Home News The Evolution of Bioactives Shaping Sports Nutrition

The Evolution of Bioactives Shaping Sports Nutrition

According to global solutions provider Glanbia Nutritionals, sports nutrition is growing at an incredible rate, with a value of $1.5 billion in the UK. Growing at a CAGR rate of 8.7% out to 2025, the sports, active, and healthy nutrition market increasingly accommodates a mass of consumers looking for holistic solutions that support fitness and performance goals. As such, it is no longer a product segment restricted to athletes and bodybuilders. 

This market trend suggests a new emergent megatrend, according to experts at Glanbia Nutritionals. Consumers now opt for active ingredients to sustain sleep, cognitive health, physical health, and immunity. Brands looking to expand their portfolio to address these consumer demands can efficiently do so with healthy, beneficial, and science-backed solutions such as bioactive ingredients.

“Bioactives can be used for a huge variety of market segments and in a wide range of applications such as ready-to-mix powders, beverages, gels, bars and supplements in the form of tablets, capsules, gummies or soft gels,” said Mayuresh Bedekar, Director Product Strategy for Bioactives at Glanbia Nutritionals. 

The company’s R&D team has developed revolutionary technologies to optimize amino acids. PepForm® binds free-form amino acids to peptides isolated from fresh, sweet whey using cutting-edge fractionation and separation technologies. The product’s carrier technology significantly improves the solubility and utilization of amino acids like BCAA, Glutamine, Tryptophan, and Arginine.

Moreover, Amino Blast® BCAAs and Essential Amino Acids (EAA) improve water’s clarity and dispersibility for easy inclusion into beverages with no clumping, floating powder, or sedimentation, as often seen with amino acids.

Glanbia Nutritionals possesses a unique portfolio of dairy-based protein solutions that include Hydrovon®, a premium, partially hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. The nutrient is a unique solution that gives excellent flavor in a partially hydrolyzed whey protein for rapid absorption of whey peptides, helping to stimulate protein formation and decreased prevention of protein breakdown.

Research shows that 55% of Europeans have emphasized improving immunity due to the emergence of COVID-19, with a further 58% seeking immunity-boosting claims in sports nutrition products. This outcome has caused brands to add vitamins C, A, D, B12, zinc, and iron to their products.

In response to this demand, Glanbia Nutritionals is offering Bioferrin® lactoferrin, a superior iron balancing solution that provides a gentler and safer alternative to inorganic iron sources. The strenuous activity of athletes can result in the depletion of iron levels as 18% and 38% of male and female athletes experience iron deficiency, respectively. Lactoferrin gives athletes a better and tolerated iron delivery system backed by years of extensive research and may have a positive impact on performance.

Nevertheless, brands developing new sports nutrition products should not ignore the line between mental and physical health. A desire to improve cognitive health is increasing, with almost 62% of European sports nutrition consumers seeking to enhance cognition in the last six months.

“Research tells us that eight in ten consumers cited ‘improving cognitive health’ as an important factor when seeking out sports nutrition products. Ingredients that can support better sleep, alertness, and focus (including nootropics) are now highly sought after, so companies are increasingly looking to adapt to this trend,” added Mayuresh. 

Sports nutrition claims around improving strength and energy remain popular. However, this aspect extends beyond protein, with the Non-Protein Sports Nutrition market worth $282 million in the UK. Glanbia Nutritionals’ CreavBev® is a new patented formulation for brands offering consumer Creatine for increased cellular energy supplies and enhanced anaerobic exercise capacity, and it is a solution for ready-to-drink acidic neutral pH beverages.

“Our bioactive solutions are an ideal option for food and drink brands entering or expanding into the sports nutrition and active lifestyle market, as they are immediately ready to be added during the manufacturing process, meaning new product innovations can be made available to purchase rapidly,” concluded Mayuresh.

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