The sports nutrition category has, generically, been predominately led by protein and whey powders with a majority of finished products aimed at muscle building and functional nutrition.1 More recently, the category has evolved to include an ever-increasing array of applications, functions, and delivery formats. Evolution to a more inclusive category that highlights opportunities for eSports, a healthy gut microbiome, immune support, cognitive support, exercise recovery, joint health, and performance has brought an immense amount of opportunity to the category.†
In addition to a more dynamic array of choices on the shelf, sports enthusiasts are also becoming more educated and the category itself is dipping to the arena of supporting active living from a number of avenues. These generally healthy, active persons are now experiencing new and formidable challenges as many are encountering interruptions to daily routines.
For the avid health enthusiast and professional athlete, daily exercise is nothing new. However, subjecting one’s body to a sudden and dramatic decrease in this exercise can lead to its own implications. For these active persons, eliminating exercise can lead to increased pain and inflammatory responses, especially in joints or muscles accustomed to regular stretching and movement. In addition to this, long-term health implications have been noticed in COVID patients.2-4 For instance, "research raises the possibility that even athletes who recover from COVID-19 may face dire or lasting heart complications,” explains The Washington Post.4 Not only are people experiencing long-term health changes, but they are not able to get frequent and regular exercise with these global changes.
The sports category as a whole has seen a dramatic shift to include healthy lifestyles in support of both mental and physical wellbeing. As with most things in our society during a global health crisis, consumers are looking for supplements that have adaptability capabilities as they adjust their exercise regimes. Not only are they wanting to promote recovery after exercise, but also a balanced inflammatory response, support immune health, and promote a healthy gut microbiome.†
"Overall interesting evidence suggests that regular aerobic exercise confers benefits to the gut microbiota, which may be partially responsible for the widespread benefits of physical activity on human health."6 A healthy microbiome may have a tremendous impact on a person's overall wellbeing; the healthier it is, the healthier they are. Overall, a healthier gut can be attributed to the fuel it is provided through nutrition and the balance of microbiota forming a symbiotic gut microbiome, as well as regular and consistent exercise.7 Further, exercise is known to raise an individual's core temperature and reduce blood flow to the intestines, which could lead to more direct contact between gut microbes and immune cells in the mucus layer of the gut, exhibiting a potential to shift microbial composition.7
In addition to promoting immune health, general wellbeing, and gut health, mood & emotional wellbeing are also trending. Traditionally, health enthusiasts and avid athletes would promote wellbeing through the inclusion of regular exercise into their regimens. Due to the current health crisis, many sporting events, races, and competitions have seen cancellations. Cancelled events remove the training drive for some, explained Dr. Brian McFarlin, avid marathon runner, researcher, Associate Professor Exercise Physiology & Nutrition, and Associate Professor Biological Sciences at the University of North Texas (K Marshall, personal communication, September 04, 2020). Decreases in training drive/purpose may increase the risk of consequences when returning to a previously established exercise routine. Further, impacts to wellbeing and mood are, consequently, driving the expansion of the sports nutrition market to include healthy aging and overall wellbeing functional support solutions. Promoting a finished product with the added offering of adaptability, whether through functionality or dosing capabilities, continues to trend upward.
The increased awareness surrounding health and wellbeing for active people is not a new theory either. Active individuals are more prone to opportunistic infections. Researchers at the University of North Texas recently investigated a synergistic polyphenol blend of patented curcuminoids and pomegranate ellagitannins, in which they noticed, “interestingly, we also detected changes in two pathways not directly linked to muscle recovery, their change may support an improved post-exercise immune system and reduced incidence of opportunistic infection that is commonly reported following strenuous endurance exercise. Reductions in infection risk are often associated with a more effective recovery from muscle injury.”5
As a plant-based solution to tackling mood & emotional wellbeing, immune support, antioxidant capacity, gut health support, and exercise recovery, Restoridyn® is powerful polyphenol blend that packs a punch. Resoridyn's synergistic curcuminoid and pomegranate ellagitannin combination has been clinically studied in healthy adults, with findings showing specific proteins changes "were associated with a variety of biological pathways including: chemotactic signaling (ITAC, IL-8, MIP-3alpha, and MIP-1alpha), anti-inflammatory (IL-10 and IL-13), muscle recovery (BDNF), and B-cell activation (sIL-2Ralpha and IL-4)."5 Researchers go on to explain that, "[a]ll of these proteins have been previously reported to play a role in muscle recovery from exercise and/or injury and these biomarkers indicated supplementation [with Restoridyn®] may be associated with a more favorable muscle recovery profile."5 They go on to explain "Our findings support that supplementation [with Restoridyn] may represent a useful addition to a comprehensive exercise training plan.”5 †
Read more on Nutrition Industry Executive: Heavy Lifting: Sports Nutrition Product Development Trends
About Verdure Sciences®: Verdure Sciences supplies plant-based ingredients backed by science with an emphasis on sustainability, traceability, clean labels, global conscience, and stewardship. From growing and harvest to manufacturing, standardization, and research, our ingredient pipeline hold quality, integrity, efficacy, safety, and traceability as primary concerns in offering sustainable solutions for the global market. Verdure Sciences® is a registered trademark of Verdure Sciences®, Inc.
About Restoridyn®: Restoridyn® is a synergistically studied polyphenol blend, patent-pending to advantageously hone in on the antioxidant potency of punicalagins, combined with the benefits of curcuminoids to offer multi-prong health support. Clinical evidence suggests Restoridyn® is an adaptogenic nutritional approach supporting recovery and immunity resulting in an increase in overall performance and stamina. Restoridyn® is a registered trademark of Verdure Sciences®, Inc. To learn more about Restoridyn, visit: vs-corp.com/restoridyn
1- Schouw Andersen, Peter. (2017 Mar 16). Sports nutrition – 5 key trends for 2017. Retrieved 2020 August 20 from https://www.dairyreporter.com/Article/2017/03/16/Sports-nutrition-5-key-trends-for-2017
2- Schellhorn P et al. Return to sports after COVID-19 infection: Do we have to worry about myocarditis? Eur Heart J. 2020 May 20. (0): 1-3. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa448
3- Lavigne P and Mark Schlabach. (2020 Aug 10). ESPN: Heart condition linked with COVID-19 fuels power 5 concerns about season’s viability. Retrieved 2020 August 20 from https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/29633697/heart-condition-linked-covid-19-fuels-power-5-concern-season-viability
4- Kilgore A. (2020 08 Aug). The Washington Post: Health experts worry coronavirus could cause lasting hearth complications for athletes. Retrieved 2020 August 20 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/08/08/athletes-coronavirus-heart-complications/
5- Tanner EA et al. Alterations in systemic inflammatory response following a half-marathon race with a combined curcumin and pomegranate supplement: A feasibility study. J Diet Suppl. 2020 Jul. 1-17. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2020.1786206
6- Allen JM et al. Med Sci Sports Exercise. 2018 Apr. 50(4): 747-757. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001495
7- Yeager A. (2019 Aug 15). The Scientist. Retrieved 2020 Jan from https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/exercise-changes-our -gut-microbes--but-how-isnt-yet-clear-66281?