Posted on: April 11th, 2023

The world of nutrition is constantly changing. Like technology in general, sports nutrition trends seem to change faster with every passing year. Studies into sports nutrition have in turn become more necessary than ever before.

Sports nutrition is a broad category that includes everything from diet to supplements. While many foods and supplements have been rigorously researched, new trends are showing up quickly— a pattern that shows no signs of slowing down.

What is Sports Nutrition?

Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition as it relates to athletic performance. It involves understanding the specific nutritional needs of athletes, including the timing and composition of meals and snacks, and how these needs may vary depending on the sport, training regimen, and individual factors such as age, sex, and body composition.

Sports nutrition also involves understanding the role of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in supporting athletic performance and recovery, as well as the importance of hydration and electrolyte balance.

Sports nutrition can also involve the use of supplements (protein powders, creatine, caffeine, etc.) to support athletic performance. It is important to note that while some supplements may be beneficial, others may have little to no effect, or even be harmful if used improperly.

What are Sports Nutrition Trends?

The answer to this question is constantly changing, as the word trend implies. That said, let’s take a look at the sports nutrition trends we are seeing in 2023.

Plant-Based Diets

More athletes are adopting plant-based diets, either partially or entirely, for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. Plant-based diets can provide sufficient protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients to support athletic performance when properly planned.

Personalized Nutrition

Advances in genetic testing and other technologies are allowing for more personalized nutrition plans tailored to an individual athlete’s unique needs and preferences.

Gut Health

There is growing interest in the role of the gut microbiome in athletic performance, with a focus on consuming foods that support a healthy and diverse microbial community in the gut.

Keto & Low-Carb Diets

Some athletes are adopting low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diets in an attempt to improve endurance and fat-burning capabilities, but the evidence supporting these approaches in athletes is mixed.

Natural Foods

There is a trend towards consuming minimally processed and whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as opposed to highly processed and packaged foods.

Nutritional Supplements

While some supplements, such as protein powders and caffeine, are commonly used by athletes to support performance and recovery, there is increasing interest in more natural and plant-based supplements, such as adaptogens and herbal remedies.

Looking at Trends in Sports Nutrition

Researchers, dieticians, nutritionists, and food scientists need to keep up with trends to identify what warrants studying. This is extremely important, as new dietary trends and (especially) supplements are often not fully understood.

The rise of social media and other online platforms has allowed many people to have a voice when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and other areas of expertise. Nutrition & dietary trends, like anything else, can go ‘viral’ which may lead to far-reaching influence and effects. Constant research is necessary to determine what trends may have potential benefit and others that may have no effect or be potentially harmful.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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