Food trend analysis: Sports nutrition

Athletes are constantly looking for ways to improve their performance. One of the key aspects of this quest is proper nutrition, which plays an essential role in optimizing sporting performance. 

What macronutrient requirements do athletes have? 

Sportsmen and women have higher carbohydrate and protein requirements than the general population, and these vary according to their sporting activity.

Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles and provide energy for muscle contraction. Carbohydrates are found in vegetables, rice, fruit and cereals, and account for 50% of total macronutrient intake. They are divided into two categories: slow sugars and fast sugars. Their recommended dose varies according to when they are consumed: before, during or after exercise. 

Unsaturated lipids provide the energy needed for muscle contraction and enable the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. These health-promoting lipids account for 10% of their nutritional intake through oily fish, vegetable oil, avocado and almonds.

Proteins are essential for building muscle mass and recovering after exercise. They are found in eggs, skyr and white meats. Their daily consumption is recommended at 30% of energy intake. 

Micronutrients such as vitamins, iron and calcium are also essential for sports performance. 

Finally, an athlete loses an average of 4.5L of water per training session, so it's crucial to restore this balance by consuming 3.5L of electrolyte-enriched water during the training day.  

The healthy and tasty expectations of athletes  

Consumers want to see more natural product formulations, healthier versions, "pleasure" and multifunctional products, as well as practical, gourmet formats. Consumers are particularly attentive to ingredients, with a tendency to reduce sugars and a growing interest in plant-based proteins. 

A booming sports market

The sports nutrition market is booming, particularly since the Covid pandemic, rising from €26,10 billion in 2016 to €41,65 billion in 2022 in the world. This trend has reached a wide audience in recent years. North America and Europe account for 37% and 25% of the global market respectively. Protein products, mainly whey-based, dominate, accounting for 82% of the market and forecast growth of 12%.


Adaptogenic herb and cannabidiol drink mix for sports people/ AMARI, INC/ United-States
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Hydrating drink with coconut water rich in electrolytes/ PULSE MIZONE ELECTROLYTES + DANONE/China
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