The Product & The Science
A word from Dr. Rupa Mukherjee:
We originally set out to design a food product based on research that's easy-to-eat, portable, safe, tasty and healthy, and includes the necessary ingredients to prevent nausea. We started out by talking to our original core set of customers who care about what they eat: women who are pregnant. We heard a range of feedback, but the main takeaways were that the product should be all-natural, avoid soy protein, artificial sweeteners, binders, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar alcohols, and not be too strong in taste. We also tried to keep the calorie level low, namely under 200, while keeping sugars minimal at about 10-11g, and as low fat as possible.
We designed our product with these data points in mind, while maximizing the protein content to reduce nausea and improve nutrition.
We quickly found a pull from people who experience motion sickness. In the fall of 2014, we approached Boston Harbor Cruises about conducting surveys of the efficacy of our product with their customers. In the fall, the Boston Harbor and beyond can get quite choppy, so this made for an ideal test case.
We boarded two of their boats, the Cetacea and Asteria, on different occasions. Each had about 300 people on board. 19 and 17 people participated respectively, for a total of 36 participants. This is greater than the industry standard of 30 for studies of these types. 26 out of 36 (72%) said they would consume the product again, and 24 out of 33 (or 73%) said they experienced prevention or relief from eating the bar.
We repeated this study on a Capt John Fishing and Whale Watching boat, in Plymouth, MA, in the summer of 2015. 11 people participated. 8 out of 11 participants (72%) indicated they would purchase the product again. 8 of 9 participants (89%) indicated they experienced nausea prevention or relief after eating the bar.
(Not all customers answered every question, hence the discrepancy between the number of participants and responses to all questions.)
We have also asked and surveyed over 80 people with motion sickness on other vessels such as cars, trains, and airplanes; women with morning sickness; and people with nausea from other discomforts. We find a similar response rate of 70+% of people finding benefiting from the product.
Our product is based on research on the role of protein, ginger, and vitamins in reducing nausea. For example, Jedneck et al showed that protein meals reduced nausea during pregnancy in a study at the University of Michigan in 1999 . Levine et al showed similar results for protein and motion sickness in a study at Penn State University in 2003. Ginger and vitamins, in particular B6, have also been shown to have an anti-nausea effect in a range of studies, as noted below.
We've worked hard to combine these ingredients in a way that is tasty, healthy, and effective.
The product contains 20g of protein, 11g of sugar, 7g of fiber, and 3g of fat. It includes the following ingredients: whey crisps, whey protein isolate, blueberries, fiber syrup (chicory root), almond butter, brown rice syrup, vanilla, salt, and ginger. The full nutritional profile with details about ingredients can be found on the Shop page next to each product.
It is safe for pregnant women to consume the levels of vitamins found in the this bar. In fact, according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, it's safe to consume up to 100mg of vitamin B6 for women (including pregnant and nursing women) 19 years and older, and 80mg for women 18 years and younger. This bar has 10mg of vitamin B6.
Jednack et al. Protein meals reduce nausea and gastric slow wave dysrhythmic activity in first trimester pregnancy. 1999.
Levine et al. Protein-predominant meals inhibit the development of gastric tachyarrhythmia, nausea and the symptoms of motion sickness. 2003.
Smith et al. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Ginger to Treat Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy. 2004.
Chaiyakunapruk et all. The efficacy of ginger for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting: A meta-analysis. 2005.
Ozgoli et al. Effects of Ginger Capsules on Pregnancy, Nausea, and Vomiting. 2008.
Vutyavanich et al. Pyridoxine for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial. 1995.