A typical live-out wage is R1600/R2400 per month. This is intended to be spent on accommodation AND food, and as such equates to approximately R20/miner/day for food. Factors such as feeding other family members on this wage will further reduce the daily rate per miner spent on his food. Thus taking into account this equation and adding to its garnishing orders, the average miner living out has inadequate funds to purchase and/eat adequate nutritional food.
Generally speaking, most miners are unaware of the importance of healthy eating principles (as outlined in the publication Nutrition Guidelines for the Mining Industry – ISBN – SIM 020901, produces by the Mine Health and Safety Council in association with the CSIR).
It can be safely assumed, therefore, that the average miner arrives on shift hypoglycaemic, and malnourished, specifically with regard to total energy intake as well as certain important micronutrients.
Who we provide our product to…
- Miners in various work categories (example loader drivers, winch drivers, drillers, cleaners) carrying out work of moderately high intensity through to very high intensity.
- Mainly males, average age of 30 years.
- Average weight of 64kg and an average BMI of 23kg/m²
- Average estimated energy requirement is 12000kJ.
Top quality ingredients used in product development and manufacture
Only top quality ingredients are sourced and used in order to ensure consistent top quality products.
Both the Lifestyle Low GI Milkshake and the Lifestyle Low GI Energy Drink have been specifically formulated according to the identified nutritional requirements of miners in all working categories.
Both are supplementary feeds that meet the following criteria:
- Relating to accepted nutritional standards for mine shift workers
- Residents of hostels (currently a very small percentage of miners stay in hostels)
- Live out workers and contractor workers :
Comment: A typical live-out wage is R1600/month. This is intended to be spent on accommodation AND food, and as such equates to approximately R20/miner/day for food. Factors such as feeding other family members on this wage will further reduce the daily rate per miner spent on his food. Thus the average miner living out has inadequate funds to purchase and/eat adequate nutritional food. Typically energy dense, cheap refined carbohydrates (low nutrient density) such as mealie-meal porridge, bread and Coke are eaten on a daily basis (= pure carbohydrate, no protein, no micro-nutrients).
In addition, these supplementary drinks:
- Supply approximately one quarter of their total daily energy requirement: important in a population that is struggling to meet its daily energy requirements to meet the miner’s body’s demand for extra fuel.
- Provides sustainable energy through use of ingredients that significantly lower the GI of the feed: this ensures better health in the long-term AND improved productivity and efficiency of work on a day-to-day basis.
- Provides a tasty supplementary drink (taste has been of considerable importance in the development of this feed).
- Packaging of the Back to Basics Lifestyle products has been designed to both enhance shelf-life and save costs at consumer level: it comes in a dry powder form, which is stable at ambient temperatures; and is packaged in safe non-permeable packaging. The powder is mixed easily with cold water, thus ensuring that it can be consumed exactly when it is actually required, without going off. As the Lifestyle Low GI products are packed in a dry powder format, and water is added by the consumer, substantial transport costs are saved in not having to transport water, and bacterial growth is severely limited.
- Type of carbohydrate
- Polydextrose has been used as the main source of carbohydrate energy in both drinks.
àThis is an FDA-approved, soluble dietary fibre, with many proven physiologic benefits, such as improvement of bowel function and also glycaemic index – lowering properties.
àIt is extremely low in food energy: 1 kCal/g.
Numerous systematic reviews and meta-analyses (key elements of evidence-based healthcare), have repeatedly shown enormous health benefits of consuming foods and drinks that have a low glycaemic index (low GI).
Low GI carbohydrates are carbohydrate sources that are slowly broken down (digested) to glucose, with a subsequent slow controlled release of glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in sustained blood glucose levels for several hours after consumption. Sustained blood glucose levels result in sustained energy levels.
Many health benefits result from maintaining sustained blood glucose levels:
- Prevention of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, reactive hypoglycaemia, insulin resistance
- Improved management and control in diabetics and hypoglycaemics
- Marked improvement in overall hour-to-hour, and day-to-day energy levels
- Prevention and management of hyperlipidaemias
- Prevention and management of hypertension
- Weight management with subsequent reduction in CVD, stroke, diabetes, skeletal disorders, and certain cancers.
- Improvement in QOL and general morale.
- Protein quality and quantity
- The protein source in the milkshake is a soya protein isolate.
- This is classified as a high biological value protein (i.e. contains all of the essential amino acids), and is the only plant protein known to have this valuable property.
- By including this protein in appropriate amounts in the milkshake, additional benefits, such as improved muscle repair and recovery is ensured. This is essential for miners working for long hours with heavy tools and/or machinery.
- It is important to remember that this drink is a supplement to the daily diet. Protein from daily food intake as well as the protein from the milkshake will supply the total daily requirement for protein.
- Many miners suffer from lactose intolerance. The use of soya protein as opposed to dairy milk protein will not cause any side effects in those with lactose intolerance.
- Fat values
- When used in the recommended amounts, the milkshake provides 5% total energy requirement for miners. This is well within the recommendation for total healthy fat intakes. The source of the fat, a non-dairy creamer based on palm kernel oil, provides good taste and mouth feel.
- The fat content also assists in lowering the total GI of the milkshake, with added benefits to health.
- The fat in the product enhances absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins provided from the vitamin premix.
- Inclusion of dietary fibre
- Soluble fibre from polydextrose has healthful prebiotic effects, improves bowel function and plays an important role in lowering the GI of the drink.
- 16% fibre in the milkshake classifies this product as being very high in fibre.
- An important health issue to consider is that due to a) inadequate fibre consumption, and b) inadequate physical activity (especially in the case of drivers), colon problems do arise (e.g. constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome). The fact that an appropriate amount of fibre has been included in the products helps alleviate these acute colon problems, and as such prevents long-term health concerns such as colon and gastric cancer and diverticular disease.
- Vitamin and mineral levels
Miners typically come from population groups who have been shown through numerous scientific studies to have micronutrient deficiencies with subsequent biological dysfunctions. Micronutrient-deficiency diseases are serious within the South African context, resulting in seriously compromised body functions. Miners are no exception; in fact, they have increased micronutrient demands due to the highly strenuous nature of their jobs, equated by many experts to endurance athletes who perform endurance exercise daily!
Both drinks provide a carefully selected dose of vitamins, minerals and trace elements: the batch of micronutrients added has been designed with miners’ specific micronutrient needs in mind.
- Vitamin C is supplied in a dose scientifically proven to boost immune function, as well as to assist in regulating body temperature (a factor extremely important to miners working in extreme temperature conditions). The addition of these vitamins and minerals in these products is an important feature of the product, thus defining them as functional foods.
The Low GI milkshake is high in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and B6; and very high in Vitamins C and E.
Vitamins A, C and E are powerful antioxidants, which destroy free radicals (compounds that cause cellular damage and subsequent chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and many forms of cancer).
The B complex vitamins aid in nerve functions and stress management.
Daily intake of these vitamins will contribute towards reduced illness and absenteeism.
A unique addition of sufficient electrolytes has been added to ensure adequate rehydration, and improve the body’s ability to combat fatigue and heat stress. This is one of the most important aspects of the Lifestyle products, whereas old style supplementary products generally had no added electrolytes.
All of the above nutrients are delivered to the body in fluid format, and this ensures that the fluid intake is increased.
The brain is 85% water, and an adult loses 10 cups of fluid each day, even without exercising. Thus, in order to keep the brain working at its optimal function, adequate water must be consumed.
For many years Back to Basics has been involved in discussions with top stakeholders in the mining industry, with a direct view to providing nutritional products that meets the needs of:
- healthy individuals (i.e. preventative nutrition, offering protective effects from lifestyle diseases);
- miners with health issues
- intense physical exertion
Further to this they have developed an extensive range of products that are extremely reasonable yet meeting an incredibly important need: that of providing supplementary nutrition solutions to this nutritionally-compromised group of our population.
The nutrition needs of miners are discussed below, as well as how the Lifestyle Low GI Milkshake and Energy Drink have been formulated with all these needs in mind.
- Health problems and concerns of SA Miners
Poor lifestyle habits, harsh working conditions, and lack of understanding and knowledge of health risks, results in many health problems and concerns, inter-alia:
- Hypertension (and links to heart disease and renal disease)
- Cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Certain types of cancer, particularly colon, lung and liver.
- Skeletal abnormalities
- Nutrition needs of Miners
- COMRO Reference Report
- CSIR Nutrition Booklet : Nutrition for the Mining Industry
- Australian Sport’s Nutrition Guidelines