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Crossover between the sports nutrition and health oriented nutraceutical markets


Martin Schilling
Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany

Member of the Agro FOOD Industry Hi Tech Scientific Advisory Board

With sales of more than $60 billion in 2016, sports nutrition, including energy drinks, represents the biggest slice of the overall nutraceutical market. The desire for optimized fitness and performance is continuing to grow and products are gaining popularity also with non-athletes. Therefore this nutraceutical segment is predicted to have the highest growth in the coming years (1).

In addition to carbohydrates and vitamins, the effects of protein and essential amino acids including branched chain amino acids (BCAA) on sports performance enhancement are well understood and positively perceived by the consumer. The main idea is to supply the natural building blocks that are limiting muscle biosynthesis and energy generation. In the case of protein, amino acids and their metabolites, there is a straightforward biochemical explanation for the effects that can often be observed in a relatively short timeframe and are well documented in a multitude of studies. Not surprisingly, these proven effects on performance and fitness are driving the adoption of some of these products by recreational/lifestyle users. With steadily increasing life expectancy and consequently a higher p ...

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