Making workouts pay off better through targeted functional ingredients.

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

July 6, 2023

The world of sports performance has long benefitted from those who understand the value in supplementing with nutrients that can aid the both in a number of ways. At the start there are pre-workout nutrients—probably caffeine being the most well-known. Then there are nutrients to help with building muscle and improving strength, fitness, output and endurance during competition. On the tail end, recovery is increasingly being seen as vital—both to prevent muscle soreness that can keep you down as well as even immune-enhancing bioactives not traditionally used in sports supplements but gaining greater sway among athletes. That’s because the stress and strain put on a body during a competition or a workout can cause damage to the body and sometimes during that down period people succumb to illnesses. And if you’re too sick to get out there, you’re not going to be able to perform at all, let alone optimally.

We asked Douglas S. Kalman, Ph.D., clinical associate professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, his insight and opinion about three ingredients that are effective and popular in today’s sports nutrition world. Kalman talked with Todd Runestad, content director for Natural Products Insider, at the SupplySide East trade show in Secaucus, NJ, on April 19, 2023.

Related:A balanced approach to optimizing sports performance for today's athletes - podcast

The first sports ingredient Kalman mentioned is the cellular protectant, hobamine. When you’re involved in high-intensity exercise, you get stress and reactive oxygen species that can cause short-term damage to cells that can limit performance. Hobamine can enhance exercise performance either by extending it or higher output capacity during that time period.

HMB, or beta-hydroxymethylbutyrate. It’s an older one but it helps reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness and reduce biomarkers of muscle damage. HMB can help with recovery and the amount of damage to a person.

To hear about the third one, which is used both enhance muscular output but also has provocative new evidence about enhancing cognitive function and health, watch the video.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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