Building an appetite for sports nutrition

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NUTRITION PRODUCTS: Being used regularly.

NEW research has revealed that more people than ever are using sports nutrition products.

Once used only by athletes, research by Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, showed that almost three in 10 Brits (27 per cent) use sports nutrition products such as protein bars, protein powders for a drink, energy bars and supplement capsules, tablets and sachets.

The number rose to 39 per cent amongst those who regularly exercised more than once a week. It is the UK’s young men who show the strongest use of sports nutrition products, with three in five men (61 per cent) aged 16- 34 saying they use such products.

Over one in three men (35 per cent) aged 16-34 said they exercised four times a week or more, compared to 26 per cent of women of the same age.

Usage amongst women was increasing with two in five (40 per cent) aged 16-34 reported using sports nutrition products with a dramatic increase in their use.

While only 7 per cent of women aged 16- 24 used protein powders for drinks in 2015, this has more than doubled in 2017 to 18 per cent. Currently, the top three sports nutrition products are protein bars (11 per cent), followed by protein powders for a drink (10 per cent) and energy bars (9 per cent).

The Mintel report states that while usage remains strong, as many as 63 per cent of users admitted they were unable to really tell if they were benefiting from the product and 72 per cent would like to see an industry wide certification that ensures quality of ingredients showing that consumers’ current

scrutiny of food and drink extends to sports nutrition.

Despite the popularity of these products, around half (48 per cent) of all Brits believe there is no need for extra protein in a balanced diet and a quarter of all those questioned admitted they never exercised.

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