Probiotic Drinks More Popular Than Ever

There is an increasing number of health-conscious individuals who prefer to buy products that have more nutritional value than junk foods. As a result, the sales of probiotic drinks increased by 31.2% over the past year based on the data generated by the Chicago-based research company, SPINS.

But what could have led the change of heart to switch from standard sugary drinks to probiotics? Consumers have become increasingly aware of how important it is to maintain a healthy gut for good overall health. On top of that, the natural approach to digestive health is trending. With an increasing number of people opting for healthier drinks, this also pushed beverage manufacturers to find innovative ways to add more nutritional value to their products.

New Niche Created By Probiotic Beverages

Beverage makers are now using botanical ingredients to add natural flavor and nutritional benefits to their drinks. Uncommon ingredients such as lavender, lemongrass, elderberry, and turmeric are being added to intrigue consumers. They have also incorporated probiotics in different bases including dairy, grains, plant-based milk, as well as fruit and vegetable juices.

Some manufacturers have created shelf-stable probiotics that contain billions of live good bacteria that can last longer than traditional probiotics.

Backed by Science 

Good stomach health has always been linked to a better immune system. What resides in the gut is a plethora of microflora that controls the release of hormones and even the body’s metabolism. Probiotic drinks are marketed as healthy drinks that can help in weight loss, depression, and solve allergy problems.

The results of the extensive research involving probiotics have been used by beverage companies to create exceptional drinks. But aside from using probiotics, beverage companies are also interested in using fiber to boost the nutritional value of their products.

For instance, studies have indicated that the use of chicory root can feed the normal microflora bacteria in the gut. According to Carol Lowry, Cargill’s senior food scientist, chicory root can enhance the growth of lactobacillus in the gut thus maintaining the neutral balance of the gut. This is the reason why beverage manufacturers are also looking into using chicory roots in making powdered beverages, flavored water, smoothies, and juices. Even coffee has been seen as a marketable product that may possibly contain chicory roots.

While the industry of probiotics has huge market potential, food scientists are still facing a huge obstacle to creating beverages that are still tasty and can withstand higher temperature without destabilizing its structure.

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What’s Next for Probiotics in Sports Nutrition?

There is a high demand for healthy beverages all over the world, which has given rise to probiotics, cold-pressed, organic, and plant-based beverages. This is the reason why food and beverage manufacturers have started developing sports nutrition drinks that are not only natural but also contain probiotic ingredients to attract a new market of health-conscious athletes and individuals.

Defining Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for the digestive system. In fact, we naturally have probiotics inside us.  The gut is where millions of bacteria live and if the population of your gut microflora is made up of good bacteria, you reap the benefits by having proper digestion as well as a healthy well-being.

So why should you drink probiotics if you already have them inside your body? Unfortunately, abusive lifestyles such as being stressed and eating processed foods can affect the number of good bacteria in your body. Moreover, if you have been taking antibiotics, your good bacteria are also eradicated as antibiotics are not selective when it comes to killing bacteria in the body. Adding probiotics to your diet is an excellent way to replace the population of good bacteria in your body.

Adding Probiotics in Sports Nutrition

Probiotics are already found in many fermented products that we consume. These include sauerkraut, vinegar, kimchi, yogurt, and many others. But many market innovators want to add probiotics to boost foods that do not traditionally contain them.

The use of probiotics as a primary ingredient in sports nutrition is becoming a popular trend and is expected to reach a global market value of $46.55 billion in the next four years.  For instance, companies like Ingredion, GoodBelly, and NextFoods Inc. are aiming to tap into the sports drink market by improving their product using probiotics. Soon, many companies will also join this trend and will create probiotic product lines that are not only limited to beverages but also protein bars and snacks.

The Rising Demand of Probiotics

In a recent survey conducted by Ganeden, it was noted that 70% of the consumers are open to consuming probiotics in food instead of supplements. The respondents also mentioned that they are willing to pay more for healthy foods especially those containing probiotics.

More and more people are becoming health conscious. They are aware and picky when it comes to what they are eating. People are now interested in looking for food that can give them more health benefits. The increasing demand for healthy and functional foods is the reason why food and beverage manufacturers are developing ways to incorporate probiotics into their products.

For now, probiotics are seen primarily as a potential ingredient for sports drinks, but manufacturers are innovating for the future use of probiotics in fruit beverages, baking mixes, granola bars and much more. It is forecasted that probiotics are set to make appearances in different types of products not only in sports nutrition but also in functional day to day products.

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Dairy Products Better Suited for Delivering Probiotics than Supplements

Have you ever eaten any dairy products fortified with live bacteria before? Probiotics are good bacteria and yeast that provide a variety of health benefits. These are often available in milk products and yoghurt as well as supplements.

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