SupplySide West attendees will learn much of the sports and active nutrition categories on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 9:00am until 12:00pm, in the Islander C ballroom.

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

October 6, 2023

2 Min Read

At a Glance

  • SupplySide West education covers sports and active nutrition.
  • NFL draft-style session on favorite sports ingredients.
  • Electrolytes, creatine, esports fills out the program.


Sports nutrition is one of the strongest supplement categories today. The sports and performance field carried a markedly different trajectory through the pandemic than all other supplement sectors—flat in 2020, while supplements as a whole boomed a historic 15% year over year growth, with immunity of course rising multiples higher. Yet by 2022, sports recovered and experienced one of its highest growth years in decades—as the rest of the supplements world began correcting.

Notably, the rise of sports is a mass market play more than it has ever been, moving out of many specialty retail outlets. Many now are keen to calling the entire category as the more expansive active nutrition. This opens the category to a much larger consumer base.

Beyond protein powders, creatine and beta-alanine, the active nutrition field includes esports—now an official Olympic sport, if you can believe it—as well as hydration, as electrolytes have jumped off the football field sidelines and into dorm rooms of Gen Z partiers; joint health, because we all want to move freely; cardiovascular fitness, as ever; even brain health, so we can maintain our focus and concentration while engaged in physical pursuits.

In this dynamic three-hour conference track, we will explore the following topics:

Related:SupplySide West: An insider’s ‘extraordinary’ experience

  • 9:00-9:30, Sports nutrition: field report. Brought to you by Rick Polito, editor-in-chief at Nutrition Business Journal

  • 9:30-10:00, Draft picks—best active nutrition ingredients, NFL draft-style. With Blake Ebersole, NaturPro Scientific, and Doug Kalman, Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University

  • 10:00-10:30, Esport athletes are legitimizing computer gaming with the aid of next-gen nootropics. With Jason Chung, director of esports & gaming initiative at NYU

  • 10:30-11:00, The creatine boom: Why is it branching into the mainstream? With Rick Kreider, who wrote the book on creatine, “Creatine: The Power Supplement.”

  • 11:00-12:00, Hydration innovation. Panel discussion led by Luke Huber at Council for Responsible Nutrition, with representatives from Balchem, Kyowa Hakko USA, Nuun / Nestle, Nutrabolt, Liquid IV / Unilever.

Click here for more information on SupplySide West, or to register for the show, or to check out the entire conference content.

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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