Sports Nutrition Innovation: New Trends and Technology to Stay in the Game

By Gabe Rivera, Stratum Nutrition Content Contributor

Throughout your lifetime, you may have seen many movements within the sports nutrition industry.  Whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or active consumer, new trends and innovations are taking shape.  In the past, sports nutrition was more body-builder and athlete-dominant.  Today, everyday consumers are part of the sports nutrition phenomenon.  This points to how sporty we have become as a nation.

These sports-oriented individuals include seniors and general sports enthusiasts.  Additionally, sports have induced seniors and sports enthusiasts to consume products related to energy, protein, endurance and general health.

Consumers Want Clean Labels

Today’s new ingredients in sports nutrition have also impacted active consumers.

For instance, active consumers want products they trust---so companies with clean labels and transparency will catch their attention.

In other words, active consumers are interested in factual information and want to know what they are consuming.  In addition, consumers want a sports nutrition product to improve their long-term health.

New Trends, New Focus

Some of the new trends in the sports nutrition world involve using more healthy ingredients, active-lifestyle based products and on-the-go convenient supplements---perfect for those who have busy lifestyles. 

Furthermore, emphasis on sports nutrition products to improve mental focus, energy and endurance are also important going forward.  Finding the right balance between performance-based and active-lifestyle products are vital to enhancing the future outlook of sports nutrition companies.

As a new generation active consumer and athlete, sports nutrition beverage trends are becoming “hot topics.” This starts with clean label beverages.  You want to focus on no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners when marketing a sports nutrition beverage.

In addition, you want to put emphasis on weight management and natural ingredients such as stevia and monk fruit---which are good substitutions for Sucralose and Ace-K. 

Advances in stevia technology and flavors with changing properties offer great-tasting, low-calorie alternatives.  Keeping afloat with the clean label concept by incorporating natural ingredients as it pertains to muscle growth/recovery, memory and energy are vital for maximum results. 

Other sports nutrition products that are advantageous to the active consumer are adaptogens, which help reduce stress, and medicinal mushrooms that aim to improve energy and focus.  According to the International Food International Council, 58 consumers won’t buy a functional food if they don’t understand the health claim.[1]

Next generation consumers are looking to try and avoid soy due to its effect on hormonal balance.  Pea and brown protein are also high in Leucine, which fuels muscle protein synthesis.  Due to the variety of nutritional goals, intolerances and lifestyle choices, new supplement and natural products must be addressed by concentrating on veganism, gluten-free, keto and paleo supplements.

Though past sports nutrition ingredients include caffeine, amino acids and creatine, adding more nature-based substances can enhance wellness. For instance, Curcumin promotes a healthy inflammatory response and supports joint health to aid in rapid recovery.[2]

The Evolving Market

The new shift and evolving market has played a key role in consumer buying.  Today’s active consumers have put their emphasis on ready-to-go options.  This doesn’t seem to be slowing, as many health and fitness facilities are on the rise, which means more availability. 

Consumers are now focused on the benefits of protein and companies are now offering a variety of protein-based products.  In addition, modern-day companies are starting to develop a synergistic approach with protein and other nutritional ingredients. 

For example, active consumers are now interested in adding protein to some of their favorite snacks such as cereal and granola bars—so products are now being created to fill this gap.

Additionally, as we move into the next generation, plant-based protein is going to surge.  For instance, due to the rise of veganism, many are looking for alternative plant protein sources.

According to the Persistence Market Research, plant-based protein markets is expected to grow at a value CAGR 5.7%, which will be valued at 16.3 billion by the end of 2025.[3]

The Role of Technology

As the sports nutrition phenomenon continues, consumers will be looking for tools to optimize their health.  One important asset involves using advanced technology.  Today, sports nutrition is not only for athletes and bodybuilders---but for everyone.

Advances in technology now have the ability to focus on personalized sports nutrition.

Active consumers today want more personalization.  As it becomes more mainstream, sports coaching and online personal nutrition has increased.  Fitness apps are used more and consumers will be able to track their progress and results.  Additionally, fitness and nutrition programs are more accessible through streaming programs. 

We are now more health-conscious than ever before.  Whether you believe in juices, superfoods, antioxidants, or vegan protein powders, today’s market has new technology advances to optimize one’s health. 

One of the technology inventions includes a vacuum blender.  Ideal for the active consumer and athlete, this invention will reduce oxidation and retain more vitamins and minerals. In addition, this extraordinary technological advancement provides companies with additional antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin E.

As you can see, the new generation athlete and active consumer need more than muscle-building products.  In order for active consumers to succeed in a healthy lifestyle, utilizing proper technological advances and discovering new sports nutrition trends are important for maximizing results.  Is your company ready for the challenge?

 

References:

 

  1. Grebow, J “Functional Foods:  Getting Consumers to Buy In” Nutritional Outlook Magazine, https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/food-beverage/functional-food-getting-consumers-buy
  2. Sports Nutrition:  An Evolving Market Opportunity. (15, May 2019).  Nutraceutical Business Review.  Retrieved May 15, 2019, from https://www.nutraceuticalbusinessreview.com/news/article_page/Sports_nutrition_an_evolving_market_opportunity/154607
  3. Stratum Nutrition: Avoid Adulterated Curcumin with Carbon-14 Testing. https://www.stratumnutrition.com/ingredients/human/curcumin-95