Market demand for sports nutrition products, including drinks, bars and supplements, has grown substantially over the past decade. Experts predict that this phenomenal growth will persist over the coming decade as well.
Research shows that consumers of sports nutrition products base their brand selection on several factors. Availability, taste and texture are important, but this market segment is also concerned about nutritional value. In addition to protein, minerals are some of the most important nutrients for improved sports performance and physical recovery.
By improving the bioavailability of minerals in sports nutrition drinks, bars and other products, manufacturers can improve sales and carve out larger segments of this highly lucrative market – as long as they can do so without compromising flavor and texture.
The Importance of Minerals in Sports Nutrition
Inorganic micronutrients – particularly minerals and trace elements (MTEs) – play a critical role in human biological processes. MTEs facilitate the body’s metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, both of which fuel the muscles. These micronutrients also aid in physiological recovery after exercise and physical training, where they help build and repair muscle protein.
MTE deficiencies can lead to decreased athletic performance and increased recovery time.
Two of the most important minerals for sports performance are calcium and phosphorous. Calcium deficiencies can lead to problems that range from muscle cramping to exercise-related stress fractures and other bone-related problems. A phosphorous deficiency can result in muscle weakness and bone loss. Phosphorous deficiency can allow an excess of lactic acid to form in the muscles during exercise, increasing the time it takes the muscles to recover from physical activity.
The Challenges of Mineral Supplementation for Athletic Performance
Milk, yogurt and cheese are all great sources of calcium and phosphorous. Many athletes, however, prefer to consume a low-fat diet, limiting their consumption of the standard dairy products that would normally provide these key nutrients.
Sports nutrition products are abundant in the marketplace, and athletes have countless options for supplementing their dietary intake. The challenge in mineral supplementation, however, is bioavailability. If an individual does not consume a diet that provides sufficient calcium and phosphorous, they may find it difficult to supplement sufficiently with many of today’s most popular sports nutrition products.
Finding ways to increase the bioavailability of MTEs could potentially provide a competitive advantage for manufacturers of protein powders, protein bars and ready-to-mix and ready-to-drink sports nutrition products. At the same time, however, manufacturers must ensure that their products provide optimal taste and texture and an overall satisfying experience for the consumer.
Strategies for Improving MTE Bioavailability in Sports Nutrition Products
According to recent research, high-protein milk drinks, powders and bars are the most popular sports nutrition products today. That’s good news for product developers and manufacturers because milk products can provide optimal mineral bioavailability.
It’s important to note, however, that not all milk protein products have the same level of bioavailable milk mineral content. Recent research demonstrates that, depending on how milk protein concentrates (MPCs) and milk protein isolate (MPIs) are manufactured, some products contain significantly lower levels of protein bioavailable minerals than others.
Choosing the right milk protein products for formulating sports nutrition drinks, bars, powders and other products will help maximize the metabolic benefits of the end product.
Finding the Best Milk Protein Products for Maximizing Bioavailable Minerals
The sports nutrition industry’s annual revenue was estimated to be approaching the $20 billion mark in 2020, and experts predict that the annual revenue for sport nutrition products will likely exceed $30 billion annually by 2027. Product manufacturers are anxious to carve out the largest possible share of this growing market. Consequently, research and development teams are always on the lookout for ways to improve their products.
Formulating sports nutrition products that provide what consumers want can help create brand loyalty, increase sales and contribute directly to maximized profitability. Choosing milk products that contain the protein and bioavailable MTEs found naturally in cow’s milk is critical to delivering on that objective.
Milk protein concentrates and isolates from Idaho Milk Products are produced using farm-fresh skim milk from independently owned and operated dairies. We use an innovative low-heat filtration process that delivers MPCs and MPIs with micellar casein and native whey proteins in the pure, natural state found in milk. And, because a high percentage of milk’s calcium and phosphorous is chelated to micellar casein, our products deliver superior MTE bioavailability. IdaPro and IdaPlus 1085 milk proteins also provide superior sports nutrition qualities due to their high-quality fast and slow digesting protein content.
When used in ready-to-drink, IdaPlus delivers superior taste, texture and consistency with improved heat stability. This can equate to longer shelf life and cleaner labeling, both factors that are important to consumers. Incorporating our milk protein products into your formulations can help eliminate the need for stabilizers and decrease production times as well, which can translate directly to reduced costs.
If you would like to learn more about us and our commitment to delivering the best milk protein products available today, contact us now. You can also request a free sample of our MPCs, MPIs or milk permeates or ask about how we can create an IdaPro Custom milk product ingredient to best meet your needs.