Active Nutrition for All Walks of Life

By Sean Moloughney, Editor | November 1, 2016

Companies develop products to meet the athletic needs of everyday consumers.

Once considered a niche market for bodybuilders and serious athletes, the sports nutrition market has broadened, appealing to consumers of all age groups and backgrounds who are interested in a range of activities, from crossfit and mud runs to yoga and walking.

Meanwhile, this expansion of the net that marketers can cast—across a broad “active nutrition” market—has opened the door for innovative and targeted products to thrive.

A report from Allied Market Research predicted the global sports nutrition market will reach $33.6 billion in revenue by 2020, registering a CAGR of 7% from 2015 to 2020. According to the report, athletes account for nearly 37% of global sales for sports nutrition products, followed by recreational users (27%).

In recent years, the market has witnessed emergence of lifestyle users, a new group of consumers who utilize nutrition products to boost stamina and enhance physical and mental performance. “They mostly use sports nutrition products as a beverage, meal replacement or healthy snack rather than using them for fulfilling sports or exercise related nutrition needs,” the report suggested.

According to Netherlands-based market research firm Innova Market Insights, growth in sports nutrition product launches has been healthy, at a CAGR of 21% from 2011 to 2015. Consumer interest remains strong, as Innova research indicated 43% of U.S. consumers claim to be interested in food/drinks that improve sports performance, and 45% are interested in products that provide faster recovery.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all model,” when it comes to targeting consumers who look for sports nutrition solutions, said Tyler Schutz, sales development specialist at Innova. “The way people are exercising has changed,” he added, noting the rise in popularity of specialized fitness studios like yoga, crossfit and barre. “We think products should do the same.”

For example, claims and ingredients are becoming more specific, providing pre-, intra- and post-workout solutions. In terms of ingredients, protein has been the star of sports/active nutrition products. According to Innova’s tracking of product launches from 2010-2015, pea protein saw 72% growth, followed by rice protein (45%), milk protein (31%), whey protein hydrolyzate (30%) and wheat protein (27%). 

In terms of market share, however, for products launched last year, milk protein still dominates with 17% share, followed by whey protein hydrolyzate (7%), pea and wheat protein (3% each) and rice protein (2%).

Protein snacks continue to rise in number and variety, said Mr. Schutz. Messaging related to pre-workout (energy) post-workout (recovery) and sustained release are all becoming popular among major food and drink brands.

“Protein has become very successful in the mainstream lifestyle,” he said, and a variety of sources have allowed marketers to align their brands with varying consumer lifestyles.

Who’s Buying In?
Overall, the sports nutrition market is thriving as long-term health and wellness becomes more relevant to the overall population, according to Lynda Doyle, senior vice president of global marketing, OmniActive Health Technologies, Morristown, NJ. “These consumers—the active lifestyle group, or ‘ProActives’—focus on activity, diet and supplementation; they want to enhance their workout, look good, maintain a healthy body weight and have some control over what they eat. Clean nutrition is important to this group and affords new product entries that use differentiated, scientifically substantiated, ‘clean’ ingredients to drive market growth.”

More stories about doping have also fueled consumer interest in clean, natural ingredients that support active lifestyles, she added. “With the Internet at our fingertips, consumers want to know exactly what they are taking and how it is going to support their goals, so they are willing to do the research to find out. Scientifically validated ingredients from natural sources are paramount.”

As a market, sports nutrition continues to grow overall, but especially among older weekend warriors, Millennials and Gen Xers who participate in events like mud runs and other races, said Elyse Lovett, marketing manager, Kyowa Hakko USA, New York, NY.

“In the past, sports nutrition supplements were marketed toward bodybuilders. Today, we see more and more products on the market that are for everyday gym-goers looking for a comprehensive sports nutrition product that fits their needs—or even something that is condition specific. We see consumers looking for products for recovery and we see product launches for replenishment in the form of functional beverages.” 

Alongside a broadening consumer base, Larry Kolb, president, TSI USA, Inc., Missoula, MT, said major drivers for growth in active nutrition products include innovative, clinically validated and safe branded ingredients.

“The aging population values the importance of muscle health and tries to stay active and healthy,” he said. “This specific population is looking for sports nutrition products to aid their overall muscle health as it declines with age.” Longer recovery times alongside declining strength and muscle mass often translate into a greater risk of weight gain, he added.

Traditional sports nutrition products that have focused on helping athletes get bigger, faster, stronger are still in high demand, according to Tim Hammond, vice presidents of sales and marketing, Bergstrom Nutrition, Vancouver, WA. “However, informed consumers are starting to look for products that relate to issues peripheral to training. Products that address exercise-induced pain and soreness, immune function and mental focus are being recognized as indispensable components of training regimens.”

Ramon Luna, marketing coordinator, Ecuadorian Rainforest, LLC, Belleville, NJ, agreed that the largest demographic for sports nutrition supplements is still athletes and those focused on fitness and wellness. “Smaller but still a potentially fruitful demographic is the casual consumer,” he added. “Consumers are becoming more aware that the nutrients to live a healthy and productive life can come from sports nutritional products and ingredients. It’s no surprise that this demographic just keeps growing.”

No longer catering exclusively to serious athletes, Anurag Pande, PhD, vice president, scientific affairs, Sabinsa Corporation, East Windsor, NJ, said the sports nutrition market has “trickled down” to consumers “who may not be as dedicated but still would like to stay in shape and maintain good stamina, healthy body mass and be able to do mild to moderate exercises or sports activities.”

New ingredients and delivery systems have also increased the product offerings available to consumers, which has boosted the market overall, he added.

Hardcore athletes are still a loyal consumer base, Dr. Pande noted, however, young adults, middle aged executives and the elderly are also buying into the market. “It’s both the Baby Boomers and Millennial generations who can be considered as mainstream buyers of sports nutrition products.”

According to Evan DeMarco, global market development manager, Germany-based KD Pharma Bexbach GmbH, a continued push among consumers to live healthier and more active lifestyles has been the driving force in the global sports nutrition market, which has seen an estimated 8-9% growth in the past year.

“The vastness and breadth of the sports nutrition market makes it nearly bulletproof against market dips,” he claimed. “Covering everything from endurance sports to bodybuilding to anti-aging, sports nutrition—or as I like to segment it, sports and lifestyle nutrition—really represents almost all of the nutracutical business.”

Encompassing such a broad demographic, ranging all the way from youth sports to anti-aging products, sports nutrition can be for everyone, he added. “Performance and longevity will always be the two components of the market that drive sales.”

Sébastien Bornet, director of global marketing at Horphag Research, Geneva, Switzerland, exclusive worldwide supplier of Pycnogenol and Robuvit, agreed that the sports nutrition market is growing among more casual, everyday athletes in addition to the core constituency of serious and professional athletes.

“More consumers are entering the sports nutrition market through mainstream retailers, which are now carrying more of these products such as supplements and protein bars and powders. These consumers are adding sports nutrition to their daily regimen to support their fitness goals.”

Catering to Consumer Needs
Sports nutrition products have evolved as a category and now offer a variety of functional benefits related to healthy body mass, improving stamina and endurance, building muscle mass, improving protein digestion and helping to overcome muscle or tissue injury, according to Sabinsa’s Dr. Pande.

“Consumers are looking for products that are safe, non-GMO, and have no added preservatives and no stimulants,” he said. “Since lactose intolerance is a major problem for a certain segment of the population, digestive enzymes that can be safely added to a protein-based diet are also popular, since high protein diets are so common with athletes.”

More educated fitness enthusiasts understand the role that dietary supplements can play in helping them meet their wellness goals, according to Horphag’s Mr. Bornet. “They understand the importance of targeted supplementation with natural products. Running, cycling, swimming and even weightlifting require energy. Older generations, 40+, or even 30+, are definitely looking for natural, caffeine-free alternatives to help them perform better, longer. More energy means better training and better performance, but it also allows sports enthusiasts to build and maintain solid muscle mass, which, in turn, preserves healthy joints.”

Consumers also want sports nutrition products that are convenient in terms of accessibility and format. “They are looking more for natural alternatives to enhance sports performance, clean labels and ingredients supported by research to help them reach their fitness goals.”

An aging population and an increase in lifestyle-related diseases have led many consumers to seek out preventive care products in general, according to Michael Crabtree, technical sales director, Bioenergy Life Science, Minneapolis, MN.

Around the world, consumers have expressed concern about side effects related to chemical additives in products. “The industry has adapted by seeking and studying natural alternatives to synthetic additives,” he said.

Sports nutrition has been the fastest-growing segment for FutureCeuticals, Momence, IL, according to Andrew Wheeler, director of marketing. “Because we are farmers, as well as manufacturers of natural ingredients backed by clinical science, the global shift away from derivatives, precursors and synthetics into the search for whole food, natural ingredient solutions ends right at our doorstep.”

Mr. Wheeler also noted a realignment of “sports nutrition” to include everyday consumers leading active lifestyles, particularly Baby Boomers. “Everyone is looking into the sports nutrition aisle for natural ingredients that provide a natural edge, whether that’s for recovery, performance, or just a brisk walk around the park. We see resistance athletes looking for our natural ingredients for recovery and performance, as well as performance athletes looking for our cognitive supplements. In fact, the cognitive segment is seeing the most growth in the sports nutrition arena. We are very well positioned for this trend as well.”

Energy has been an important driver of consumer purchasing decisions, he added, whether with stimulants or other alternatives. “There has been a sharp increase in cognitive solutions, recovery ingredients, joint and flexibility solutions, proteins—and the associated organoleptic natural ingredients to improve taste and mouth-feel of proteins—as well as strength, power and performance ingredients. And they absolutely have to be supported by strong clinical science.”

KD Pharma’s Mr. DeMarco said that innovation in the category has been a catalyst for continued growth, with consumers constantly looking for “the next big thing.”

“Consumers are always looking for functionality,” he said. Ultimately, people want results from the products they purchase, and so it becomes necessary for companies that manufacture sports and lifestyle nutrition products to focus on results.”

Maintaining muscle mass, controlling inflammation and decreasing recovery time post-workout are the three most important components of sports nutrition across all demographics, according to Mr. DeMarco. “The 50+ crowd is one of the largest demographics with the most disposable income, so products that help with recovery and inflammation are very common. BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and joint support products are some of the biggest sellers.” 

Product Solutions
Energy. All athletes want to optimize their training. Improving performance during competition, boosting energy and enhancing recovery are major points of focus for active lifestyles, according to TSI’s Mr. Kolb.

The company’s PEAK ATP, a patented form of Adenosine 5’-Triphosphate (ATP) delivers significant increases compared to training alone, benefiting muscle mass, strength and power, he said. “Improving blood flow is one of the mechanisms of action of oral ATP, which creates a compelling story that is unique in this market.”

While caffeine is a leading ingredient in the energy category, Mr. Kolb, said growing concern about its safety, excessive use and potential regulatory issues have led to increased interest in non-stimulant caffeine substitutes.

Since ATP is the body’s natural energy currency, PEAK ATP is in a unique position to provide safe energy to consumers, he added. PEAK ATP administration has been shown to prevent drops in ATP levels during times of increased energy needs. Recent clinical studies have also shown that PEAK ATP consumption is safe, and leads to improved body composition and athletic performance by increasing muscular excitability, blood flow and recovery, according to the company.

Products that provide an energy boost to tired consumers are definitely in demand, according to Bioenergy’s Mr. Crabtree. “Chronic fatigue is at the forefront of disease incidence in developing nations,” he said. “Its effect is not confined to any single demographic. Fatigue is a disease related to the amount of energy available.”

D-ribose, a simple five-sided sugar, supports the production of ATP, he added. “Oral consumption of the constituent parts of ATP, like D-ribose, results in an increased tolerance to stressors.”

Ecuadorian Rainforest’s Mr. Luna said green coffee bean can help deliver beneficial amounts of caffeine, which can help boost consumers’ endurance. “In one study (Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2016), researchers observed cyclists to see if a low or moderate dose of caffeine would improve their performance late into their exercise,” he said. “They noticed moderate improvements in performance from those who took a low to moderate caffeine dosage (100-200 mg).”

Protein & Amino Acids. Consumers are also looking for plant-derived protein sources, according to Mr. Kolb. “However, these have been shown to be inferior with regard to muscle health. The addition of HMB (beta-hydroxyl-methylbutyrate) has been shown to overcome these shortcomings.”

TSI’s BetaTOR, the patent-pending free acid form of HMB, almost doubles the amount of HMB absorbed into the blood stream, according to the company, “and it significantly shortens the time to peak,” said Mr. Kolb, “meaning, taken pre-workout, this new form of HMB can be taken when you enter the locker room and start your workout, compared to the previous form of Calcium HMB, which took longer to peak. This change in absorption kinetics increases consumer compliance and ease of use.”

Amino acids have always been popular to satisfy consumer demand in the sports nutrition market, according to Kyowa’s Ms. Lovett. “Well-researched ingredients are also on the forefront.”

Kyowa Hakko offers Sustamine, the dipeptide, L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine, that is better absorbed compared to glutamine alone, as well as its new product Setria Performance Blend, which combines Setria Glutathione and Kyowa Quality L-Citrulline for maintaining the increase in nitric oxide production post-workout.

BCAAs continue to see strong growth in all channels, according to KD Pharma’s Mr. DeMarco. “Combined with research that omega-3 supplementation aids in protein synthesis, as well as all of the other documented benefits of omegas, the combination seems to be poised for continued growth in the coming years.”

Beta-Alanine and theacrine are also popular among weightlifters, bodybuilders and endurance sports, he added. “BCAAs have been a very strong performer for some time. Now we are seeing combination products as the latest innovation, giving athletes the ability to only take one supplement instead of multiple pills or powders to achieve desired results. The market is focused on functionality and performance. Consumer awareness, aided by immediate access to information via the Internet, forces companies to develop products that can deliver results. Consumers can sometimes spend more than $200 a month on supplements; and for that price, they demand results.”

MSM. Rod Benjamin, research and development director, Bergstrom Nutrition, noted what appears to be a shift toward more well-balanced and holistic nutritional approaches that consider cognitive, digestive and immune function as a whole. “Gaining traction within sports nutrition products, this approach is ultimately leading to new and exciting opportunities,” he said.

Bergstrom’s Mr. Hammond said MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) has been a stalwart joint health product for the past two decades. “Recent research investigating the effects of OptiMSM on exercise-induced pain found it beneficial in helping reduce both post-exercise joint and muscle pain. It has also been found to help support the immune system after an exhaustive bout of exercise. Intensive training can lead to reduced immune function. Many athletes not only contend with their opponents but also with the fatigue and increased illness that comes after intensive training and competition. OptiMSM has been shown to help prevent the post-workout decrease in immune function.”

With protein powders being such an accepted delivery system, novel active ingredients are often being added into all kinds of products, such as probiotics, digestive enzymes, or caffeine—all delivering additional benefits beyond the norm, he contined. “We have worked with protein producers on prototypes with our OptiMSM to deliver the recognized benefits for joint health and immunity to the sports nutrition category.”

Herbs & Botanicals. Overall, natural formulations and ingredients are in high-demand, said Horphag’s Mr. Bornet. Studies show that the company’s Robuvit, an all-natural extract derived from the French oak tree, is beneficial for those looking to enhance their energy and, ultimately, their sports endurance. In a recent study, Robuvit was found to improve triathlon time for athletes by up to 11%, he said (Minerva Cardioangiologia, 2016). The study also showed that supplementing with Robuvit helped to reduce post-workout cramps and soreness, so athletes could get back to training faster.

Horphag’s flagship ingredient, Pycnogenol French maritime pine bark extract, has also been shown to enhance sports performance by boosting nitric oxide (NO) production (Hypertension Research, 2007). “This increases blood flow to muscles, which allows athletes to move faster and exercise more by satisfying the oxygen demand to muscles,” said Mr. Bornet. “One study also showed that Pycnogenol helps to reduce oxidative stress, which can effectively decrease muscle cramping post-workout (Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 2013).”

Ultimately, consumers are more informed than ever, and they are doing more research prior to purchase to choose the best products and ingredients to meet their needs, he said.

Sabinsa has developed a range of products that fulfill an array of requirements among sports nutrition consumers. Pre-work out, the company offers Sabeet, a nitrate-enriched extract obtained from beetroot. “Nitrates are now in focus for their role in increasing endurance,” said Dr. Pande. “As a result, consumers can exercise for longer duration with improved performance. It reduces the oxygen cost of exercise.”

Post-workout, the company offers a range of Boswellin extracts (Boswellin, Boswellin Forte, Boswellin Super, PolyBos, Boswellin PS) standardized to different strengths, solubility and biomarkers. “These extracts can help to reduce inflammation in the joint and muscular tissue, which can often negatively impact an athlete’s performance. With its anti-inflammatory activity Boswellin can reduce recovery time.”

Sabinsa’s Cococin, obtained from the green coconut, contains vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can help with rehydration and recovery, according to the company. Sabinsa also offers various weight management products, including  Forslean Coleus forskohli, which can help improve lean body mass and support a healthy weight; Garcinia extracts such as Citrin and GarCitrin, which can help to reduce appetite and improve metabolism of fat; and DigeZyme, which helps with better assimilation of a protein-rich diet by breaking down protein in the food.

When it comes to meeting their active nutrition needs, Ecuadorian Rainforest’s Mr. Luna said consumers are looking for fresh ingredients. “They are also looking for ingredients that help them get an edge on their competition, whether on the field or in the boardroom.”

One side effect of working out is the temporary weakening of the immune system during recovery. Mr. Luna said astragalus may boost the immune system’s resilience and may be useful against fatigue. “In one study (Acta Pharmacol Sin, 2002), researchers tested a group of athletes by giving them either astragalus or a placebo for eight weeks and tested their final exhaustion times, anaerobic thresholds and kinetic energies. When the study was completed, researchers determined that astragalus helped reduce fatigue by increasing oxygen intake in the experimental group.”

PLT Health Solutions, Morristown, NJ, distributes Wellmune, a yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan derived from the cell wall of a proprietary strain of yeast, which has been shown to minimize post-exercise immunosuppression after intense activity (Journal of Dietary Supplements, 2013; Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 2009).

PLT also supplies Zembrin, a patented, standardized extract of Sceletium tortuosum. Studied for its effect on cognition, focus and anxiety relief, the ingredient has since found a niche in some sports nutrition formulations, as users found it helped with activities that require mental stamina and concentration.

Using OmniBead Beadlet Technology to encapsulate the beneficial heat of concentrated, highly-active natural capsicum in a controlled release coating, OmniActive’s Capsimax Capsicum Extract delivers effective levels of capsacinoinds without the oral and gastric burning sensation of unprotected red hot peppers, according to the company’s Ms. Doyle. Capsaicinoids are backed by more than 90 human clinical studies, and Capsimax supports the mobilization of fats for energy production.

Lutemax 2020 provides all three macular carotenoids—lutein and enhanced levels of zeaxanthin isomers [RR- and RS (meso)-zeaxanthin] at the same 5:1 ratio as found in nature. LAMA I & II (Lutein, Vision and Mental Acuity) studies demonstrated Lutemax 2020 significantly supported measures of visual performance and healthy brain function—for example increased neural and visual processing speed—in young adults. The multi-dose supplementation study LAMA I (Lutein, Vision and Mental Acuity) demonstrated the bioavailability of Lutemax 2020 at all three doses tested.

FutureCeuticals’ Mr. Wheeler has seen increased demand for dual-solution ingredient combinations, such as a recovery ingredient coupled with a fast-acting joint relief ingredient.

“Our VitaCherry Sport and FruiteX-B calcium Fructoborate combination is a prime example of a muscle/joint recovery formulation solution,” he offered. “In addition, I’m seeing stimulatory and non-stimulatory energy ingredients being coupled with cognition ingredients. Clinically validated, ATP-increasing elevATP and BDNF-stimulating NeuroFactor are just this kind of combo. At times, the stimulatory Coffeeberry, organic coffee caffeine, is paired with NeuroFactor for a similar application.”

At the end of the day, Mr. Wheeler added, product developers are looking for “gold standard” scientific validation of ingredients. “The days of relying on third-party animal studies are well in our rear-view mirror, thank goodness.”

Antioxidants & Anti-Inflammatories. Sports nutrition has always been a strong area of focus for AstaReal, Inc., Burlington, NJ, according to Joe Kuncewitch, national sales manager. “We have actively and continuously pursued research and clinical studies to validate the physical advantages that AstaReal astaxanthin brings to sports enthusiasts. Our newest focus is on enhancing healthy aging and reducing physical and mental fatigue associated with today’s active lifestyle.”

AstaReal astaxanthin, naturally harvested from the algae Haematococcus pluvialis, is a potent carotenoid that assists in healthy recovery, according to the company. It is non-GMO and vegetarian, as it is collected from a plant source (algae) grown in closed, indoor systems located in the U.S.

Trainers and healthcare professionals have realized that exercise and sports activities generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), and that more intense activity generates a greater number of free radicals (ROS), said Mr. Kuncewitch. “As ROS build up during exercise, they damage muscle tissues and hinder athletic performance and recovery. Astaxanthin has been shown in numerous studies to increase endurance, reduce muscle damage and improve lipid metabolism.”

Attempting to reach their physical and performance goals, athletes and bodybuilders remain the top users of sports nutrition supplements, said Mr. Kuncewitch. “Strenuous physical activity generates high levels of ROS, which affect muscle performance and metabolism of lipids. New research shows that astaxanthin can modify muscle metabolism via its antioxidant effect, resulting in the improvement of muscle function during exercise. Therefore, astaxanthin is quite effective for active-lifestylers as well as hardcore athletes. Certainly, we see the trend of everyday consumers looking for that slight edge in their daily workout routines and AstaReal astaxanthin provides that much-needed effect.”

Mainstream consumers who are actively pursuing fitness regimens or participate in sports rely mainly on protein powders, which build muscle, but don’t generally assist with endurance and anti-fatigue issues, he added. “However, many of these consumers are now beginning to appreciate the enhanced post-activity recovery role of astaxanthin in helping them to achieve their fitness goals.”

Published and ongoing research involving astaxanthin has focused on improving endurance and reducing recovery time. “These findings are bringing astaxanthin to the forefront as a dietary supplement for professional athletes and physically active people,” said Mr. Kuncewitch.

As an anti-inflammatory ingredient, Sabinsa’s Curcumin C3 Complex offers a variety of functions, providing antioxidant support, helping to manage healthy joints and reducing inflammation, according to the company.

OmniActive’s CurcuWIN Curcumin with enhanced absorption delivers the sports nutrition benefits of turmeric including a normal healthy inflammatory response after exercise. Moreover, the FloMeD (Flow Mediated Dilation and Curcumin) study showed long-term supplementation with an optimal, cost-effective dose of curcuminoids from CurcuWIN helps support healthy blood flow and circulation, which are important to sports performance and staying active.

Ginger is well known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity, Dr. Pande noted. “It is also useful for joint pain and easy on the gut.”

Science around ginger has demonstrated its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, important to sports performance and recovery. Manufactured using a CO2 supercritical extraction process without the use of harsh solvents, OmniActive’s Gingever delivers a minimum of 30% bioactives (25% gingerols) delivering a potent boost of ginger to a sports nutrition formulation.

Bioavailability and substantiated claims have been and continue to be important as well, according to Ms. Doyle. “OmniActive is committed to supporting our ingredients through a robust clinical program across our brands, and bioavailability has been one of the important outcomes of our research.”

Probiotics. Traditionally associated with digestive wellness and immune support, probiotics have recently been tested for their role in supporting athletes.

According to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study involving 16 healthy, resistance-trained men, probiotic supplementation reduced the amount of performance degradation, and inflammation following a bout of muscle damaging exercise (Nutrients, 2016).

“Probiotics have been purported to reduce inflammation, but little was known about the potential effects on inflammation and performance in athletes after strenuous exercise,” said Dr. Ralf Jäger, Increnovo LLC, lead researcher for the study.

Dr. Jäger, in conjunction with researchers at Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX, and Biolab Researh S.r.l., Novara, Italy, conducted the study. Each participant ingested a daily micro-encapsulated (Microbac) probiotic containing 5 billion live cells (AFU) of S. thermophilus FP4 and 5 billion live cells (AFU) of B. breve BR03, or placebo prior to the performance (21 days) of a muscle damaging exercise of the elbow flexors. Performance of the elbow flexors and a marker of inflammation (interleukin-6) was measured prior to, and following damaging exercise.

“Ingestion of the anti-inflammatory probiotics attenuated performance and range-of-motion decrements following muscle damaging exercise,” said Dr. Jäger. “The probiotics also reduced baseline inflammation and improved the inflammatory response to exercise. These data suggest that the specific probiotics may assist in recovery following exercise.”

B. breve BR03 and S. thermophilus FP4 probiotics were developed by Probiotical, Novara, Italy, and are distributed in the U.S. by Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc., Kearny, NJ.

Pharmachem also offers Pomanox, a pomegranate extract from Spain, which Alexis Collins, director of scientific affairs, said is a good companion ingredient to the company’s probiotic strains because it can offer a sports nutrition formula a wider range of claims. “Pomanox helps support endurance, whereas our sport strains help support performance,” she said.

Collagen Peptides. With unique nutritional and technological properties, Bioactive Collagen Peptides are becoming increasingly popular in the food and dietary supplement market, according to Lara Niemann, marketing director, Americas, GELITA USA, Sergeant Bluff, IA. As they are hydrolyzed to a certain extent, they are readily absorbed by the body, easily digestible and highly bioavailable.

Combined with resistance training, the specific collagen peptides in the company’s BodyBalance can help fight sarcopenia by significantly increasing muscle mass and strength, and reducing fat mass at the same time. This has been shown in a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

BodyBalance is a natural source of protein, allergen-free and safe. It can be used to develop innovative clean label products such as beverages and shakes, bars, gels and instant foods, such as soups.