The sports industry continues to experience rapid growth as a source of global entertainment says Brian Jordan, Technical Manager, NSF International. Tremendously lucrative contracts for athletes come along with this growth, which in turn drives greater competition for jobs. Athletes are constantly looking for ways to gain advantages in performance and health. One of these ways is in regards to sports nutrition. There has been a steady increase in athletes getting their blood panels analysed for deficiencies, and the results of these tests are driving an ever-growing interest in single ingredient supplements. Many of these popular products are vitamin D3, magnesium and others. Along with this increase in health analysis comes a continued interest in reducing chronic inflammation through non-prescriptive means and in alternative solutions to OTC drugs. The use of products containing omega fatty acids, curcumin and anti-oxidants for solutions to these issues also continues to grow.
As for industry challenges in the form of trends or perceptions, there are a growing number of athletes who are becoming frustrated with the reduction of dietary supplement quality and safety, as it pertains to dietary supplement label claims and the growing adulteration of products. Because of these concerns, athletes and medical personnel are seeking third-party certification, like NSF Certified for Sport®, to reduce these risks of adulteration and to verify product ingredients.
Lastly, for research and development of new innovative products, athletes are getting excited about the integration of active ingredients usually found of dietary supplements into conventional foods for a greater delivery system and overall product. These products that can be used in conjunction with conventional foods and work synergistically for a desired, researched and holistic outcome will be of great interest to athletes as well as any growing or existing health-conscious populations who are interested in alternative solutions to prescription drugs.
Brian Jordan, Technical Manager
Technical Manager, NSF Certified for Sport