingredient Wellmune WGP reduced the incidence of cold-like symptoms and improved the psychological well-being of individuals with stressful lifestyles, according to a study published in Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech.

In the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 45 men and 105 women with moderate to highly stressful lifestyles consumed Wellmune WGP or a placebo each day for four weeks. The study measured both stress-related incidence of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and psychological well-being.

After two weeks, 32 percent of the subjects in the placebo group reported respiratory infection symptoms, compared with only 10 percent in the group taking 250 mgs of Wellmune WGP. At four weeks, 28 percent of the placebo group reported symptoms, compared with 8 percent in the group taking Wellmune WGP.

The Wellmune WGP group reported a 41 percent increase in general health when compared with the placebo group over the four-week study period. In comparison with the placebo group, the Wellmune WGP group reported statistically significant increases in vigor and reductions in fatigue (38 percent), tension (19 percent) and confusion (15 percent). The psychological health assessment was obtained with a Profile of Mood States questionnaire.