Several factors influence achievement in sports, and diet is one of the key components—along with the nature of the sport, the athlete’s goals, the environment and practical issues.
A lot of excitement is being seen in the sports nutrition category at the present time as several manufacturers are focusing on novel products from herbal sources, which can provide both nutrition and health benefits expected by the consumer. Botanicals can be formulated into a variety of desired delivery formats, from drink mixes to bars and beyond. Multiple benefits are more enticing to consumers, rather than single-benefit ingredients. This is doubly true with those not dependent on heavy research to demonstrate safety, specific applications and efficacy. Some of the products on the radar of customers in today’s sports nutrition marketplace include beetroot extract and digestive enzymes.
Additional natural extracts showing great potential in the sports nutrition category include ashwagandha, amla, turmeric and Boswellia serrata. Evidence suggests they may be of help managing pain and inflammation encountered during training and/or performance, and in suppressing the oxidative stress induced by longer workout sessions. Coconut water (liquid endosperm of Cocos nucifera) may also help rejuvenate by acting as a nutritionally rich sports drink.
For a closer look at ingredients to support sports performance, download INSIDER’s Sports Performance Digital Magazine.