On this page you will find answers to common questions asked about our products, our philosophy, and the ingredients we choose to exclude from our products.
Please click on the question you want to find an answer to, below:
Vitalife teas consist of our signature matcha green tea range.
Our matcha green tea is where the Vitalife brand was born, and it is still an area that we are massively passionate about.
With matcha tea, it is natural to have a small amount of sediment towards the bottom of your cup – given tea powder is not 100% water soluble. However, to minimise the sediment, try using a whisk or milk frother when making your drink.
Like all green tea, matcha contains caffeine.
A recommended 1g serving contains 34mg of caffeine. This is compared to 70-180mg for a cup of coffee. Most experts consider 200-300mg of caffeine per day to be an acceptable level.
Ceremonial grade matcha uses the finest, smallest leaves from the very tip of the tea bush - giving it a more vibrant green colour and a slightly smoother flavour.
Beginner's grade matcha, on the other hand, uses slightly larger tea leaves found further down the tea bush - giving it a less vibrant green colour, and a less smooth flavour.
The difference between the two grades is very subtle and often goes unnoticed to those people who haven't yet developed a palate for matcha i.e. those trying matcha for the first time - hence, beginner's grade is perfect for matcha virgins.
You can serve matcha with hot water.
However, to receive the greatest health benefits, the optimum temperature to serve matcha is 70 degrees. If you don't have a temperature-controlled kettle, simply switch off the kettle before it reaches boiling point.
There are a number of scientifically proven health benefits of drinking matcha green tea regularly, including improved mental focus and awareness, a faster metabolism, detoxification, anti-aging properties, lowered cholesterol, and an increase in energy to name but a few.
It has a strong concentration of antioxidants (up to 137x that of standard green tea), chlorophyll, and L-Theanine (a 'feel-good' amino acid).
Everything on this earth is essentially 'natural'. Even the most potent chemical substances are based upon essentially 'natural' ingredients, sourced from the environment in which we live and breathe.
It is what we do to things when we process and combine them with other things that make them unnatural.
Therefore, we offer supplements such as Magnesium and Iron (which are essentially 'chemical' elements – but are found naturally in the earth and are essential for effective functioning of the human body) but we strictly avoid the use of processed chemicals in our products (even ones certified as being 'natural' or 'safe' by the relevant authorities) such as magnesium stearate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and other highly-processed ingredients typically found in 'health' products.
So, 'natural' to us means nothing highly-processed, chemically-engineered in a laboratory, and strictly nothing with scientifically-proven detrimental effects to health such as the harmful sweetener Aspartame.
Beyond using all-natural ingredients in our own products, and only offering other products with all-natural ingredients, we are also advocates of mother nature and try our best to limit the impact we have on the natural environment.
All packaging used to despatch our goods has been carefully considered in order to minimise environmental impact. Here are just a few steps we have taken to achieve this:
We are a small team, driven by a passion for health, fitness, and vitality.
We are not a publicly-traded company, and our ultimate goal is not profit – it is to deliver a wide range of products that are genuinely healthy, and that have no hidden ingredients that can actually be detrimental to health.
To this day, there are still a large number of so-called 'health' products and retailers offering products with ingredients that, in numerous scientific studies, have been proven to have detrimental effects on health. We want to put an end to this, and offer consumers products that are truly healthy, and not combined with other ingredients that detract from the core benefit of the active ingredient.
Our entire company is built on this foundation of a passion for health, and it is clear in the products we offer, the service and advice we provide to our customers, and the way we operate.
Most of our products, if they are not certified organic, will still be grown and/or produced in a pesticide-free environment.
We offer both organic and non-organic matcha green tea lines.
As for non-Vitalife branded goods, we do offer a very wide range of organic certified products.
No. But we take great care in personally ensuring the workers who are employed by our suppliers are well-treat and fairly-paid.
We also promote and offer a wide range of non-Vitalife branded goods that are Fairtrade certified, so we still help to encourage Fairtrade through this relationship with other brands.
Wherever possible, we use recyclable or recycled materials in our packaging.
In our warehouses we also exercise various recycling regimes for the materials we use.
At Vitalife we follow strict quality assurance processes to ensure the optimum quality of our products.
From regular supplier checks, to independent product testing, to appropriate certifications (GMP, Soil Association, ISO etc), and thorough batch testing – as a company we appreciate the importance of quality and have the appropriate processes in-place to ensure customers receive products that are of the highest standard.
Why do you avoid using:
Magnesium Stearate is commonly used in tablet production. It acts as a lubricant and prevents ingredients sticking to machinery during high-pressure tablet manufacture.
It is the same stuff you find around your bath, known delightfully as 'soap scum', and is often manufactured from both animal and vegetable fats.
Studies have shown magnesium stearate to slow the absorption of active ingredients from food supplements in the body, given the fact that our bodies have trouble breaking it down.
Some studies have shown tablets to pass through the human digestive system without any of the active ingredient having been absorbed due to the indigestibility of excipients like magnesium stearate – so it can, literally, lead to you throwing money down the drain when it comes to dietary supplements.
Calcium stearate is naturally a white, waxy powder, used in dietary supplements to similar effect of magnesium stearate (above).
It is also commonly used as a waterproofing agent for fabrics, and a lubricant in pencils and crayons – not something you would really want passing through your digestive system.
Studies have shown calcium stearate to slow the absorption of active ingredients from food supplements in the body, given the fact that our bodies have trouble breaking it down.
Some studies have shown tablets to pass through the human digestive system without any of the active ingredient having been absorbed due to the indigestibility of excipients like calcium stearate – so it can, literally, lead to you throwing money down the drain when it comes to dietary supplements.
Potassium Sorbate is a commonly used food preservative.
It is also an irritant to some people when ingested. Because of this, we keep Potassium Sorbate out of all of our food and drink based products.
Another common food preservative (like Potassium Sorbate above).
Sodium Benzoate, when combined with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) forms benzene, a known carcinogen and thus cancer risk.
The UK's FSA (Food Standards Agency) also concluded in research conducted in 2007 that, when combined with artificial colours, Sodium Benzoate may be linked to hyperactive behaviour.
Artificial trans fats can be formed when oil goes through a process called hydrogenation, which makes the oil more solid (known as hardening).
Consuming a diet that is high in trans fats can lead to high cholesterol levels, which in-turn can increase the risk of heart disease and strokes.
For this reason, we believe hydrogenated fats should be avoided, and have taken steps to ensure none of the products we offer contain these 'bad fats'.
Commonly used as an artificial sweetener in many soft drinks, and also, strangely, in some effervescent Vitamin C tablets offered by some 'health' shops.
On numerous occasions, and across various scientific studies, aspartame's safety has been reasonably questioned, with its suggested health risks making the ingredient one of the most infamous food additives still supposedly recognised as 'safe' by authorities.
An artificial sweetener similar to Aspartame.
Acesulfame K, critics say (and according to the NHS website), is carcinogenic, can affect pregnancy, and is linked to cancer.
Although recognised as safe in the EU and US, we're conscious of the negative studies surrounding this ingredient and choose to avoid this in our range to help protect the safety and health of our customers.
Widely used as preservatives in cosmetic products for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties.
They can cause skin irritation and other skin conditions for those with paraben allergies and have also been found in breast cancer tumors - leading to speculation that parabens may contribute to cases of breast cancer.
Although many scientists and cosmetic industry experts still claim that parabens are safe, there are convincing studies to the contrary. This, teamed with the fact that there are many natural alternative preservatives to parabens, leads us to ask - why take the risk?
This is why you will not find any parabens in the products we sell.
Linked to various health conditions such as headaches and allergies, MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid.
As with most ingredients mentioned in our 'banned' list, there is conflicting evidence supporting both the safety and the health concerns related to MSG consumption (there always will be, given there are other interests at stake here) - but at Vitalife we like to keep things simple. If there's a substantial amount of evidence displaying human health concerns related to consuming a particular ingredient, then regardless of the amout of counter-evidence supporting its safety - we ban it.
Why take the risk, when there's so many great, natural products out there without this ingredient in?
With recent concerns over the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in Japan, and the widespread impact this has had on the entire World - elevating radiation levels in sea water to dangerous levels - we have invested in technology that allows us to ensure the safety of our products.
We believe, when you are purchasing a product to have a positive effect on your health, you deserve a guarantee that the product will not have the opposite effect!
When you buy from Vitalife Health you can feel safe in the knowledge that we conduct thorough radiation tests on almost all items we sell - right at the point of despatch, on an individual product basis.
This ensures that you receive items that are guaranteed radiation-safe - we are the first, and currently the only health shop in the UK to do this.
Our individual product testing also covers our range of matcha green tea, which is sourced from Japan (albeit, thankfully, over 400 miles away from the actual disaster) - ensuring our matcha green tea is guaranteed radiation safe. We are the only matcha tea brand in the World to do this.
Given our current fulfillment arrangements, it is not possible for us to test ALL products in our range for radiation levels.
We do, however, test around 90% of all goods sold on our website prior to despatch.
We use geiger counters on our packing desks, and all staff are trained how to use these counters.
When items are being packed on the packing desk, the geiger counter simultaneously checks them for radiation levels - it takes around 10 seconds for the geiger counter to record radiation levels.
If elevated radiation levels are found on any product, the item is immediately disposed of in a manner appropriate to the risk level, and the customer would be refunded and informed of the test result to explain the situation.
Thankfully, to-date we have not encountered any elevated radiation levels in our goods. This is partly because it is difficult for food and supplements to become irradiated and to maintain/absorb the radiation it encounters.
So even if exposure occurs, it doesn't necessarily mean the product will maintain that radiation - rather like plants being exposed to sunlight radiation, they don't in-turn start emitting sunlight radiation themselves.
Nevertheless, we believe it to be an important process for peace-of-mind for our customers, and guarantees the safety of our goods.
Radiation is measured in sieverts and microsieverts.
Radiation is everywhere, we cannot fully escape it - there is something called natural 'background' radiation.
This background radiation level can measure anywhere between 0.10 microsieverts and 0.30 microsieverts per hour, and depends on your location - India, for instance, experiences a much higher background radiation than the UK due to radiactive elements in the soil.
We have our geiger meters set to notify us of any measurement above 0.30 microsieverts per hour.
Then feel free to ask your question in a live chat with one of our professional advisors or contact us and we will aim to provide an answer to your question within 24 hours.