27% of People in the U.K. Use Sports Nutrition Products

Sports drinks were once reserved for bodybuilders and athletes, but the recent Mintel report on sports nutrition revealed a different story in the U.K. Published in the Attitudes Towards Sports Nutrition 2017 report, results showed that 3 out of 10 or 27% of Brits use sports nutrition products. The report also noted that 2 out of 5 (39%) of the UK’s population exercise more than once a week.

Men Are the Main Users of Sports Nutrition Products

Young men in Britain have the strongest affinity to sports nutrition products. Around 61% of men between 16 and 34 confessed that they use sports nutrition products and also follow a rigid exercise program. In fact, 35% of this demographic say they exercise four times a week.

While men showed a high propensity for sports nutrition products, there is also a growing demand from the females.  The study indicated that 40% of women between 16 and 34 years old consume sports nutrition products. There is also an increase of intake of protein powders among young women from 7% in 2015 to 18% in 2017.

Popular Sports Nutrition Products in the United Kingdom

The top three products according to the reports include protein bars at 11%, protein powders at 10%, and energy bars at 9%. According to Anita Winther, research analyst at Mintel, the sports nutrition industry is proliferating.  The reason for this is that people are changing their perception of beauty. In fact, even the fashion industry is embracing the mantra “strong is the new skinny” thus models are often required to have athletic and toned bodies.

The embrace of these nutrition products among Brits is good news for manufacturers. But while the demand is high for these products, 63% of consumers find it difficult to determine whether a particular product is right for them or not. 72% of the customers demand industry-wide certification to ensure the quality of the ingredients used.


Consumers are more critical with the types of foods that they consume, and this scrutinizing behavior extends to sports nutrition. Around 64% of the users read the ingredients list before deciding to buy a particular product while 46% avoid those that contain sugar. With this consumer behavior, the industry can benefit by revamping their products to include more natural and sugar-free products to meet the demands of people.

Current Problem

While the sports nutrition industry is growing, it is facing fierce competition from mainstream food companies that are also embracing the high-protein trend. It seems that there is an overlap between the two and that mainstream food companies are providing products that have more competitive prices and more beneficial ingredients.

The thing is that there is a booming interest in health and sports products in the United Kingdom and the broad aspect of healthy living. The trend gives manufacturers opportunities to develop new products to cater to different types of consumers.

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New Ingredients Will Grow Sports Nutrition Market by 8% until 2020

With more people involved in sports to promote healthy living, the consumption of sports nutrition products is also increasing.  Sports nutrition products include food, drinks, and supplements. Most of these products contain new ingredients that are geared to boost the performance. These products include ingredients like beta-alanine, creatine, caffeine, nitrous oxide, and androstenedione that are supposed to improve the power and strength of the consumer.

The Statistics of the Global Sports Nutrition Market

The global sports nutrition market is steadily growing at 8% according to the research of Technavio– a leading research and advisory company in the world.  The research group looked into the growth and projection of the sports nutrition market from 2016 to 2020 based on the generated sales and revenue of businesses. In the study, people from North America are the highest consumers of sports nutrition products pegged at 41.69% followed by those from Europe (25.64%), Asia Pacific (19.68%) and the rest of the world (12.99%).

sports nutrition

The North American sports nutrition market is valued at $11.04 billion in 2015 while Europe’s market is at $6.79 billion in the same year. The sale of the products in Asia Pacific is at $5.21 billion. There are many reasons why there is a rise in the demand for sports nutrition products, but one thing is for sure—more people are aware of the health benefits of losing weight and living active lifestyles.

Implications of The Market Rise and Popularity

Many manufacturers are now expanding their market reach by continuously improving their products and creating less complicated nutrition formulations that are compatible with different types of people. Another trend is to produce products that are targeted to a particular market. In fact, there is a rise in female-focused sports nutrition products that cater to active women.

With the increasing market for sports nutrition products, new regulations have been created to improve the distribution and legitimacy of the products. The new rules are a result of some manufacturers distributing products that may not be effective in boosting the performance of the athlete.

New Ingredients in Sports Nutrition Products

new ingredients sports nutritionOn the other hand, new ingredients have been eyed by manufacturers in making new lines of sports nutrition products. For instance, the use of probiotics as one of the main ingredients is an emerging trend. Probiotics contain live gut-friendly bacteria that can increase the absorption of nutrients and also provide a better immune system.

Other research companies are looking into other innovative ingredients such as collagen, Vitamin D, L-carnitine, and glycerol to create a product that can help consumers recover, replenish, as well as refuel after an exhausting exercise regimen. While many researchers are looking into different ingredients in creating sports nutrition products, the main highlight is on using organic, GMO-free, raw, and chemical-free ingredients to create new and better products that provide better nutrition to consumers who want to live healthy lives.

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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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Unhealthy Additives Are Transforming Gatorade

Consumers are now connecting their health to the food and beverages that they consume. PepsiCo, who owns Gatorade, is facing a backlash regarding the types of unhealthy additives used in making their signature drinks.

So what’s inside a 32-oz Gatorade? It contains 54.4 grams of sugar which are more than the recommended daily allowance of an average person. Although 50 grams of sugar provides energy for individuals who are always working out or on the go, an average person does not have a need for it.

gatorade-label-serving-size-sugarSugar is the Silent Killer in Sports Drinks

There are different types of sugar. In chemistry, sugar is categorized as sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, and lactose. They are carbohydrates that fuel the body by providing the energy that it needs to sustain daily activities. Many food experts believe that sugar is one of the unhealthy additives that we include in our diet. It is important to take note that there are different forms of sugars, but one of the dangerous types of sugar for our health is sucrose, also known as white sugar or table sugar. Sugar is made from plants, and they can come from sugar beets or sugar cane. The natural juices are extracted from both plants and are crystallized to form white sugar which is made up of 99% sucrose.

Sugar is not a low-calorie additive. In fact, it has a high glycemic index (GI) which is a measure of blood glucose response after eating a particular food. Since its GI is high, this means that your blood sugar level is immediately elevated just a few minutes after consuming a tablespoon of it.


The Fight Against Sugar & Unhealthy Additives 

The ability of table sugar to raise the blood sugar level within a few minutes of ingesting it is the reason why people want to avoid Gatorade and other beverages.  For this reason, beverage companies are now launching innovations to keep their customers not only happy but also healthy. Many beverage companies are now offering low-calorie drinks, but their marketing strategy does not end there. Many companies are now attempting to create natural drinks by cutting out synthetic ingredients from their beverage mixtures.

For instance, PepsiCo removed the brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade’s formula in addressing the call of a 15-year old activist who launched an online campaign against the unhealthy additive. Moreover, the company also developed a sports drink that does not have artificial coloring and is sweetened with natural cane sugar.

The new line of beverages looks promising, but consumers are seeking drinks that fit their nutritional needs. Sport drink companies are trying to capitalize on the opportunity by creating healthier drinks without sacrificing the taste. For instance, both PepsiCo and Coke are now investing in coconut water, Suja juice, and sparkling water after calls by nutritionists to switch from sports drinks to drinks with less sugar and unhealthy additives.

Today, beverage companies are not only looking into making low-calorie drinks, but they also want to deliver beverages that are healthy—to fit the lifestyles of its many health-conscious consumers.

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beverages from whole fruit and vegetables nutrients vitaminsWhere are the Nutrients?

How are we able to market a beverage as “sports nutrition” and there are ZERO nutrients in the drink? On the other hand, some of these “nutritious” drinks are using synthetic vitamins and minerals to fortify their products. How is that any better? We should be looking for ways to deliver whole food nutrients into beverages like Gatorade and Powerade.

NutriFusion® developed a  patented method for stabilizing the nutrients in whole fruits and vegetables. We are here to help sports nutrition brands bring healthy, nutritious products to market. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the Beverages page below for more information.