Redefining sports nutrition – New opportunities with micronutrient premixes
Around the world, people are paying more attention to a healthier diet and a more active lifestyle. Sport is no longer just about building muscle or losing weight, it’s the basis for holistic health. This creates new expectations and opportunities for the sports nutrition market. Consumers are looking for products that support their individual performance and active lifestyle goals. This new target group, the active nutrition consumers, looks for added health benefits when choosing sports nutrition products.
The active nutrition consumer
Active nutrition consumers engage in exercise on a regular basis and at a low intensity level. They take a long-term and proactive approach to health. They use products as a better-for-you option, and want to incorporate them into their daily diet. Besides endurance and performance, key health topics are cardiovascular, respiratory and cognitive health. These consumers purchase sports drinks, energy drinks and sports/protein snack bars.
A very interesting consumer group for active nutrition products are women. Women are more focused on nutrition and take food supplements more often than men. In addition, their interest in sport is greater than ever before; according to Nielsen, almost 50 % of women worldwide are interested in sport.
Active nutrition consumers tend to be claim-led when purchasing sports nutrition products, which makes fortification of products with micronutrients tailored to the needs of these consumers very promising for sports nutrition producers. Health claims on products referencing holistic health and sports-related goals, like maintaining an electrolyte balance, attract this consumer group.
Micronutrients are the best choice to meet consumer’s needs
Micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids and essential fatty acids, are involved in over 100,000 metabolic processes. Whether bones, cartilage, muscles, immune system, brain or skin, every cell in the body requires these building blocks in order for metabolic processes to take place. Many micronutrients have synergistic effects, meaning that a lack of one can impair the function of another. Thus, the right supply of micronutrients in the right balance is crucial for achieving health and sport-related goals.
According to the Innova Nutrition & Health Survey 2020, hydration is the top functional goal in the US and some European countries when purchasing food and beverages. Supplying the electrolytes sodium, magnesium, chloride, potassium and calcium helps keep the balance.
For energy, performance, stamina and mental focus, B-vitamins and amino acids like l-citrulline or l-arginine are the number one ingredients. In addition, botanicals like ashwagandha, green tea extract, guarana and l-theanine are relevant as enhancers of mental and physical energy.
According to FMCG gurus, the top areas of health that global consumers plan to address over the next twelve months in 2022 were immune, digestive, heart, mental and cognitive health. These are topics that are also relevant for active nutrition consumers.
The most important micronutrients involved in these health topics are shown in the table. It is possible to use health claims for the appropriate micronutrients.
|Health topic||The most important micronutrients|
|Immune health||Vitamins A, C, D, E, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, selenium, zinc, iron|
|Digestive and gut health||Vitamins B1, C, D, E, calcium, selenium, zinc|
|Heart health||Vitamins B1, C, D, E, K2, magnesium, calcium|
|Mental and cognitive health||Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iodine|
We’re your expert for innovation
Developing products for active nutrition consumers with micronutrients and functional ingredients takes a knowledge of trends, market opportunities, science insights and years of experience in blending. We’re the right sparring partner for you throughout the product development process. From R&D to marketing, we provide comprehensive support at every stage of product development, to help you create products with our tailor-made premixes that meet your customer’s needs.
FMCG Gurus, Active Nutrition vs. Sports Nutrition in 2022 – Global Report
FMCG Gurus, Top ten trends 2023
Innova Market Insights, Innova Nutrition & Health Survey 2020
https://www.nutraingredients-asia.com/News/Promotional-Features/Sports-nutrition-How-manufacturers-can-respond-to-the-rise-of-the-active-consumer (as of January 2023)
Nahrungsergänzungsmittel – Alles, was wir darüber wissen sollten – quarks.de (as of January 2023)
REP_Women&Sport Report_final_RZ_ES_5.indd (iboperepucom.com) (as of January 2023)