Natural Products Insider

JAN-FEB 2018

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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14 INSIDER January/February 2018 In physiological terms, energy is defi ned as the ability to convert foodstuffs into fuel to power cells to perform bodily functions, with muscular function, cardiovascular effi ciency and brain activity being the most important and the ones consumers seek supplements to address. Most legal stimulants such as caffeine are limited by function, and provide more of a euphoric or perceived effect of energy—a proper dose to avoid overuse and habituation remains unclear. Limited ergogenic data show muscle strength gains and cardiovascular benefi ts with mild stimulant use, but actual dose amount, timing and the effect of adaptation of use aren't entirely clear. Most studies examining the ergogenic effects of caffeine show positive immediate results with doses under 300 mg, but longer duration training effect studies cannot entirely isolate caffeine as the differentiator, as the training itself may have been the root cause of the performance improvements (PLOS ONE 8(4):e59561). Stimulant use has its place and is recommended by this author as part of a good performance training program. While stimulants help mood and immediate energy needs, both those seeking performance gains for sport and those looking for general daily energy should be looking for cellular energy options and non-stimulant products to help increase energy levels, improve muscle contractile force, and increase focus and mental activity. In fact, after consumers get their morning "cup of joe," rather than clinging on to the hope that their next dose will be around the corner, getting cellular fuel throughout the day—not just in the form of healthy food snacks, but through supplementation—would be a better choice. Fortunately, supplement formulators and nutrition companies can turn to numerous ingredients that help with each of these key focal points. And while stimulant-driven products continue to appear, a new wave of non-stimulant, non-habituating ways to feel and perform better is now hitting the market, and 2018 should see many new options for those seeking the afternoon pick-me-up. It is common knowledge that eating healthy, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep improves almost every aspect of life. However, people have gotten to the point that for the sleep part to happen, they need eight-day weeks and four-day weekends; for the exercising part, they need to turn back the clock to high school; and for the eating healthy part, they need to reverse- engineer genetics and remove the sugar and salt sensory genes from the body. Of course none of this is possible. In other words, people need solutions that will work in concert with the busy lifestyles of consumers in today's world. Factors Affecting Energy Increasing energy starts with ensuring a person has an abundance of oxygen- rich blood, full of nutrients, as well as the ability to transport and circulate it to the brain and the rest of the body, especially to working muscles during exercise. That's called improving blood fl ow, and while most don't care much for the vein-popping pumps sought by the avid bodybuilder, the concept is the same—better blood fl ow equals better overall health and performance. Next, being able to exercise longer, harder and/or more effi ciently would suggest both tolerance and power are improving. This means that providing fuel for muscle activity, as well as reducing fatigue during exercise, should be an integral part of every supplement routine— and ultimately means a consumer will have more energy throughout the day. A third essential element of improved overall energy is enhancing the ability to recover faster, not just from exercise, but from disease, injury or general stress. Chalking up every hard-to-get-moving morning, sore back or tired knee to aging only goes so far. Instead, adding some key nutrients that help build muscle, repair damaged tissues and reduce infl ammation is smart supplementation. Lastly, improving focus, promoting relaxation and reducing life stress may be the biggest lifestyle factors of energy. This area of sports nutrition likely has the most potential for future investigation and development as far as enhancing lifestyle through supplementation. Fortunately, plenty of ingredients can be formulated within a product to help improve each of these key factors. The 2018 Energy Outlook Look for the energy drink category to continue to dominate all markets, along with the ongoing increase in heavily stimulant- based pre-workouts. But pay close attention to innovative products entering the non- stimulant energy category—an emerging area that includes ingredients touting better blood fl ow, oxidative health, improved focus, enhanced recovery and better fuel utilization—as these offerings are certain to make a solid impact in 2018. David Sandler heads the U.S. operations and business development for Podlife and Next Cartel Beverages, and is the president and CEO of StrengthPro Inc. ( He has over 25 years of experience in sports supplements, fi tness and health, acting as an educator, researcher, coach and practitioner. Sandler leads the research and development (R&D) and product compliance divisions for several companies, as well as serves as an advisor to their marketing and business development functions. He is a highly sought-after presenter with more than 450 international, national and regional lectures, and has published more than 400 articles in nutrition, supplementation and fi tness. Energizing All Aspects of Health by David Sandler Sports Nutrition Energy Improving focus, promoting relaxation and reducing life stress may be the biggest lifestyle factors of energy. Fortunately, plenty of ingredients can be formulated within a product to help improve each of these key factors.

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