The global sports nutrition market has been forecast to hit a value of $6 billion by 2018, driven by revamped, more complete product lines that are connecting with new customers.
The sports nutrition market is comprised of sports beverages, sports food and sports supplements, with sports beverages maintaining the largest market share.
The three main benefits of sports nutrition products are energy, hydration and muscle recovery. Sports drinks mainly address the first two needs. The major players are PepsiCo, Coca Cola and GSK, and typical brands include Powerade, Gatorade and Lucozade.
Calorie-free electrolyte tablets, containing minerals like sodium and potassium, are also available to dissolve in water. During prolonged exercise sessions an intake of 60g of carbohydrate per hour is recommended (about 240 kcal). During hard exercise, muscles experience minor protein damage which causes post-exercise soreness. By consuming protein after exercise, this damage can be rectified.
Protein-based sports nutrition products (bars, powders, ready-to-drink beverages, and other products fortified with protein) accounted for about $5.4 billion of the total market.
Powdered beverages dominate the global protein-based sports nutrition market with about a 77% share. However, ready-to-drink beverage and bar growth is expected to outpace that of powdered beverages over the next 5 years as more casual consumers look for convenient options to supplement their protein intake.
Despite the recent economic difficulties pervading both national and international markets, the sports nutrition market has continued to experience growth. As a relatively undeveloped market that is subject to continuous product innovation, growth in the sector has been substantial, in spite of subdued demand throughout the economic recession.
One of the major factors driving this strong growth of the market is the increasing presence of sports nutrition products in mass-market channels, rather than the traditional distribution channels of the gym and specialised retail outlets.
This has led to rising exposure of sports nutrition products among a more general consumer base and it is these consumers, rather than bodybuilders and elite athletes, which will drive the bulk of future growth in the marketplace.
For more information on the sports nutrition market, see the latest research: Sports Nutrition Market
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