Natural Products Insider

MAR-APR 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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38 INSIDER March/April 2018 Whether thought of as post-workout or sports recovery, demand for supplement ingredients and formulations designed to support the body after periods of physical exertion are on the rise. 2016 marked the fi rst year that more than half of Americans reported receiving the recommended amount of daily physical activity in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Health Interview Survey's 19-year history. At the same time, the last few years have also marked a period of signifi cant growth among U.S. supplement takers, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition's (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Driven, at least in part, by a large cultural shift toward mental and physical wellness built upon good nutrition, both of these trends—the increase in physical activity and the demand for high-quality supplements—have resulted in a kind of sports nutrition renaissance. Thanks to other innovations (namely the widespread availability of the internet and smart devices), more consumers have access to the driver of marketplace innovation: knowledge. Consumer demand has been able to drive new ingredients and formulations, while solidifying the popularity of some of the most fundamental staples in sports nutrition and recovery. Sports Recovery Formulation Staples Considered a true classic in the world of sports nutrition, whey protein isolate has been recognized for decades thanks to its status as an amino-acid-rich complete protein. Research has suggested a shake containing 20 to 30 g of whey protein isolate can provide sustained amino acid levels for two to three hours. 1 Along with normal amino acids, whey protein isolate contains high levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which have been recognized for their potential to support the body during a post-workout recovery period. 2 According to a report published by the U.S. Dairy Export Council in 2017, three key consumer demographics responsible for driving demand for whey protein isolate are middle class fi tness enthusiasts, health-conscious seniors, and parents caring for their infants and toddlers. Creatine has been recognized for the role it plays in the body's ability to create and utilize adenosine triphosphate (ATP), especially during heavy lifting or high- intensity exercise. Scientifi c research has suggested creatine supports anabolic signaling, which serves as a key component of post-workout recovery. 3,4 In a 2009 study, researchers examined the effects of regular creatine supplementation on untrained male volunteers over the course of a 20-day trial. 5 Though researchers focused exclusively on muscles located around the knees, their conclusion was that supplementation with creatine supported the rate of muscle recovery and sustained function of the muscle following damage obtained during a resistance exercise session. Like whey protein and creatine, amino acids have a longstanding history as a staple of the sports nutrition universe. When it comes to recovery and post- workout applications, amino acids are most often recognized for the roles they play in the body's ability to grow, heal and maintain muscle mass. Thanks in part to their potential to support recovery and potentially reduce overall recovery time, demand for BCAAs over the last 10 years has seen signifi cant growth. According to Google Trends data collected in 2016, interest in the term "branched-chain amino acids" grew at an average rate of 22 percent per year during the period spanning from August 2011 to August 2016. Anecdotally, consumers have been touting the benefi ts of sour or tart cherry juices and extracts for decades. From a scientifi c standpoint, modern research has been able to confi rm that the fruit's naturally occurring antioxidants and fl avanols may be able to support oxidative stress and infl ammation responses during periods of athletic and physical recovery. 6 A 2010 study published in the Journal of International Society for Sports N utrition (ISSN) reviewed the effects of a concentrated tart cherry extract on 54 healthy volunteer runners. 7 During the trial, participants ran an average of 26.3 km over the course of a 24-hour period. Researchers concluded that compared to the placebo group, participants who had supplemented with tart cherry concentrate reported feeling less discomfort during the post-trial recovery period. Despite gaining a lot of attention in recent months as a rising star of the "beauty from within" movement thanks to its role in skin, hair and nail health— collagen has also been recognized for its potential as a component of sports nutrition and recovery formulations. Research has suggested collagen may be well-suited for sports recovery applications thanks to its ability to support the repair of connective tissues, as well as overall bone, joint and ligament health. 8,9 Ingredients like these continue to demonstrate the ability to meet the needs of consumers looking to incorporate sports nutrition supplements into their health and wellness routines. When paired with other formulation specifi cations like "clean," vegan or paleo, supplement companies and brands have the resources they need to continue providing their customers with innovative and well- formulated nutraceuticals. Melissa DellaBartolomea is a content marketing specialist for NutraScience Labs ( Based in Farmingdale, New York, NutraScience Labs is de dicated to providing companies and brand owners with excellent customer service and a full suite of dietary supplement manufacturing capabilities. Sports Nutrition: Recovery Ingredient Players in Post-Workout Supplements by Melissa DellaBartolomea For a list of references, email

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