By: Dana Ryan, Ph.D., MA, Director, Sport Performance and Education
Have you found your inner athlete? When it comes to investing in sports nutrition and performance, you don’t have to be a pro. Sports nutrition is no longer just for elite athletes. Thanks to advances in science and tech, every person who wants an active, healthy lifestyle will have access to personalized sports nutrition.
Last year, I talked about the rise of customized meal deliveries and personalized fitness plans. I believe these trends will continue to grow as consumers demand more accessible products and programs tailored to their individual health and nutrition goals.
This time, technology will play a larger role in the personalization of sports nutrition. Here are three trends we’ll see in 2019:
Digital Sports Coaching for the Average Gym-Goer
Remote fitness coaching and nutrition training have existed for some time now, but they are usually reserved for professional athletes seeking the expertise of renowned coaches. Not anymore. As sports nutrition becomes more mainstream, people are recognizing the need for more affordable and convenient personalized fitness training.
With advances in technology, we are seeing new startups dedicated to digital sports coaching and personalized nutrition. In the next few years, we’ll be seeing fitness apps driven by artificial intelligence, virtual nutritionists, and elite coaches accessible to anyone, anywhere.
Fitness Streaming Programs with Social Integration
Like online personal training, on-demand fitness streaming programs have been available for a while now, but thanks to cloud-based technology and faster streaming capabilities, we’ll see exciting developments in this field.
Group fitness classes are great because they help people stay motivated. In 2019 and beyond, we will see the role of social support taken to the next level through the aid of technology. Fitness equipment will allow you to live stream group classes to make to feel like you are part of their workout community no matter where you are.
Increased Demand for Certified Supplements and Granular Nutrition
Average fitness enthusiasts are becoming more discerning in terms of what they expect from a sports nutrition product. With more sports nutrition content on the web, consumers will actively seek out specific nutrients, and perceived benefits before making an investment.
For example, gym-goers who are trying to build muscle might look for specific protein sources or products with particular BCAA ratios, and those performing high-intensity training may want creatine and other specific single ingredient nutrients to add to their protein shakes. This prompts companies to rise up to the challenge.
Everyday athletes are also realizing the need for reputable supplement brands, not just a clean label. Consumers will seek out tested products that have additional certifications such as NSF Certified for Sport®*, which indicates that each lot produced is tested clean for athletic banned substances, meets label claims and contaminant test criteria, and is manufactured at a facility that is GMP compliant.
This is already true for elite athletes, and supplement certification will only be more widespread. For instance, professional sports organizations Major League Baseball recommend only products that are NSF Certified for Sport®.
Overall, whether it is an everyday or pro athlete, consumers are demanding more out of their nutrition and want it to be tailored just to fit their needs. Fitness is continuing to evolve to allow consumers more freedom while still remaining connected.
To see results, however, it will always be the combination of good quality nutrition and putting in the work with physical activity. Technology can provide great assistance in terms of motivation and delivering programming but it will always still come down to making sure on a daily basis you get your heart rate up and sweat then fuel your body properly.
*Certified for Sport® is a registered trademark of NSF International